Madeleine case PJ officer takes extended leave

UPDATED 10.10 HOURS ON 05.10.07

A MEMBER of the Portuguese police team investigating Madeleine McCann’s disappearance has asked for extended leave of absence.

Chief Inspector Tavares Almeida, who was second in command, has asked for the leave just days after the officer leading the investigation was removed from ther case.

Portuguese police would not say why the request had been made or when he would return to work.

Inquiry boss Gonçalo Amaral was dismissed as the regional Policia Judiciaria (PJ) in Portimao after accusing Gerry and Kate McCann of manipulating the British police.

A successor is due to be named on Monday, said the PJ’s Lisbon-based chief Alipio Ribeiro.