McCann couple says information that was handed over to English journalists harms the search for their daughter
by Lusa Agency
Today, the McCann couple considered that information concerning Madeleine’s whereabouts, that was published by British newspapers last week, seriously harm the search for the little girl that went missing in the Algarve, in 2007.
Gerry and Kate, who were in Lisbon today for a meeting with the Portuguese lawyers, have requested for the data concerning Madeleine to be carefully analysed and that access to that information is confidential and sensitive, so the witnesses can also be protected.
“There is lots of information and much of it has not been carefully analysed. If there was some potential and important information, we could give people a path”, said Kate, accusing the Attorney General’s Office of having handed documents over to British newspapers.
Kate, the mother, stressed that the publication of the data “is a serious damage to the search” for her daughter, even because it can provoke “lack of trust in the witnesses”.
“Names and details have been published in the media and that has rendered the witnesses vulnerable”, she said, while Gerry McCann went further: “The process was once very closed and nothing was known due to the judicial secrecy. Now, information is being released.”
“It is imperative that authorities assume the responsibility over sensitive or confidential information. We, the parents, and everyone need assurances that this situation will not be permitted in the future”, he stated, appealing to sensibility and confidentiality in the publication of information.
Gerry even stated that “one step back” was made in the search for Madeleine and he reiterated the desire for cooperation, considering it is “important to look objectively” at the leads.
“As parents, we can be very close to the investigation and demand things that were not done yet, to be done”, he stressed, adding: “There is a strong reason for us to have to work with the authorities and in an intense way. The process is closed, but it is not concluded”.
The parents of Madeleine McCann, who disappeared from an apartment at a resort in Praia da Luz, further appealed to journalists “not to spread information” and to avoid “commercial interests”.
On the 3rd of March, the British newspapers published a video surveillance image from New Zealand, with a little girl that resembled Madeleine, which was part of a set of leads that the Portuguese Polícia Judiciária (PJ) did not investigate.
Several newspapers, including The Sun and the Daily Mail, mention that the Portuguese authorities possess an archive of over two thousand pages with information that was collected since the investigation was archived, in July of 2008.
Among the alleged leads, there are testimonies of sightings in Portugal, France and Spain which, according to the newspapers, were not considered as reliable by the investigative authorities.
Madeleine McCann went missing on the 3rd of May, 2007, only a few days before she would be four years old, from an apartment in Praia da Luz, in the vicinity of Lagos, in the Algarve, where she was spending holidays with her family.
Since then, the parents keep a campaign to try to find their daughter, whose investigation in Portugal was closed due to a lack of evidence.
in: ionline, 09.03.2010