McCanns set up new hotline for Madeleine information

UPDATED 18.07 ON OCTOBER 24, 2007

GERRY AND Kate McCann have broken their silence since being named suspects in their daughter Madeleine’s disappearance by speaking to Spanish television, primarily to promote a new telephone hotline.

In an emotional half-hour interview to be shown tonight (Wednesday), the missing girl’s mother breaks down in tears.

“We discover a Kate very different to that seen by the public. A mother who fills up with emotion and cries upon remembering her daughter,” the TV station Antena 3 claims.

Reporter Roberto Arce travelled to Manchester to meet the McCanns and question them about life back in Britain.

The couple talk about their personal and legal situation and they fight back at claims made by newspapers in Portugal and Britain.

“It’s ludicrous,” says Mr McCann when asked whether the couple sedated their children – a question which Kate McCann refuses to answer.

Clarence Mitchell, spokesperson for the family, told Sky News that investigators advised them to do the interview as a way of raising awareness for thehotline set up for people to call with information about Madeleine’s disappearance.

The line will be manned on a confidential basis and people are encouraged to ring in with sightings or evidence.

Portuguese and Spanish police have given the McCanns their full backing in setting up the number, which will be based in Spain.

The operators of the line will speak a range of differerent languages, including Spanish, Portuguese, Arabic, French and English.

Anyone with information about Madeleine is asked to call + 34 902 300213 if they have any information, 24 hours a day.

They are concentrating on north Africa and the Iberian Peninsula because it is thought to be the area where the little girl is “most likely” to be.