Portuguese police apologise to Madeleine McCann’s parents in person over way they investigated missing toddler’s case
Portuguese police have apologized to Madeleine McCann’s parents over their investigation into the missing toddler’s case.
The three-year-old went missing during a family holiday in the Algarve in May 2007, sparking a nationwide man hunt.
Police officers have now told BBC Panorama that a number of senior officers traveled from Lisbon to London earlier this year to meet Madeleine’s father Gerry McCann.
The officers apologized for their handling of the case and the way the family was treated.
In the aftermath of the little girl’s disappearance, both Gerry and her mother Kate McCann were made ‘arguidos’ (or suspects) during the Portuguese investigation.
Her parents were questioned by detectives who suggested the couple had staged a kidnapping and hidden their daughter’s body.
Mrs McCann later said she was offered a deal where if she admitted covering up her Madeleine’s death she would receive a shorter sentence.
Madeleine McCann went missing during a family holiday in the Algarve in May 2007, sparking a nationwide man hunt
Police officers have now told BBC’s Panorama that a number of senior officers traveled from Lisbon to London to meet Madeleine’s father Gerry McCann (pictured with his wife Kate McCann earlier this year)
The couple’s status as arguido was lifted in 2008, but remained under suspicion in the country for years, mainly suggested by Goncalo Amaral, the original lead detective of the investigation.
Amaral was later dismissed from the investigation but continued to insist the couple were “still suspects” and in his book.
The McCann’s had tried to sue him for defamation over the claims made in his book, but this was rejected by the Portuguese Supreme Court.
The parents then tried to take the case to the European Court of Human Rights, but they lost the challenge in September last year.
Amaral’s claims came amid a horrific online campaign against the grieving mother and father who accused them of a cover-up.
Officers have now admitted that not enough importance was placed on missing children at the time of Maddy’s disappearance, adding that they should have been more understanding of her parents’ position as foreigners, according to the BBC.
Portuguese police have also informed the McCann’s of the ongoing investigation.
More to come.