UPDATED 19.50 HOURS ON 02.10.07
By CECILIA PIRES
THE POLICE chief leading the investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann has been removed from his position.
Gonçalo Amaral, who has headed the investigation since the early days and who is also the head of the Portimão Office of the Policia Judiciária (PJ) was relieved of his duties this evening (Tuesday).
Gonçalo Amaral is expected to return to his previous office, in Faro.
According to the sources from PJ, the controversial statements Gonçalo Amaral made in an interview with Diário de Notícias,, a respected daily newspaper, have led to the decision to remove him.
No announcement has been made as to who will replace him as head of the Madeleine case.
Alípio Ribeiro, the head of the National Direction of the Polícia Judiciária, confirmed Gonçalo Amaral’s dismissal to The Resident this evening.
He said Amaral “has just ceased his special commission” at the Portimão Office.
“It was a decision from the national director”, Alípio Ribeiro said, denying reports of any political pressure due to the Madeleine Case.