Friday

Gerry McCann in fleeting Lisbon visit


The father of missing British girl Madeleine McCann, speaking in Lisbon, has expressed his intention of cooperating with the Portuguese authorities in the search for his daughter who went missing in the Algarve in May 2007, believing there are still leads which could be followed up.

“We think there is a very good chance that Madeleine could still be found alive and in good health and so we want the search to continue. We wish to stress our willingness to work closely with the authorities whenever this is possible,” said Gerry McCann who arrived Tuesday on a two-day flying visit.

In an exclusive Lusa News Agency interview Madeleine’s father said he had returned to Portugal for the first time since September 2007 to discuss with his lawyer Rogério Alves the best way of collaborating with the Portuguese authorities to “explore steps that still haven’t been taken and which could have made a difference.”

Gerry McCann is also reported to have had discussions with the British Ambassador in Lisbon in the company of his lawyer on Wednesday evening.

He added that is was important to study the case and the investigative process carried out so far “to avoid duplicating steps already taken,” and also “to not waste resources.”

“It’s the first trip to Portugal and I hope it will be the first of many during the coming months … The aim is to see what can still be done in the search for Madeleine.”

Gerry McCann added that he may return here in February.

He says the British police and their colleagues in various other countries continue to receive “information from different sources” about what may have happened to Madeleine as well as reports of “possible sightings”.

“Like all parents of missing children we want any leads to be investigated,” stressed Madeleine’s father.

Gerry McCann told the Lusa News Agency that he has no present intention of progressing with any legal case against the Portuguese state or any other body, particularly the media, underlining that he wanted to “go forwards and not backwards”.

“I want to make it completely clear that the past is in the past and we very much want to focus on what still can be done to continue the search. This is our priority and always was. Therefore these issues (possible cases) are just not relevant at this moment.”

Madeleine McCann was three when she went missing on May 3, 2007 from the bedroom where she was sleeping with her two younger twin brotherand sister in a tourist complex in Praia de Luz, Lagos, while her parents dined at a nearby restaurant.

On September 7 of the same year the child’s mother Kate and her father were declared persons of interest to the investigation (arguidos) in the case, but on July 21, 2008 the attorney general’s office announced the closing of the case and the shelving of the process. The couple’s ‘arguido’ status was lifted.

The PJ Police originally suggested they were dealing with a possible abduction, but later admitted the child could have died, although the authorities never managed to establish what happened to Madeleine McCann.

TPN/Lusa

Source: Portugal News
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Related links:
Maddie hunt trip gives Gerry hope - The Sun 15/01/09
Madeleine expert joins Uist search - Scotsman Jan 15