'Liar' cop ignored hundreds of Maddie sightings
From Antonella Lazzeri, in Lisbon
Cops in Portugal ignored hundreds of "sightings" of Madeleine McCann - because they believed she was dead, it was claimed yesterday.
Inspector Ricardo Paiva also neglected to show her parents "shockingly similar" photos the public had sent in believing they were Maddie - or act on tip-offs.
Instead he put every bit in a dossier after writing on it: "Not relevant to the investigation". Maddie's parents, Kate and Gerry, only learnt the file existed this week.
Maddie, now six, vanished from a holiday resort in Praia da Luz, Portugal, in May 2007.
Paiva, the McCanns' family liaison officer, started collating the dossier in July 2008 after cops called off the hunt.
It contains information from police forces across Europe including sightings, photos of houses where people reported seeing Maddie and tips-offs.
Isabel Duarte, the McCanns' solicitor, asked to see the dossier after Paiva mentioned it at a court hearing.
Kate and Gerry, both 41, from Rothley, Leics, were shown it this week while in Lisbon for a different case brought by former police chief Goncalo Amaral.
The 50-year-old, who headed the initial hunt, is fighting for a ban on a book he wrote about Maddie to be lifted. In it, he claims Maddie is dead and her parents faked her abduction.
Mrs Duarte branded Paiva a "liar" in court when he claimed he would reopen the Maddie case if new information came forward.
She said yesterday: "Every piece was treated the same way - Ricardo Paiva writes on it, 'this is not relevant to the investigation'.
"He believed, and to this day still believes, that Madeleine is dead.
"I said to him, 'How can you find a person when you are not looking for them?'"
in: The Sun, 12.02.2010