Cops smearing Maddie parents

Cops 'smearing Maddie parents'
Julie Moult In Praia Da Luz
9 August 2007
The Sun
Friend hits out at wild reports on missing tot

Leandro Silva and Leonor Cipriano
One of Gerry and Kate McCann's holiday friends yesterday said Portuguese police may have leaked "untruths" over the kidnap of the pair's missing four-year-old Madeleine.

Rachael Oldfield, one of seven pals who were with the McCanns in Praia da Luz in May, spoke as more wild claims surfaced accusing the party of involvement in Maddie's disappearance.

A Portuguese newspaper reported officers had intercepted communications between the group as proof that Kate, Gerry and their friends knew the little girl had died in her holiday flat.  The articles implied that a discussion of what happened that night had directly led police to change the focus of their inquiry.


Gerry and Kate, both 39 and doctors from Rothley, Leics, were forced on Tuesday to hit out at claims Maddie was dead - insisting cops were seeking her alive.

And mum-of-one Rachael said of the latest reports:
"It is very hurtful and all rather ludicrous.  "I think there are some leaks coming from the police, but a lot of what I have read recently has been completely untrue.  "Whether a journalist has had a bit of information and made the rest up, or the police are feeding some truth or untruths, I don't know. I read a timetable of what was supposed to have happened on the night in one paper and the timings are totally wrong."

Maddie's family will on Saturday mark the 100th day since she vanished from their apartment on May 3.

Kate and Gerry had left her with their two-year-old twins Sean and Amelie as they ate out nearby. 

One newspaper report quoted a police source as saying: "If everything happened as the English holidaymakers say, in terms of their checking the children, a kidnap would be almost impossible."

The group gave statements to police saying sleeping Maddie was checked every 15 minutes.

Rachael said:
"There would only be a small window for somebody to do it (abduct Madeleine). But presumably if somebody had been watching our movements it would have been possible."

Gerry and Kate yesterday spent an hour at Portimao police station. Their spokesman David Hughes said: "It's very much part of the routine. Police want to keep them informed and updated."

Meanwhile, suspected traces of blood found in their holiday flat were last night being tested at a top UK forensic laboratory.

Cops in Portugal were yesterday accused of trying to FRAME Kate over Maddie's disappearance.

Leandro Silva claims wife Leonor Cipriano was unfairly given 16 years' jail for murdering her nine-year-old daughter Joana, even though no body was found.

He said:
"I'm worried Kate will be framed, just like my wife."

Cop Goncalo Amaral, leading the hunt for Maddie, was charged with criminal offences in the Joana case amid claims a confession was beaten out of Cipriano.

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