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Domingo, 30 de Setembro de 2007

Sky Special: Did The McCanns Do It?

Never mind Burma, never mind the General Election, never mind bluetongue disease. There's only one question on everyone's lips - did the McCanns do it?

Did Kate McCann, as the Portuguese police believe, kill Madeleine accidentally and get her husband to help her hide and dispose of the body?

I don't know, but after 150 days I'm beginning to get some idea of what's going on in the police investigation.

Portuguese detectives initially rejected most offers of help from the UK. They did engage the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre, and hunted for a suspect among internet paedophiles.

What they should also have been doing, with as much if not more urgency, was thoroughly investigating the McCanns and the apartment where Madeleine was last seen.

That bit they didn't do properly.

It was only after 100 days or so that the Portuguese authorities finally called the British police and asked for more help and advice.

UK officers were dispatched to collect the fresh forensic samples that were to prompt such a dramatic twist in the story.

When a child goes missing difficult questions have to be asked of the parents.

Most kids are killed by family or someone they know. And Kate and Gerry McCann were the last people to see Madeleine.

Now the couple are suspects, based on DNA evidence from an apartment that had since been re-let and a car - rented 25 days after Madeleine disappeared - that had been used by many people for 10 weeks.

Sources said the DNA from the car was a "complete" match of Madeleine's, leading Portuguese police to conclude that her body must have been in the vehicle.

The family insist the DNA can be explained by innocent transfer from Madeleine's clothes, and nappies used by her sibling twins Sean and Amelie.

Whatever the strength of that evidence, a half-decent defence lawyer would drive a horse and cart though it - with a blindfold on.

British detectives don't always get it right, but they are revered around the world. And they have a golden rule: first, clear the ground under your feet.

One of the UK's leading experts on child abduction was asked to help, late in the day, but refused.

He could see the mess the Portuguese detectives were in and didn't want to risk his reputation.

 

These thoughts are more fully explored in a special programme Madeleine: The Search For The Truth on Sky News tonight at 7.30pm.

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publicado por arco íris às 09:08

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