Friends and family of Madeleine McCann's parents have reacted with horror to
the news that suspicion has fallen on the missing girl's mother.
Kate McCann has been named a formal suspect - an "arguida" - by
police investigating the four-year-old's disappearance.
Mrs McCann's mother, Susan Healy, said the family were concerned that evidence
may have been planted in order to incriminate Madeleine's parents.
Mrs Healy told Channel 4 News: "She's very angry about her position. She
knows perfectly well that if this evidence exists, then it is proof that there
is somebody inside either the police department or who had access to their
apartment and their belongings who has planted this evidence.
"She knows that, so you can imagine how anxious that is making her feel.
"It is OK if you think you tell the truth and everything will be all
right, but that doesn't appear to be the case here so we are extremely
concerned at this time."
Dr Doug Skehan said: "I am horrified to be honest that Kate or Gerry could
themselves be suspects.
"They are two fine people who are great parents and who have gone through
Dr Skehan - a cardiologist like Mr McCann and clinical director at Glenfield Hospital,
Leicester - added: "In the hospital there
is a sense of disbelief.
"Everyone who has spoken to me about this today wanted to send their
support to Gerry and Kate."
Gerry McCann has slammed suggestions his wife was involved in their daughter's
disappearance as "ludicrous".
"Anyone who knows anything about the 3rd May knows that Kate is completely
innocent," he wrote on his blog.
"We will fight this all the way and we will not stop looking for
Others have also leapt to Kate's defence.
Madeleine's aunt, Philomena McCann, said the development was a "complete
She said: "To actually claim that Kate is a suspect is ludicrous as much
as it is insulting.
"It just seems ridiculous. It's so untrue its just not possible."
Gerry's brother John McCann said the prospect of her becoming a suspect was
Speaking from his home in Glasgow
, he said: "We just want to see exactly what the Portuguese Police are
"We cannot believe the line that they are going down - we just find it
He also called for the Portuguese police to get their investigation back on
"There's a degree of almost anger, it's more frustration. We just want
them to get on with the real focus," he said.
"My wee niece is missing and it's not Gerry and Kate that are involved in
"Let's get back to the real reason. What's happened to that?"
A group of friends who were with the McCanns on holiday when Madeleine
disappeared on May 3 from the family's apartment released a statement.
It said: "We are totally appalled at any suggestion that Kate had anything
to do with Madeleine's disappearance.
"She is innocent - we know this because we are her friends, we were with
her on the night, and we witnessed first hand the unimaginable grief Kate and
Madeleine's great uncle Brian Kennedy said: "As you can imagine, the
family of Kate and Gerry McCann have been shocked by the news of recent events
and the campaign against them.
"And we are sure that all those who have given their tremendous support
over the past months will be equally amazed and disbelieving of what this
wonderful couple are having to contend with, having already suffered the loss
of their much-loved Madeleine.
"The notion that either of them would or could harm one of their children
A McCann family spokesman said: "Kate is shocked ... and concerned that
such a line of investigation can become a distraction from further attempts to