Sunday

Maddie McCann and the return of 'Cooperman' - just in the nick of time for the third anniversary


UK NEWSMADELEINE MCCANN EXCLUSIVE: NO 1 SUSPECT IS ON VIDEO

Sunday May 2 2010

THE prime suspect in the Madeleine McCann abduction was secretly filmed working at a market in Portugal.

Moving images were covertly shot of the man and shown to key witness Gail Cooper by an investigator working for Kate and Gerry McCann two years ago.

The man was filmed unloading what looked like linen from a clean white van at an “inland” travelling market.

Mrs Cooper, 53, today tells the Sunday Express the man captured on film was the same person she saw three times in Praia da Luz on the Algarve, just days before Madeleine was snatched.

Mrs Cooper is the key witness in the case because she had a tense 15-minute conversation with the suspect before Madeleine vanished from the Mark Warner Ocean Club in Luz on May 3, 2007.

Today, Mrs Cooper calls on the McCanns to put the sensational footage on their website findmadeleine.com so he can be traced by detectives.

“I believe the man I saw was the same person who abducted Madeleine McCann,” said Mrs Cooper, who was flown back to Luz last week by the Sunday Express in an attempt to unlock the mystery.

“More people need to see this footage to discover where he is.”

Mrs Cooper is the woman who created, with an FBI-trained police artist working for the McCanns, a haunting sketch of the man with a distinctive handlebar moustache and protruding front teeth.

The suspect gallery

That powerful image was used in high-profile press campaigns by the McCanns in an effort to locate him.

He bears an uncanny resemblance to the man the McCanns’ friend Jane Tanner saw carrying a small child in his arms and walking away from the holiday apartment on the night Madeleine vanished.

Mrs Cooper, from Newark, Notts, said in the summer of 2008 she was asked to look at footage of the suspect shot over several days in Portugal.

“He was unloading his market stall from a white van,” said Mrs Cooper.

"His hair was lighter and he had shaved off the moustache but to my mind it was the same man. For me the giveaway was his protruding teeth, which were exactly the same as the man I had met in Luz.

"I was shown the footage by a person working for the McCanns’ investigators who took notes of everything I said and then left but I haven’t heard anything since. I asked where the film was shot but he would only say it was shot ‘inland’ in Portugal.”

Last week the McCanns, from Rothley, Leics, appeared on GMTV calling for a review of all the evidence.

Heart specialist Mr McCann, 41, said: “I don’t think it’s right that, as parents, we have to drive the search.”

Source: Daily Express