Pulling out from Arade dam after three days of searches. Image: Luís Forra/ Lusa
Pulling out from Arade dam after three days of searches. Image: Luís Forra/ Lusa

Maddie probe: tents start being dismantled as latest searches come to an end

Reports suggest ‘gun and camcorder’ on list of German police

With speculation running rampant over the last few days, the truth is that the latest searches for clues into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann look like they have come to an end.

As we wrote this text, reporters at the Arade dam site bristling with police and press since Tuesday were told “the presence of authorities would only be maintained until 4pm”.

It seems unlikely that German police, who requested these searches, will be giving any kind of statement today. 

PJ police did promise, early on, that they would give information “on the results” when the searches were over, but so far nothing – beyond speculation by various sources, extending even to the “possibility of other bodies, of other missing children…” being found.

The UK’s Daily Mail ran with an exclusive this afternoon suggesting “the very reliable source” that had tipped off German police had talked of a gun and a camcorder, allegedly stolen from the home of ‘the one and only suspect’ Christian Brückner, and then “thrown into the dam”.

This doesn’t explain why vegetation was cleared. But, according to the Mail, “Police are desperate to find the video camera as they believe it may contain images of Madeleine, but also of other sex attacks Brueckner (sic) is said to have carried out on at least two unidentified women”.

On the basis that the original tip-off about Brückner came from what his defence lawyer has described as the worst witness you can get, it is perhaps not surprising that former PJ coordinator Gonçalo Amaral has said these latest searches are another attempt to “pin the case” on Brückner, whom he has always described as a convenient scapegoat.

The Mail however has branded Amaral as “shameless”.

Amaral’s interview with Sábado did see him suggesting that if what he sees as “the political pressures” in this long-running mystery finally come to an end “this case will end and there will be answers”.

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