Wednesday, 19 September 2007

Portuguese detectives left to UK to follow the questioning of Kate and Gerry McCann

Several PJ detectives left yesterday, September 18, to UK, to follow the questioning of Kate and Gerry McCann by the Leicestershire Police. The Portuguese detectives have a long and detailed list of questions – already translated to English – that the McCann couple refused to answer, while they were questioned at PJ headquearters, in Portimão, when they asked, both, to be given the statute of 'formal suspect' ("arguido"), which allowed them to refuse to answer, without facing charges of contempt to the court.

Kate and Gerry started to be questioned as witnesses. According to Portuguese Law, a witness must tell the truth, the all truth and only the truth, and can't refuse to answer questions. In the middle of the questioning, Kate and Gerry asked to be named "formal suspects", in order to have the same legal right that USA citizens have, when they invoke the 5th Amendment: the right not to answer questions asked by police, in order to not incriminate themselves.

Sources close to the investigation of Madeleine's disappearance confirmed that the final batch of analysis that have been done at the Forensic Science Service, in Birmingham, will be sent to Portugal very soon. Those last results "will give more consistence to a line of inquiry", according to the same source.

Policia Judiciária will start today, September 19, a new phase of the investigation, with a significant help from the Spanish Police, wich has already undertake some actions in order to check several details, persons and places, related with the investigation of Madeleine's disappearance. This actions from Spanish Police were requested by Portuguese Police during a meeting, on September 11, between a high level team of PJ detectives and officers in charge of the "Brigadas contra el Crimen Organizado" (Organized Crime Special Unit") from Spanish Police.

(to be continued)

Duarte Levy (Rothley) & Paulo Reis (Huelva)