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Michaela Walczuch mais uma na Mccannixórdia!

Testemunha identificou mulher que entregava menina desaparecida a um homem.
O detective privado espanhol Francisco Marco veio a Portugal, na semana passada, entregar às autoridades informação sobre a possível raptora de Madeleine McCannn.
Luís Costa Ribas Jornalista

Francisco Marco disse no documentário da CBS, exibido pela SIC no domingo à noite, saber quem raptou Madeleine McCann. Mas sabe mais do que disse na entrevista.

Marco foi contratado pela família McCann para ajudar a encontrar a menina desaparecida e diz saber "quem é o raptor, aonde está e como fez o rapto".

A SIC sabe que o detective privado espanhol foi contactado por um camionista português, através de uma linha verde aberta para receber informações acerca de Madeleine.

Esse camionista disse ter visto uma mulher loura, numa carrinha Toyota verde, com Madeleine McCann ao colo, parcialmente enrolada num cobertor, a entregá-la a um homem.

O homem não conhecia a mulher mas identificou-a através de fotografias de várias mulheres louras, incluindo pessoas ligadas ao caso. A identidade da mulher foi facultada à SIC, mas não a divulgamos por se tratar de informação não confirmada.

Marco também disse ter a certeza de que Madeleine está viva, sublinhando estar "100 por cento certo" do que diz.

Esta afirmação foi ridicularizada, nomeadamente por Joe Moura, um detective contratado pela CBS para, no documentário, avaliar o que se passou na noite em que Maddie desapareceu.

Mas há um outro testemunho relativo à hipótese do rapto. Jane Tanner, uma amiga dos McCann que estava de férias com eles em Portugal, está convencida que viu alguém levar Maddie no dia do seu desaparecimento. O seu testemunho, facultado às autoridades, deu origem a um desenho divulgado pela família.

"Quando caminhava na rua um vi um homem a carregar uma criança pequena. E reparei na maneira como ele a segurava e podia ver que ela estava descalça e vi a parte de baixo do pijama", disse Tanner.

Acrescentou ter pensado que era uma situação estranha e que nessa altura não imaginava que podia estar a testemunhar o rapto de Madeleine.

Fontes policiais portuguesas não comentaram directamente a credibilidade das reivindicações do detective espanhol. Disseram que há muitas pessoas a afirmar ter visto Madeleine, mas que é cada cabeça cada sentença: cada uma tem a sua versão diferente quanto ao local e circunstância do que foi visto.

Michaela Walczuch

The girlfriend of Madeleine McCann suspect Robert Murat has strenuously denied a claim she was spotted with the young child two days after she vanished, a friend said today.

A new witness has identified Michaela Walczuch as a woman seen with the missing girl in central Portugal about 100 miles from where she disappeared on May 3, a source said.

But family friend Tuck Price said any suggestion Ms Walczuch was involved in the case was "ridiculous", adding: "She would deny that 100 per cent."

German-born Ms Walczuch, 32, has already told Portuguese detectives exactly where she was on the evenings before and after Madeleine's disappearance, he said.

Mr Price went on: "Michaela has a daughter, she is a decent woman. She has answered all the police's questions, she has got alibis."

He added: "This has no effect on the search for Madeleine. The police have known Michaela's story from day one.

"She has been interviewed, the police have all her details, the police know every single aspect about her life."

Ms Walczuch is worried about the effect the allegation could have on her eight-year-old daughter and has complained to Portuguese police about journalists "stalking" her, Mr Price said.

It is now 200 days since Madeleine vanished from her family's holiday apartment in the Algarve resort of Praia da Luz.

On May 14 Mr Murat became the first person to be named an arguido, or official suspect, in her disappearance.

At the same time police interviewed his girlfriend, Ms Walczuch, and her estranged Portuguese husband Luis Antonio.

The new witness came forward after Madeleine's parents Kate and Gerry McCann hired Spanish private detective agency Metodo 3 to help find their daughter.

This witness claims to have seen the young girl in a car with a woman, identified from a photograph as Ms Walczuch, around Portugal's central coastal area on May 5, a source said.

McCann family spokesman Clarence Mitchell said: "We will not comment on any active line of the investigation other than to say we are encouraged that our investigators appear to be making progress.

"Kate and Gerry are not ruling anything in or out."

Mr Mitchell said the couple treated today as "just another day without Madeleine" and did not organise any special events to mark the 200-day anniversary.

Over the weekend it emerged the new witness had told police he had seen Madeleine with a man and a woman in Portugal two days after her disappearance.

He said the couple were behaving suspiciously and appeared to be trying to hide the child from view.

The witness - whose identity is being kept secret - contacted the Spanish detective agency Metodo 3, which is working for Madeleine's parents Kate and Gerry.

Detectives there are taking the report very seriously and have passed the details to police.

They are linking it to a sighting by the McCanns' friend Jane Tanner, who saw a man carrying a child away from the couple's apartment in Praia da Luz.

He is said to match the new witness's description of the man he saw.

The private detectives said the new sighting supported their belief that Madeleine is still alive and the McCanns were said to be "extremely encouraged".

Francisco Marco, the boss of Metodo 3 said: "We are 100 per cent sure she is alive. We are sure she was abducted. We are very, very close to finding the kidnapper."

Some details of the sighting will be revealed in a Panorama documentary on BBC 1 tonight.

It happened at an undisclosed location in central Portugal, about 100 miles from Praia da Luz.

The witness said he saw the woman in a van with the little girl. The man was standing nearby. Neither of them looked Portuguese, the witness said.

