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Maddie cops row over DNA

Original Source:  SUN: THURSDAY 06 DECEMBER 2007
Published: 06 Dec 2007

Clue ... Portuguese team arrive in Britain

DNA evidence found in the apartment where Maddie McCann vanished was at the centre of a row between Portuguese and British experts yesterday.


Police in Praia da Luz believed they found tiny specks of blood on an armchair and a wall.

Clue ... McCanns' apartment in Praia da Luz


They became convinced the specks were from four-year-old Maddie and proved she was killed inside the apartment in the town in Portugal.

But at a tense meeting between experts from Britain's Forensic Science Services and Portuguese scientists and cops it emerged the specks were so contaminated they could not even be identified as blood.


The collection of samples by Portuguese cops is reported to have been 'shambolic' and there are claims they dropped cigarette ash in the apartment contaminating evidence.


The FSS presented their findings to the Portuguese team last week at a meeting at Leicestershire police HQ.

A source revealed yesterday: 'There was a stand up row between the British team and the Portuguese.


'The Portuguese arrived demanding 'Where are our results'' They were very unhappy when told there weren't any conclusive ones.


'The British experts accused the Portuguese of 'unprofessional behaviour' saying that their collection of the samples could have been handled in a better manner.


'The Portuguese did not take this criticism very well. There were heated exchanges.'


Portuguese police are said to be convinced that Kate, a GP, killed Maddie accidentally and Gerry helped to dispose of the body.

The pair, both 39, have always insisted they had nothing to do with Maddie's disappearance on May 3.


They will find out within 48 hours if Home Secretary Jacqui Smith will let Portuguese cops quiz them again.


It follows a request by the prosecutor in charge of the case for police to talk to the McCanns and the Tapas Seven.

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A source in Portugal said: 'It is a formality for the British government to agree to it.'


Interviewing would be carried out by British police with Portuguese cops sitting in on the sessions.


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