New person of “interest” in Madeleine case.jpg

New person of “interest” in Madeleine case

By DAISY SAMPSON [email protected]

Private detectives investigating the disappearance of Madeleine McCann have identified a convicted British paedophile, who was in the Algarve at the time the toddler went missing in 2007, as being of interest to the case.

According to reports in British newspaper the Mirror, Raymond Hewlett remembers the weekend that Madeleine went missing and claims that he was in Fuseta, near Olhão, at a market close to where he had been camping in his van in Tavira.

However, reporters from the same newspaper have spoken with a couple who met Raymond Hewlett while in the Algarve and subsequently reported their concerns to private investigators.  

They told the Mirror: “Hewlett befriended us but kept quiet about his terrible past.  We were mortified and disgusted to discover the truth.”

Clarence Mitchell, the McCann family spokesman, said: “We are aware of Raymond Hewlett and the claims that have been made. The investigators searching for Madeleine are currently investigating the circumstances surrounding Mr Hewlett and these claims.

“Hewlett is an individual of interest to the McCann investigation. Some newspapers are claiming that comments were made that led to potential interest in connection with the Madeleine case and, as a result, that is why the investigators are looking at him.”

He added: “I do stress that this is one line of inquiry.”

Investigators from the Madeleine Fund have tracked Mr Hewlett to a hospital in Aachen, Germany but, at the time of going to press, the detectives in the case had yet to arrange an interview with Mr Hewlett.

Raymond Hewlett told reporters outside the hospital in Germany: “I have done nothing wrong” and added that he would be speaking to investigators at a later date.

Missing children

Meanwhile, parents of missing children gathered to mark International Missing Children Day on May 25.

Kate and Gerry McCann met with parents of other missing children on May 22 and said that they drew strength from talking with others in similar situations.

“It is easy to meet families where the children have been found because that gives you hope,” said Kate McCann.

She added: “But obviously, emotionally it is quite difficult to put yourself in a situation where a child has been missing for years and years.”

A special service to mark International Missing Children Day was held at Leicester Cathedral and although neither Kate nor Gerry McCann were present, other members of the family took part in the service to try and raise the profile of all missing children.

Ex police chief convicted

Gonçalo Amaral, the former police chief in the Madeleine case, has been convicted of perjury in relation to his involvement in the Leonor Cipriano case and has been given an 18 month suspended sentence.

The ex-policeman was found guilty of falsifying documentation but cleared of torture charges against Leonor Cipriano whose nine year old daughter, Joana, disappeared in 2004.

McCann family spokesman Clarence Mitchell said that the conviction “speaks for itself”.

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