He is believed to have identified Miss Walczuch, 34, from photographs.

Her estranged husband Luis Antonio was also questioned.

The pair still live together in Lagos, about five miles from Praia da Luz, even though Miss Walczuch has been in a relationship with Mr Murat for almost two years.

The British expat remains an official suspect but has always denied any involvement.

Miss Walczuch was unavailable for comment yesterday. Her flat was empty and she failed to answer phone calls.

She met Mr Murat when they worked together for a Lagos estate agent and they set up their own property business. Her husband, a gardener and pool cleaner, was said to have given his approval to the affair, but it was blamed for the breakdown of Mr Murat's 11-year marriage.

His wife Dawn returned to Britain with their daughter Sofia, four, when she discovered the relationship.

In a video diary to be shown in tonight's documentary, Gerry McCann speaks of his fears that an abductor had watched the family for days.

He said: "I've no doubt Madeleine was targeted and that makes us sick to the core to think that someone was watching us and our daughter. I think the true word is a predator."

Mr McCann said he believes he was watched when he went to check on Madeleine and the couple's two-year-old twins, then returned to the nearby restaurant where he and his wife were dining with friends.

The Portuguese newspaper 24 Horas reported yesterday that detectives now believe they abandoned the abduction theory too quickly in favour of investigating the McCanns when there was no "concrete data" to incriminate them.

• Panorama: The Mystery of Madeleine McCann, BBC 1 tonight at 9pm

Murat lover 'was at Jehovah's meeting as Maddie vanished'

The girlfriend of suspect Robert Murat claims to have an alibi for the night Madeleine McCann vanished, it was revealed yesterday.

Friends of 34-year-old Michaela Walczuch said she spent the evening of May 3 at a Jehovah's Witness prayer meeting in Lagos, five miles from Praia da Luz where the McCanns were on holiday.

They said police had checked the alibi and were satisfied.

German-born Miss Walczuch, a mother of one, has dismissed claims that she could have been seen with Madeleine that night as "ridiculous and bizarre" and has threatened to take legal action.

She has failed to reveal, however, where she was on May 5 and June 15, when two separate witnesses claim to have seen her with Madeleine.

Mr Murat's lawyer, Francisco Pagarete, claimed yesterday this was because her diary had been seized by the police some months ago and has not been returned.

He also revealed that Miss Walczuch's Skoda car was having a gearbox problem repaired on May 5, the day a lorry driver claims to have seen her in the town of Silves, 25 miles away.

Mr Pagarete says this means Miss Walczuch was almost certainly in Lagos.

But the witness has told detectives the woman he later identified as Miss Walczuch was driving a hire car, described as "distinctive".

Miss Walczuch is barred from speaking about the investigation because of Portugal's strict secrecy laws, and has always refused to publicly reveal where she was on the evening of May 3.

But she is known to be a Jehovah's Witness, and a member of the religious group in Lagos said she attended meetings there until three months ago.

Joquim Silva said Miss Walczuch was still a regular member of the 100-strong congregation in May, although he could not remember if she was at the prayer meeting on the night Madeleine disappeared.

The group holds regular meetings on Sundays and Thursdays, between 8.30pm and 10.30pm. Madeleine is thought to have disappeared at some time between 8.30pm and 10pm on May 3, which was a Thursday.

A friend of Miss Walczuch said: "She told police this when she was questioned (on May 14) and they have confirmed her story.

"She is absolutely not involved in Madeleine's disappearance and has proved it to police."

Miss Walczuch and her estranged husband Luis Antonio, 37 - with whom she still shares a flat - were interrogated by police on the day Mr Murat was made an official suspect.

Their homes were searched and some items seized, including the diary. All three deny any involvement in Madeleine's disappearance.

Friends of Mr Antonio, a pool cleaner and gardener, have also denied reports that he ever worked at the Ocean Club apartment complex where the McCanns were staying.

Mr Murat, 34, a British expat, has been an official suspect for more than six months but has never been charged.

Private detectives working for the McCanns are investigating both alleged sightings of Miss Walczuch.

The second, on June 15, came in the remote town of Zaio, in northern Morocco.

Spaniard Isabel Gonzalez says she is "sure" she saw Miss Walczuch and a European man moments after she saw a blonde girl she believes was Madeleine.

Madeleine McCann

Still missing: Madeleine McCann


Police launched a contemptuous attack yesterday on the private detectives working for Kate and Gerry McCann.

The Spanish agency Metodo 3 has said its agents are "very close" to solving the case.

But detectives ridiculed the team as "irrelevant" and warned they would face action if they interfered with the police inquiry. A police source told the Correio da Manha newspaper: "We know when they come and what they do here."

The unnamed officer added: "They seem like small fry. They are irrelevant."

But McCann family spokesman Clarence Mitchell said: "We have every confidence in Metodo 3's abilities. Everything Metodo 3 does is within the law."


The elite team of detectives brought in to take over the case last month could soon be pulling out again, a Portuguese newspaper reported yesterday. According to 24 Horas, the new analysis of all the evidence in the case has resulted in nothing which could help solve the mystery.

The move would be an embarrassing anti-climax for Alipio Ribeiro, national head of the Policia Judiciaria. He sent his deputy, Paulo Rebelo, to lead the new team after it emerged that the first investigators made catastrophic blunders, including destroying forensic evidence.

The newspaper said police still believe Madeleine died accidentally and her parents hid her body - but they cannot prove the theory.

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