Portugese Police Name Kate McCann, the Mother of Missing Madeleine McCann, as Suspect in Girl’s Disappearance (Update: Gerry McCann as well)
Four year old Madeleine McCann went missing four months ago while she and her family were staying in Praia da Luz, Portugal. After all the investigation, after all the searching for missing Madeleine McCann, Portuguese police are about to do the unthinkable. The mother of Madeleine McCann is about to be named a suspect in the disappearance of her daughter.
The mother of a British girl who disappeared four months ago in southern Portugal is to be named a formal suspect in the case Friday, a family spokesman said, a shocking twist to a case that has gripped much of Europe. Kate McCann was questioned for almost 11 hours on Thursday, and is due back at a police station in Portimao, a town in Portugal’s Algarve region, later Friday morning, family spokesman David Hughes told The Associated Press. (FOX NEWS)
Portuguese police have suggested to Kate McCann that traces of her daughter’s blood were found in a car the family hired 25 days after the girl went missing, a family friend said.
Mrs McCann, who is being questioned again by police, fears she will be charged today over the death of Madeleine.
In this bizarre turn of events, after all the efforts put forth by the parents of missing Madeleine McCann, either this is one of the most strange efforts by parents to find their missing child or the Portugese police have blown it. Kate McCann was questioned for over 10 hours. Both Kate and Gerry McCann have denied any involvement in their daughters disappearance.
After Mrs McCann was questioned for over 11 hours yesterday, the McCann’s lawyer Carlos Pinto de Abreu, insisted she was interviewed only as a witness.
Portuguese laws severely restrict what those privy to an investigation may say publicly, but Mrs McCann is said to be “amazed and concerned” by the news that her status has changed.
Previously Kate McCann and her husband Gerry had always met police together and officials described the meetings as informal. Both have denied any involvement in their daughter’s disappearance.
But yesterday Mrs McCann was interviewed alone and Mr McCann is expected to be interviewed separately at around 2pm today. (The UK Telegraph)
What does it mean under Portuguese law to make one a suspect?
Under Portuguese law, an arguido has certain legal protection that is not extended to a witness, including the right to remain silent during questioning and the right to legal representation.
It is not uncommon for people caught up in criminal investigations in Portugal to declare themselves arguidos in order to receive this protection.
The family spokesman said: “Just before the session ended last night, they made it clear they had some further questions to ask which would require her to be in arguido status rather than just witness status.”
The sudden shift in the investigation came after authorities received forensic evidence from the holiday apartment in the Algarve where Madeleine vanished on May 3.
Towards the end of the grilling, the Portuguese police told Mrs McCann that they planned to declare her the second “arguida”, or formal suspect, to be named in the four month investigation into the toddler’s disappearance.
The news emerged from Justine McGuinness, the spokeswoman of Kate and Gerry McCann, who told Reuters this morning: “She will be formally declared a suspect.”
Family spokesman David Hughes told The Associated Press she had been told she would be formally named as a suspect.
“They told her last night that it would happen today. That’s definite,” he said.
Madeleine’s father, Gerry McCann, also was expected to meet with police later in the afternoon and a friend of the family, Clarence Mitchell, told the AP that he too would be named as a formal suspect.
The couple has maintained their innocence throughout.
UPDATE II: GERRY MCCANN DECLARED A FORMAL SUSPECT