6 March 2010
The Sun
Antonella Lazzeri in Portimao

POLICE in Britain and Portugal were under increasing pressure yesterday to reopen the Maddie McCann case after The Sun revealed how sightings of her had been ignored. Maddie's parents Kate and Gerry have asked Home Secretary Alan Johnson to order the search to be relaunched.

Even their arch enemy, former Portuguese police boss Goncalo Amaral, has said the case should be reopened.

A Portuguese police case file obtained by The Sun showed how little has been done with new information about Maddie, who was three when she vanished from a holiday apartment in Praia da Luz, on May 3, 2007. Last night a human rights lawyer, who claims to have seen Maddie, joined calls for a probe. Manuel Jimenez, who works for the EU, said his report of seeing a girl "extraordinarily similar to Madeleine" in Santander, Spain, in September 2008 was ignored.

Mr Jimenez felt other leads may have been treated the same. He has made several requests to a court in Portimao, Portugal, where Maddie inquiry cops were based, but all have been rejected.

The Sun has revealed a series of leads in Portuguese police files gathering dust. Kate and Gerry, both 41, of Rothley, Leics, recently called the treatment of Maddie's disappearance "inhumane".

Even Amaral, who had them named as suspects before being taken off the case, said: "The important thing is not talking of sightings, but reopening the process."

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