Madeleine McCann’s parents got special treatment from British police because they were doctors, claims Portuguese detective
- Maddie’s parents given ‘special treatment’ as they were upper-middle class GPs
- Goncalo Amaral said that UK interference was detrimental to the investigation
- Former police chief said Portuguese felt intimidated by the British involvement
- Earlier this week, detectives announced they had a ‘significant’ line of inquiry
The police chief who led the investigation into Madeleine McCann’s disappearance has claimed the probe was tainted when it was deemed an ‘abduction’
The police chief who led the investigation into Madeleine McCann’s disappearance has claimed the probe was tainted when it was deemed an ‘abduction’.
Goncalo Amaral claimed that Maddie’s parents Kate and Gerry received special treatment from British authorities because they were upper-middle class GPs.
The former detective said interference from the UK was detrimental to the investigation, claiming Portuguese prosecutors felt intimidated by the British.
Mr Amaral, 56, has always maintained his belief that Maddie’s parents were involved in the three-year-old’s disappearance from the Paria da luz resort in 2007, despite police in Portugal ruling them out as official suspects in 2008.
He told Portuguese magazine Sábado: ‘They belong to the upper-middle class and the British do not like their doctors to mess up abroad and get convicted for it.
‘It is not normal for an ambassador from a foreign country to come to the place to push in the sense that “this has to be quick”.
‘If the ambassador and even the consul had not appeared, the investigation would have been directed to what is normal – to suspect those who have responsibility for the custody of the child.’
He added: ‘The mistake was the statement about the abduction. It was almost a lack of respect to make the decision and to make it public.
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Goncalo Amaral (pictured) claimed that Maddie’s parents Kate and Gerry received special treatment from British authorities because they were upper-middle class GPs
Controversial figure Mr Amaral, 56, has always maintained his belief that Maddie’s parents Kate and Gerry (pictured) were involved in the three-year-old’s disappearance in 2007
‘When the couple left, the British police who were here to cooperate and help also left. The feeling was that the British police were here to protect the couple.’
Mr Amaral worked on the case when Maddie went missing from the apartment the McCanns were staying in in Praia da Luz as Kate and Gerry ate dinner with friends.
He was moved off the case and resigned six months later but wrote his book using police files as he put forward a theory she had died in the apartment.
The McCanns took legal action, saying there was no evidence and his work was defamatory.
The appeal hearing in Lisbon which ruled against the McCanns was held in private.
The apartment block in Luz in the Algarve, Portugal, where Madeleine McCann went missing
Mr Amaral, 56, who the McCanns first sued for libel in June 2009, won the lengthy legal fight after judges decided he had the ‘right to freedom of expression’.
Earlier this week, British detectives announced they had a ‘significant’ line of inquiry in the case, ten years after the youngster went missing.
Scotland Yard chief Mark Rowley said there are still ‘critical’ leads that are of ‘great interest’ in the investigation.
He also ruled out that Gerry and Kate McCann were involved in her abduction and said she could still be alive.
But described the possibility of a ‘burglary gone wrong’ as a ‘sensible hypothesis’ which has not been ‘entirely ruled out’.