Page last updated at 13:38 GMT, Tuesday, 8 April 2008 14:38 UK

McCanns asked to revisit Portugal

Kate and Gerry McCann
Kate and Gerry McCann have not so far agreed to a reconstruction

Madeleine McCann's parents have been asked by Portuguese police to take part in a reconstruction of the night their daughter went missing a year ago.

It comes after UK police began re-interviewing seven friends of Gerry and Kate McCann who were with them on the night of her disappearance.

The couple's lawyers are considering the reconstruction request.

Madeleine, of Rothley, Leicestershire, disappeared from a holiday apartment in the Algarve on 3 May last year.

'Continuing discussions'

Clarence Mitchell, the McCanns' spokesman, has said the couple will not return to Portugal for the anniversary of Madeleine's disappearance if they remain arguidos, or formal suspects.

Kate and Gerry would very much welcome a Crimewatch-style reconstruction
Clarence Mitchell
McCanns' spokesman

The couple have always denied any wrongdoing.

On the request for a reconstruction Mr Mitchell said: "Any requests made by Portuguese police via Kate and Gerry's lawyers are covered by Portuguese judicial secrecy and, as a result, I am not at liberty to discuss any details of any such proposals.

"However, Kate and Gerry would very much welcome a Crimewatch-style reconstruction which is properly broadcast for millions of people to see and could generate important new leads and fresh information.

"It's untrue to say that Kate and Gerry have been called back or summoned back.

"Their lawyers are very much continuing discussions with the Portuguese police and, if any such decision is taken to take part, an announcement will be made at the appropriate time."

'Tapas Seven'

Portuguese detectives investigating four-year-old Madeleine's disappearance are currently in the UK to attend interviews of the so-called "Tapas Seven", who were with the McCanns on the night Madeleine disappeared.

Kate and Gerry McCann are not being questioned.

The interviews are expected to start at Leicestershire Police's force headquarters in Enderby.

The Portuguese police, led by Paulo Rebelo, a senior detective from Lisbon who took over control of the case in October, will sit in on the interviews but will not question the witnesses directly.

They have submitted questions in advance through the Home Office which will be put by detectives from Leicestershire Police.

None of the "Tapas Seven" will have lawyers with them as they are being interviewed only as witnesses, not suspects.

In a separate development, police in West Yorkshire investigating the alleged abduction of Shannon Matthews, have contacted representatives of the fund to find Madeleine.

It is understood the McCann family was approached by a man asking for money to help find Shannon when the nine-year-old went missing.





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