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TOP SCOTS COP SLAMS PORTUGUESE POLICE HUNT FOR MADELEINE

HOMEPAGE NEWS REPORTS INDEX SPOKESMEN PHOTOS NEWS SEPTEMBER 2007
Original Source: SUNDAY MAIL: 09 SEPTEMBER 2007
9 September 2007
 

A VETERAN Scots detective has claimed naming the McCanns as suspects is a desperate move by the Portuguese to force the couple to leave the country.

Joe Jackson was head of the Strathclyde Police Serious Crime Squad and investigated more than 150 murders.

He believes the decision to finger Kate and Gerry was taken at top level to protect Portugal's image. And he slammed the handling of the investigation.

The Portuguese police suspect Kate killed Madeleine by accident on May 3 and has tried to cover up the death by claiming she was abducted.

But Jackson, 67, said: "Inmy opinion the police have no evidence against the McCanns. If they had, they would have charged them by now.

"This is a ploy to make them leave the country because of the effect the case is having on the tourist trade and the general image of Portugal.

"The Portuguese want the McCanns to go home, so they can treat it as an unsolved missing child case and bring an end to the matter.

"The decision to offer Mrs McCann a deal to admit to causing the death of the child will have been taken at a very senior level. There is no way that this would have been cooked up by the officers who interviewed her.

"The fact that Madeleine's DNA has been found in the hired car 25 days after she went missing means nothing.

The DNA could easily have been transferred to the car from items of clothing belonging to Madeleine that had been placed in the car by her parents.

"You have to ask the question: 'How could someone hide a body for 25 days?' It's just not possible with the eyes of the world upon you. Bodies are notoriously difficult to hide and nearly always turn up in one form or another."

Jackson added: "The first 48 hours in any case like this is paramount. It took the police at least two days to realise the significance of what had happened and put experienced detectives in charge.

"In the first few hours it appears the local plods were running things and didn't really know what to do.

"The kind of lengthy interview Mrs McCann was subjected to should have been carried out on the first day, not four months later.

"If this has been a random abduction by a stranger this would be a problem for even the best police force."

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