Wednesday, 19 September 2007

Steve Bird and Patrick Foster: The McCann couple “have expressed fears that Portuguese detectives are attempting to frame them for Madeleine’s death.”

From Times Online
September 18, 2007
We can explain Madeleine's DNA in our car, say parents
Steve Bird in Portimao and Patrick Foster

Portuguese detectives investigating the disappearance of Madeleine McCann are expected in Leicester tomorrow, hours after it was claimed that her parents believe they can demolish all the evidence being laid against them. Their expected arrival comes after the McCanns were told by lawyers and forensic scientists that evidence against them is too weak to secure a conviction and can be explained by cross-contamination of material linked to their daughter.

A source close to the family said tonight that they can show how the samples got into the car. He said that Madeleine’s clothes and other belongings had been carried in the Renault Scenic when the family moved house.
These included a pair of pyjamas which Madeleine had worn on the holiday, a pair of her flip-flops and nappies used by Madeleine’s twin brother and sister before her disappearance on May 3. A family source said: “Who is to say what happened when they moved to the new villa? The seats were ripped out and everything including Madeleine’s sandals and the twins’ nappies were dumped in the car — which would have included traces of skin, sweat and bodily fluids.”

The couple have expressed fears that Portuguese detectives are attempting to frame them for Madeleine’s death. The police have been heavily criticised for failing to find any evidence of Madeleine’s fate and have been under intense political pressure from Lisbon and London. A family source said that the couple had received no notification that they were to be reinterviewed.

Mrs McCann spoke publicly for the first time yesterday since returning home to Rothley, Leicestershire, a week last Sunday. “We are not seeking to run,” she said. adding:She added: “There are lots of reasons, both spiritual, emotional and social, for us to return to Portugal at any time.”

The couple’s legal team are scouring Portuguese newspapers to show that the police have waged a campaign to smear their reputation. Clarence Mitchell, the couple’s spokesman, hopes that the legal team will prove that the reports show the couple have been “set up”.