Monday, 27 August 2007

Dangerous connections




The sugestion to scale down the media exposure of McCann couple and the campaign to find Madeleine came from the British Prime-Minister’s office, according to a source close to McCann family. Gordon Brown’s advisers are worried about the possibility that the next steps of the investigation of Madeleine’s disappearance, which is following a new line of inquiry, may produce results that could damage the Prime-Minister´s image, due to his close relationship with Gerry McCann. Justine McGuiness, spokesman for McCann family, refused to comment and our attempts to contact the British Prime-Minister’s Office were unsuccessful.

Portuguese Police is waiting for the official results of tests to samples collected at the crime scene and several other places, in Praia da Luz, by a British Police special team, during a review of the case that took place at the end of July. Those samples are being tested at Forensic Science Service, in Birmingham, since almost three weeks and they are fundamental to the investigation, as Portuguese CID spokesman told The Telegraph: “The new line of inquiry can only go forward after these results.”

The most relevant findings of the British Police special team that reviewed Madeleine’s investigation were reached with the help of two specially trained dogs, able to detect tiny traces of blood and the scent of a dead body, even after many months have passed. Traces of blood, found at Madeleine’s apartment, were one of many samples collected and send to be analysed at the Forensic Science Service. The Times revealed the preliminary results of that specific test, that showed the blood was from a man, not Madeleine’s blood.

The Forensic Science Service confirmed, on August 8, that “analysis to several kind of samples” related to Madeleine’s abduction were being made at FSS. But eighteen days after, Portuguese Police has not received the results and the British laboratory is doing a second round of tests. FSS refused to comment, when asked, today, about who requested this second round of tests – British or Portuguese Police.

The spokesman for Polícia Judiciária, said that “PJ didn't asked for a second round of tests” to the samples collected by the British Police special team, in July: “We don’t know the results, how and why would we ask for repeating the tests?”, Chief-Inspector Olegário de Sousa commented, today.

Meanwhile, FSS management has taken “specific precautions” concerning the set of samples that were received from Praia da Luz and the results of the analysis, in order to guarantee that any information made available to the public that does not reflect with acuracy the results could be corrected, without breaching the law.

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Paulo Reis/Duarte Levy

French version: SOS Madeleine McCann