By: CECÍLIA PIRES
GERRY AND Kate McCann have called on people to lobby their MEPs to sign a declaration for the introduction of an alert system in the EU similar to America’s Amber Alert.
The parents of Madeleine McCann first called for the system to be adopted on their return to the UK last September and reiterated the message during a meeting in Brussels with MEPs on April 10.
On his online blog, Gerry McCann said that the request is based on their belief that the Amber Alert System has been incredibly successful in rescuing abducted children. He adds that France has adopted a similar system in the last two years, which has been activated five times, with all children being recovered alive. Although they are convinced their proposal has widespread support, a formal declaration must be signed in the next three months by a total of 785 MEPs at the European Parliament, representing 51 per cent of the MEPs, so that it can even be considered for discussion.
As the appeal was made, Portuguese PJ investigators were still in Rothley, Leicestershire, interviewing some of the McCann’s friends who were dining with them when their daughter went missing on May 3 of last year.
Following these procedures, Kate and Gerry were invited by the Portuguese police to participate in a reconstruction of the events of that fateful evening.
However, their participation was later jeopardised by a report on Spanish television station Telecinco revealing information related to an alleged statement given by Kate McCann to the PJ investigators in the days that followed Madeleine’s disappearance.
The author of the report, Nacho Abad, a Spanish journalist who works for the talk-show El Programa de Ana Rosa, told The Resident he has transcripts of a statement from Kate McCann to the Portuguese PJ about the hours prior to Madeleine’s disappearance.
In that document, he said, Kate tells how Madeleine was complaining that Kate did not go to their room the night before when she and her brother were crying.
The reporter said he was surprised at the reaction of the Portuguese police over the information and said that the McCanns confirmed tacitly what was said in the report.
“When Clarence Mitchell accused the Portuguese PJ of violating the secrecy of the investigation about information that, according to him, was given to them at the beginning of the case, he was tacitly confirming the report,” he told The Resident.
An official statement from the PJ on April 14 said: “It is completely false that the contents of the news report reproduced information included in the enquiries protected by the secrecy of Justice.“
In the document, the Portuguese police also regret the behaviour of the McCann’s spokesman, Clarence Mitchell, “especially in a moment when significant diligences were happening in the investigation.”
Meanwhile, Robert Murat, the third arguido in the Madeleine case, announced this week that he was preparing a number of libel actions against 11 newspapers and one TV station in the UK.
His legal representatives at the law firm Simons Muirhead & Burton named the media targeted but declined to reveal any new information on the matter.
Reported by the UK press as being the largest libel claim in the history of the British media by an individual, the action is estimated to lead to a cumulative payout of more than two million pounds, the newspapers have said.
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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