By: CECÍLIA PIRES
THE MADELEINE McCann case may be dropped by Portuguese police if new evidence to sustain the continuity of the investigation is not found, it is believed in the Portuguese judicial sector.
Although the national public prosecutor already sent the enquiry letters to the UK, as confirmed to The Resident by a spokeswoman from Procuradoria-Geral da República, no new evidence seems to have been added to the case, with the EXISTING evidence being insufficient to guarantee the continuity of the investigation. The enquiry letters contain questions for some of the friends and family members of the McCanns who were in Praia da Luz on May 3.
While waiting for a reply from the UK police authorities, the rumours about the Madeleine case being dropped have been spreading in the Portuguese weekly and daily newspapers last week, as a result of a political controversy triggered after Alípio Ribeiro, the PJ national director, admitted the investigation was “hasty” on naming Gerry and Kate McCann as “arguidos” in September.
Mr Ribeiro’s statements led to a special request from an MP member of the opposition party CDS-PP, at the beginning of this week as was reported by Correio da Manhã. Nuno Melo asked the Justice Minister, Alberto Costa, to explain in parliament if Portuguese citizens have any reasons “to fear an out-of-control judicial system” in Portugal.
The session was expected to be held on Wednesday, February 13, after The Resident went to press.
In the meantime, search operations in the Arade dam, near Silves, commissioned by the Madeira-based lawyer Marcos Aragão, are expected to restart after the weekend, depending on the success of the lawyer’s fundraising campaign.
Richard Lawrence, from Dive Time, the diving company from Lagos involved in the search, told The Resident that contrary to what has been reported in the media, the divers “have been working almost for free” and that the water conditions are very bad. However, he added, “there are still a few parts of the dam to search especially near the tower and that is where we will probably go next”.
If you have any information on the whereabouts of Madeleine McCann, please contact the McCann helpline on 0034 902 300 213 or the Portuguese Police on 00351 282 405 400.
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