By: CECÍLIA PIRES
FORENSIC TESTS on the samples collected from the car and apartment of the McCann family have proved inconclusive, Portuguese police said this week.
After waiting since August for the results, investigators have concluded that it is impossible to use as evidence.
Despite renewed efforts from the new PJ team, lead by Paulo Rebelo, the investigation into Madeleine McCann’s disappearance is still facing difficulties and remains a long way from closure.
With so much hanging on the results of these tests, primarily to reinforce the PJ’s theory that Gerry and Kate McCann are the prime suspects, there is now a real possibility that the Madeleine case will become a “case filed” if nothing happens fast.
To ensure that no stone is left unturned, all files related to the investigation are being reviewed by a PJ technical team from Lisbon, whose responsibility it is to check and re-check all the information collected since May 3, when Madeleine disappeared from Praia da Luz. This also includes reviewing all the information relating to suspect Robert Murat, who was the first to be named arguido, only a few days after Madeleine went missing. The Portuguese police also seem to be failing to stop the speculation and criticism surrounding the investigation.
Recent statements by Piers Merchant, assistant to British MEP Roger Knapman, accusing the Portuguese legal system and the PJ of being “corrupt” has had short shrift from the Portuguese Justice Minister.
Alberto Costa said these were “unworthy statements from the UK Independence Party” that “don’t reflect, at all, the official position of the British authorities”.
Pinto Monteiro and Alípio Ribeiro, respectively the country’s Public Prosecutor and the national Director of the Polícia Judiciária, also strongly criticised Merchant’s statements.
Pinto Monteiro said “any reply to a European Parliament representative must be political and not judicial” and Alípio Ribeiro accused Merchant of “infamous” and “irresponsible” words.
After missing for 197 days, Madeleine McCann is still being searched for by her parents, which continues to prompt all types of coverage and reaction.
Last week, and anticipating the Christmas sales season, the publication of two books by Portuguese journalists was announced.
Maddie 129 is the title of a 206-page book published by Prime Books, which claims to be a report of what is thought to have happened between May 3 and September 9, the day when Gerry and Kate McCann returned to the UK.
The authors, Hernâni Carvalho and Luís Maia, say that “this is a book of questions” and not a public judgment or conspiracy against anyone.
Why did we adopt Maddie? is another book soon to be released by Oficina do Livro publishers. The author, TV reporter Luis Castro, says his book analyses a girl who became “daughter of the world”.
Covering events from May 3 to November 3, the author invited 24 different national personalities to understand what he calls “the biggest journalistic coverage in recent years”.
If you have any information on the whereabouts of Madeleine McCann, please contact the McCanns’ helpline on +34902300213 or the Portuguese Police on +351 282 405 400.
Do you have a view on this story? Email: [email protected]