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Judge Asked For Emergency Order

HOMEPAGE NEWS REPORTS INDEX SPOKESMEN PHOTOS NEWS SEPTEMBER 2007
Original Source: SKY: 12 SEPTEMBER 2007
Updated: 00:34, Wednesday September 12, 2007
 
The public prosecutor in Portugal is reported to have asked the judge in the Madeleine McCann case to make an emergency order allowing him to seize a mystery object.

It is not known what or where the object is but the prosecutor has asked the judge to issue an order allowing him to have it within 24 hours.

Sky News crime correspondent Martin Brunt said: "The prosecution has asked the judge for an emergency order to give them permission to go and seize it.

"We do not know where or what it is, whether it is in this country or whether it is something perhaps the McCann family are refusing to hand over."

Earlier, the prosecutor decided that a dossier outlining the case against missing Madeleine McCann's parents should go before a judge.

Police handed their files to the Algarve-based prosecutor, Jose Cunha de Magalhaes e Meneses, for him to decide whether to bring charges against Kate and Gerry McCann.

Speaking outside the prosecutor's office in Portimao, Luisa Duarte said Mr Cunha de Magalhaes e Meneses had received the papers and decided they should go before an instructional judge.

The development could mean the couple may find out in the next 10 days whether they will be charged with their daughter's death.

Alternatively, it may be that the prosecutor is asking for stricter bail conditions, another round of questioning of the McCanns or fresh searches.

But the file, which was only handed to the prosecutor by police on Tuesday, was not expected to be passed on so quickly.

"That's a pretty dramatic development because it shows the prosecutor is moving quickly," said Brunt.

"The prosecutor has already decided there is enough evidence for the file to go to the judge and it will now be up to the judge to see whether there is enough evidence to file charges.

"In the next 10 days the McCanns could find out if they are to be brought back here to be charged with Madeleine's death."

Portugal's attorney-general, who oversees the public prosecutor's office, said that officials would examine police findings and announce within 10 days what further steps would be taken.

"The investigation ... is not over, and further detective work is required," Attorney-General Fernando Pinto Monteiro said in a written statement.

It is also reported that he has appointed a second public prosecutor to oversee the investigation.

Meanwhile, bodily fluids - not blood - matching Madeleine McCann's DNA have been found in the car hired by her parents, according to sources.

The sample was taken from the boot, where the spare tyre is kept.

It had an 88% match with the missing four-year-old's DNA, sources said.

Police searching the car also found so much of Madeleine's hair that it could not have been transferred from a blanket or clothes.

It must have come directly from her body, sources said.

The information came from senior sources in the investigation who briefed Portuguese journalists.

It follows last night's revelation by Sky News that detectives had found DNA evidence that Madeleine's body had been in the boot of the car hire by Mr and Mrs McCann five weeks after their daughter's disappearance.

Brunt said: "The Portuguese press reports have been reasonably accurate in reflecting what's going on in the thoughts, and the direction, of detectives.

"It sounds like what we reported last night is being born out."

Mr and Mrs McCann are enduring the tense wait for news at their home in Rothley, Leicestershire.

Both have been named by police as suspects in their daughter's disappearance on May 3 in the Algarve.

Family spokesman Brian Kennedy, who is Madeleine's great uncle, said of the family: "They are holding up extremely well."

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