(Portugal) Interior Justice Ministry
03.05.2010 / 19:50 h
Lisbon, May 3 (EFE). The Portuguese authorities have not made any step to reopen the case of the British girl Madeleine McCann, who disappeared three years ago today, as no new evidence has emerged that justifies another investigation.
According to legal sources consulted by Efe, in spite of the statements periodically made by Madeleine's parents, and those that they made in their libel case against the former PJ officer who connected them to the death of their daughter, no new developments have been made public which could lead to the case being reopened.
With the event of the third anniversary of the disappearance of their daughter, Kate and Gerry McCann have appeared on various European TV stations, and printed media, to insist that their daughter is alive and to ask for help in looking for her.
The couple, who in 2007, organised the biggest media campaign ever seen in a case of a disappearance, to gather funds, have repeatedly said, without giving details, that they have new leads about their daughter's possible fate.
But the Portuguese Judiciary, which officially closed the case a year after the disappearance can only reopen it with new evidence and formal denunciations made before the police.
The Portuguese Public Prosecutor, upon archiving the case on 21st July 2008 discounted the indications linking the McCanns to their daughter's death as well as those that pointed to the abduction of the girl by some stranger.
After having declared them as official suspects in the case, the prosecutors also discarded acting against the couple for having left Madeleine, who was three years old on the night of her disappearance, alone with her younger siblings, whilst they dined with friends.
The couple state that they took turns in going to see the children, but in their statements and those of their friends, as well as the cadaver traces detected in their car and belongings, is where the Portuguese police found the greatest number of contradictions and suspicions in the case.
The Portuguese authorities, accused of not having acted rigorously during the first hours of the disappearance and neglecting the crime scene, never found a trace of the girl and were not even able to bring the couple's friends back to Portugal for a reconstruction of the facts.
The evidence they collected with the help of British police and dogs remained for months in a British laboratory which finally issued a report without sufficient certainty to implicate the parents or shed some light onto the case, according to statements by the Portuguese police officers then responsible.
The McCanns, who suddenly left Portugal when they were declared suspects in September 2007, returned last year to argue with the police officer who led the investigation, Gonçalo Amaral, dismissed and retired early and now in danger of ending up in ruin because of the couple's law suit.
The book in which Amaral covers the details of the investigation – also gathered from the public summary of the case – and which suggests that Madeleine died in an accidental manner and that the parents disposed of the body, was banned last February after a first victory of the British couple in the Portuguese civil courts.
Madeleine disappeared on 3rd May 2007 from an apartment in Praia da Luz, in the Algarve and the only thing that remains of her, for the moment, are the thousands of pages of a Portuguese investigation without guilty parties and the images and comments of the web page her parents maintain.
The McCanns have always declared themselves to be innocent and determined to find their daughter to whom they today dedicated this message: "Madeleine. Still missing, still missed, still looking."
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I cant see them keeping this up indefinitely.
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Even if it were so, imagine a life waiting for the phone to ring with that crucial evidence having been revealed at last, an encounter in the street with someone who has read the files, conversations stopping when you walked into a room full of people...
Not even a half life.
Even if they managed to stash some of the £££ away it's no real compensation for living the rest of your lives as a suspect in your own daughter's death, when exoneration would be all too simple.
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