The wall of
silence maintained by police during their search for Madeleine
McCann is in accordance with strict Portuguese laws, lawyers said
police has centred on their refusal to reveal any details of the
investigation, to make public appeals or even to update the McCanns
on the progress of the inquiry.
the law in Portugal such information is confidential. Anyone
official who releases it could face criminal procedures.
are set out in Article 86 of the Penal Process Code of Law, which
states that the "process" of a police investigation must not be
Artur Rego, a
lawyer in Praia da Luz, where Madeleine was snatched, said the
strictly limited supply of information emerging from the police was
However he did
add that there were two exceptions to the law, which could apply in
this case. The top investigator can decide to authorise the release
of corrections to information in the public domain which is wrong.
He can also
intervene to release appeals in cases with "special public
repercussions" - where public safety is at risk.
refused to reveal if they have considered these exceptions. In a
reverse of the British law, information is made public when someone
is charged, or a case is dropped.