Wednesday, 26 September 2007

Fourth witness says she saw Madeleine in Morocco


(click to see all enlarged pictures)

Clara Torres, a Spanish citizen, took a picture from a Moroccan family, on August 31, where a blonde girl that looks like Madeleine can be seen. The Spanish Radio Cope revealed that the picture was taken on August 31, in a road near the city of Tanger. When she heard about the two new witnesses that came forward, in the last three days, referring that they have seen Madeleine, in May, in Morocco, Clara Torres decided to send a copy of the picture to Spanish Police, who sent it immediately to Interpol.

A source from the head office of Moroccan Police told us that the “SuretĂ© Nacional” (Moroccan Intelligence Services) has already identified the man that was helping the family carrying their bags and they found that it's a family of Moroccan immigrants that lives in Europe. Moroccan intelligence services keep on investigating the last sightings, according to the same source.

But the news about investigations by the Control Risk Group, a private security company hired in May by the McCann to do “some things that the Portuguese police can’t do”, according to The Times, which has already teams in place in Portugal, Spain and Morocco, weren't well received by Moroccan authorities: “If we have in our territory those 'private investigators', some kind of mercenaries, we will consider it a violation of our national sovereignty and it's better for those 'investigators' that we don't get them...”

Three new witnesses in four days

The Daily Mail reveals the existence on one more witness – the third to come forward in the last days – that also saw Madeleine McCann in Morocco, in May. The non-identified woman is a Spanish citizen and she told Daily Mail that she was driving with her husband, in the city of Zaio, when she saw Madeleine McCann being “dragged” by a Muslim woman: “She said she told her husband to stop the car. I shouted 'Stop! It's Madeleine, the missing girl.' But by the time we pulled over and ran back to where she had crossed, they had both vanished."

Later, the non-identified Spanish woman tried to talk with Spanish and Portuguese Police, but both police forces refused to take her statement and told her “that Madeleine was presumed to be dead.” The Spanish woman told the Daily Mail: “I'm sure I saw her as I have the image of the girl imprinted on my mind. I saw a Muslim woman holding a girl by the hand. The girl was wearing a skirt and short-sleeved top, with hat on and her hair tied up. A gust of wind blew up the hat and I saw that it was Madeleine McCann.”

Mari Olli: Madeleine had “blue pyjamas”

Two days ago, UK newspapers wrote that a British citizen told Police, in May, he saw a "lost-looking' young girl at a petrol station in Marrakesh, just near the same place where Mari Olli also spotted Madeleine Mccann. Mari Olli is a Norwegian retired social worker living in Spain since 2005 and married with Ray Pollard, from Groby, Leicester. Mr. Ray Pollard told newspapers he was convinced his wife really saw Madeleine Mccann: "She is adamant the girl was Madeleine. She is absolutely convinced it was her. But we have heard nothing” from Police, he complained

Mari Olli saw Madeleine on the morning of May 9 and only when she came back to Spain she realized that the girl she saw was Madeleine, because there was no TV in the place where she was holidaying. She reported it to the Leicestershire Police and she was latter contacted by Portuguese detectives.

Mrs Pollard referred that Madeleine was wearing “blue pyjamas” whe she saw her at a gas station shop near Hotel Ibis Palmeraie. But Moroccan authorities confirmed that they seized the video from the CCTV camera at that shop and sent a copy to Portuguese Police. The images only show Mrs. Mari Olli buying some items, and there is no child among the clients, according to a source form the head office of Moroccan police.

Gerry McCann encouraged with the sightings

These last sightings in Morocco gave Gerry McCann a "feeling of 'encouragement at a renewed focus on the hunt for his daughter”, writes the Daily Mail. At the same time, “police in Leicestershire said there is not sufficient evidence to charge him or his wife Kate”, according also to Daily Mail.

Morocco is the third-placed country, in terms of reports about Madeleine's sightings. In Portugal, Police investigated were 252 sightings, between May 3 and September 11. In the island of Malta, there were 11 sightings of Madeleine McCann according to the Mail on Sunday. A detailed report of one of those sightings was published by the Sun, on June 22: “A British tourist told last night how he saw a child resembling Maddie McCann in Malta — and heard an Arab-looking man tell her in English: 'Get up, little girl'.

Ray Roberts, 49, was in Sliema when he saw the girl wearing what appeared to be a jet black wig. She was out late at night with the man, in his 40s, and a younger woman. When the child tripped, the man — who was grasping her arm — barked at her in broken English: “Get up, little girl.” The couple then ran off up a side street with her.”

The Welsh tourist, a heating engineer from Anglesey, North Wales, who was on holiday with wife Norma, 48, told The Sun that they both have since given statements before investigating magistrate Miriam Haymann, appointed by authorities in Malta to investigate the many sightings of Madeleine. But later, on the same day the interview was published, an official statement from Malta Police declared that “police deny that this man (Ray Roberts) has in fact filed a report to the police, or has given a statement before the magistrate”.

Paulo Reis & Duarte Levy