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Original Source: Express 29 May 2007  [Now removed from internet]
Express Archive

Tuesday May 29,2007 By David Pilditch and Matt Drake in Praia da Luz


MOBILE phone experts like the ones who helped convict Soham murderer Ian Huntley, have been drafted into the hunt for Madeleine McCann.  

"Anything that people are doing to raise awareness of Madeleine’s disappearance, we thank them from the bottom of our hearts"
Gerry McCann

The specially-trained technicians from Britain will focus on the mobile records of suspect Robert Murat, 33, and pinpoint his exact location on the night Madeleine was snatched from her holiday apartment in Portugal.


The experts could provide vital evidence in the hunt for the four-year-old’s abductor – as similar teams did  when proving Huntley lied about his whereabouts after murdering 10-year-old friends Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman.


A police chief said yesterday: “These specialists were crucial at Soham  and could be equally valuable in Portugal. Murat remains the only suspect and his records will be scrutinised in great detail.


“If there are any inconsistencies between the records and his statement, he will be questioned again.” Murat, who insists he is innocent, was released after lengthy interrogation because no evidence has been found linking him to the abduction.



Meanwhile yesterday Madeleine’s parents, Kate and Gerry, released two heart-rending video clips of their daughter captured on a family friend’s mobile phone.


They show Madeleine clambering up steps to the aircraft as she excitedly sets off on holiday to the Algarve.


They are the last video pictures taken of Madeleine – and her mother has watched them regularly over the last 26 days.


The worldwide publicity has led to the McCanns being invited on to American chat shows hosted by Larry King and Oprah Winfrey. But they are determined not to be turned into celebrities and want to focus on finding their daughter.

Mr McCann yesterday thanked the “thousands, if not millions” of people around the world who had given them support. He said: “People are making donations to the fund or distributing posters on holiday.


“Anything that people are doing to raise awareness of Madeleine’s disappearance, we thank them from the bottom of our hearts.”


In the family videos Madeleine is seen clasping her pink Barbie rucksack. Holding hands with another little girl, she loses her footing and slips, grazing her shin on the plane steps.


Although she has a nasty cut, she stops crying after only a few seconds –  she is too busy looking forward to her holiday to be upset for long. Another clip shows Madeleine sitting on an airport bus. Mr McCann said she refused to get upset about hurting herself because she was so thrilled about going to Portugal.


He held her little pink rucksack as he recalled: “She was really brave. She started crying but stopped almost immediately. It would usually have caused 10 minutes of crying rather than 10 seconds.’’


Mrs McCann is seen grinning in the video as she ruffles son Sean’s hair and holds her other daughter Amelie. Laughter is heard throughout.


Portuguse police said yesterday they want to speak to a British sailor who was in e-mail contact with Murat. They had found “suspicious references”. The sailor had a yacht moored at Lagos Marina but has now left.


Tonight Madeleine’s parents fly to the Vatican and will meet the Pope tomorrow.


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