01/07/2008

Madeleine Case 'To Be Closed'

The case of missing British girl Madeleine McCann is set to be closed by local police, according to the Portuguese media.

Her parents Gerry and Kate McCann along with an earlier suspect, Robert Murat have each been given 'arguida' status by Portuguese Police.

However, two newspapers claim that the police "do not have sufficient evidence to allow formal charges to be brought against the McCanns in the disappearance of their daughter".

The Jornal de Noticias said: "The Judiciary Police (PJ) have not found guilty for the disappearance of Madeleine McCann, on May 3 last year."

According to the paper, a source of the Attorney General's Office said that "at present, the process awaits trial in the transit of a decision by Judge of Instruction of ICT in Portimao on the admissibility of a form of evidence".

Madeleine, of Rothley, was three when she disappeared from the family apartment in Praia da Luz on 3 May 2007 while her parents ate at a nearby Tapas restaurant.

Last week, Gerry and Kate asked a High Court judge to order the release of police files on the disappearance of their daughter.

However, Leicestershire police have so far agreed with officers in Portugal not to disclose information on the case.

The parents hope that the hearing on July 7 will give access to details of reported sightings of Madeleine, which will be passed on to their own private Spanish investigators who continue to actively search for the girl.

Spokesperson for the parents, Clarence Mitchell confirmed the diligence had been requested and would give access to "certain documents".

The application to Mrs Justice Hogg is listed for the Family Division of the High Court.

The McCanns were listed as official suspects last September. However, Mr Mitchell maintains that the parents are "innocent of any involvement in Madeleine's disappearance" and that they have "suffered enough".

He also added that the parents would "welcome" news that they are not to face charges.

British born Robert Murat, is also expected to be cleared.

Mr Mitchell says that Gerry and Kate want to know if police plan to stop searching for their daughter.

The McCanns, both doctors, still remain hopeful that their daughter could be alive, however, there are concerns that the couple could still be charged with the abandonment of their daughter.

Their Portuguese lawyer Carlos Pinto de Abreu told the Jornal de Noticias he would study the case files "from the first to the last page".

See: Fresh Hope As Maddie's Birthday Is Marked

(DS)

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