By DAISY SAMPSON [email protected]
Previously unseen Portuguese police files detailing more than 50 potential new leads into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann have been revealed to private investigators hired by her parents Kate and Gerry McCann, according to British press.
The existence of the 2,000 page file was uncovered during the court case between the McCanns and Gonçalo Amaral last month when Inspector Ricardo Paiva, the former liaison officer to the McCanns, mentioned it during the case.
Isabel Duarte, the solicitor for Kate and Gerry McCann, then asked for the files to be made available to them.
“It is a disgrace that none of this information was given to Kate and Gerry. Some of the photos are shockingly similar to Madeleine,” she said.
According to several British newspapers, the report contains CCTV images of a young girl who looks like Madeleine being led into a supermarket in New Zealand in 2007.
There was also a report of a British national seen dragging a young girl along a road towards Faro airport on the night Madeleine went missing.
Clarence Mitchell, spokesman for the McCann family, said: “Kate and Gerry have made it clear that they were shocked to see the lack of follow-up work done by the Portuguese police since the investigation was shelved.”
He added: “All the information in these files must go to the private investigators as they are the only people still looking for Madeleine.”
Meanwhile, a group of British MPs from the Culture, Media and Sport Committee has presented a wide-ranging report into press standards, privacy and libel with referrals to the coverage relating to the disappearance of Madeleine McCann.
The committee criticised the Press Complaints Commission, PCC, for failing to do more regarding “false and damaging” coverage relating to Madeline McCann and stated that the industry was “in denial about the scale and gravity of what went wrong”.
The McCann case was described in the report as “an important test of the industry´s ability to regulate itself, and it failed in that test”.
Committee chairman John Whittingdale said: “We want to see the self-regulatory system strengthened in order to increase its credibility and ensure that standards are maintained.”
Stephen Abell, director of the PCC, said: “The PCC accepts that the report contains criticisms of some of its structures and practices, which will need to be given due consideration.”
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