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Permission needed to question McCanns

Original Source: SCOTSMAN: 02 DECEMBER 2007
Published Date: 02 December 2007

PORTUGUESE police would need the permission of the Home Secretary if they wanted to re-interview Kate and Gerry McCann or their friends on British soil, a police source said yesterday.

There have been reports that the McCanns could be re-interviewed by Portuguese officers or detectives from Leicestershire Police in connection with the disappearance of their four-year-old daughter Madeleine from their holiday apartment in the Algarve resort of Praia da Luz.

Detectives in Portugal also reportedly want to question members of the so-called Tapas Seven - friends of Kate and Gerry who were dining with them on May 3 shortly before Madeleine vanished.

But any request would have to go through Home Secretary Jacqui Smith, police sources in the UK said yesterday.

The source said: "A request would have to be sent to the Home Office in writing and would have to be approved by the Home Secretary."

Kate and Gerry McCann, both 39, from Rothley, Leicestershire, are staying with relatives this weekend. But family spokesman Clarence Mitchell said the McCanns, and their friends, would co-operate fully with officers.

He said: "We have not yet been notified of any intention by police to re-interview Gerry or Kate or to re-interview their friends. However, if the police feel it is necessary, all of them are more than happy to co-operate. None of them have anything to hide whatsoever.

"If there are any inconsistencies, and if in turn it leads to Kate and Gerry being eliminated from the inquiry, then the sooner any interviews happen, the better."

The development comes after Portuguese news channel SIC reported yesterday that a team of detectives and a prosecutor from Portugal would fly to the UK next week to conduct the interviews.


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