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McCanns: Portuguese Police to re-interview Exeter Couple



Portuguese police are to visit next week to re-interview the friends of Kate and Gerry McCann.

Jane tanner and her partner Russell O'Brien, who works at the royal Devon and Exeter hospital, are close friends of the McCanns.

They were part of the so called "Tapas Nine" who were having dinner together on the night that madeleine McCann disappeared.

The group of friends are being re-interviewed about the case by police. The pair declined to comment on the development of the high profile case yesterday.

Speaking on the door step of their city home, Mr O'Brien said neither he or Ms Tanner wanted to speak about the interviews and added that he was unhappy with the attention that he and his family had received from the media over the past year.Officers are expected to arrive in Britain on April 7th. They will not be interviewing the McCanns, whose four-year-old daughter Madeleine disappeared from the Portuguese resort of Praia da Luz on May 3 last year.

The officers plan to sit in while others from Leicestershire Constabulary interview their friends.

A spokeswoman for the British force said "We will be coordinating the execution of the request for mutual legal assistance made by the Portuguese authorities.
"the Portuguese authorities have asked that the contents of the request and the way it is being executed be kept confidential so as not to prejudice the investigation."

It is almost 11 months since Madeleine disappeared from the resort.

Kate and Gerry , both 39, From Rothley, Leics, remain formal suspects in the case.

Last November, Ms Tanner broke her silence to say she had seen the girl being abducted.

At that time, she said she saw a man carrying a sleeping child away from the apartments a mere 45 minutes before Kate McCann discovered her daughter was missing.

She decided to speak out despite the instructions of the Portuguese police after being labelled a liar and a fantasist.

In an interview with the BBC she said "I know what I saw and I think it is important that people know what I saw because I believe Madeleine was abducted that night.
"From Day one we have done everything we could to help them with the investigation. Maybe I am talking now because I have been called a liar and a fantasist."

Clarence Mitchell, the McCanns' family spokesman said: "Kate and Gerry and their friends have long expected this visit by Portuguese police officers.
"It comes as no surprise to them at all that some reports in the Portuguese papers in the last few days have been speculating about the arrival date.

" I am not in a position to confirm any dates or give any details about the re-interviewing of the friends and all matters will have to go to Leicestershire police to be dealt with."

"However, Kate and Gerry and their friends welcome the police interviews. The friends are more than happy to co-operate fully, as are Kate and Gerry, although in this case Kate and Gerry will not be re-interviewed."

" This has not been requested but Kate and Gerry would have agreed to answer any questions had they police wished to put anything to them."

" There were some reports from Portugal last week that police were not going the question Kate and Gerry because they thought they would not co-operate. This is utterly ridiculous and completely baseless."

"Kate and Gerry and their friends see this as an important chance to help the police."

" We hope that the police will realise that there is no evidence to link Kate and Gerry with Madeleine's disappearance in any way and that they will be rapidly eliminated from the inquiry and the arguido status, which was imposed too hastily as the head of the Portuguese admitted, will be lifted as soon as possible"

Source: Exeter Echo

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