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Last Updated: Tuesday, 11 September 2007, 14:05 GMT 15:05 UK
McCanns say life is 'unbearable'
The McCanns at East Midlands Airport
UK police and social services have been discussing the McCanns' case
The father of missing Madeleine McCann has described the events of the past week as an "unending nightmare".

In his internet blog, Gerry McCann said he and his wife Kate, of Rothley, Leics, faced an "unbearable" situation.

Portuguese police have played down reports that DNA evidence with a 100% match to Madeleine was found in her parents' hire car.

The public prosecutor has received case files from police after Madeleine's parents were declared formal suspects.

In his blog, Mr McCann said he and his wife had absolute confidence that when all the facts were presented they would be able to show that "we played no part in Madeleine's abduction".

The couple, both 39, were declared formal suspects last week.

Officially a suspect
Bestowed by police or requested by individual
Right to remain silent
Right to a lawyer

The national director of the force handling the investigation said test results did not provide the same precision as had been reported.

Alipio Ribeiro, national director of the investigative Policia Judiciaria (PJ) told Portuguese state broadcaster RTP: "We can't say with certainty whether it was the blood of person A or person B.

"They help guide us in our investigation but not with the mathematical precision some people are saying."

Madeleine was reported missing from the McCanns' apartment in Praia da Luz, in the Algarve, on 3 May.

The case details are expected to be delivered on Tuesday and prosecutors will then decide whether to bring charges against the McCanns or ask for further evidence.

Portugal's lead prosecutor in the case, Jose Cunha de Magalhaes e Meneses, has asked to see the police files, including details of the interviews during which Madeleine's parents were declared arguidos, or official suspects.

Madeleine McCann
Madeleine McCann's fourth birthday was just after she went missing

The McCanns returned home to the UK on Sunday with their two-year-old twins, Sean and Amelie.

The BBC's Richard Bilton said cleaners had visited their rented villa in Praia da Luz but there had been no police activity.

He said the forensic case centred on the McCann's car, hired from the Budget rental chain on 27 May.

On Monday, police and social services in Leicestershire met to discuss the implications for the family of the developments in the case.

No bail conditions, travel restrictions or charges have been imposed on the McCanns, who were questioned separately for more than 24 hours last week.

But the couple can be recalled to Portugal with five days' notice.

Under Portuguese law, they can remain suspects for up to eight months, so Mr Magalhaes may decide to wait before reaching a decision.

He might also present the existing evidence to a judge who could place restrictions on the couple's movements.

Independent criminal lawyer Dr Joao Oliveira Trindade told the BBC that the prosecutor had several options.

He could recommend that the investigation should continue, he could choose to charge the McCanns with a crime or he could place some restrictions on their movements, Dr Trindade said.

Satellite vans in Rothley
The media has swamped the village of Rothley

But to do the latter, Dr Trindade added, the prosecutor would have to decide on the type of crime he believed had been committed - specifically whether it was a "homicide", and if so, whether it was intentional or unintentional.

The McCanns' hire car, which they acquired more than three weeks after she was last seen, was searched by sniffer dogs from Britain in early August.

Last week, according to her family, detectives put to Mrs McCann the suggestion that her daughter's blood had been found inside the car.

Forensic investigator Professor David Barclay, who specialises in cold cases, said if blood had been found in the couple's hire car it could conceivably have been from their twins.

He told BBC East Midlands Today that siblings can share as many as 15 out of 20 DNA indicators.

Timeline of the McCann car at the centre of the case

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