Page last updated at 16:29 GMT, Monday, 14 April 2008 17:29 UK

Police deny claims of McCann leak

Kate and Gerry McCann
Kate and Gerry McCann's spokesman had condemned the "leak"

Portuguese police investigating Madeleine McCann's disappearance have denied leaking details of statements made by her parents to officers.

The Policia Judiciaria (PJ) dismissed as "entirely false" claims that material broadcast on Spanish television was from the investigation.

A statement expressed regret at the claims "at a moment when significant work was being done" in the inquiry.

Madeleine, of Rothley, Leicestershire, disappeared in the Algarve in May 2007.

'Unfounded comments'

The Spanish channel Telecinco cited quotes from Madeleine's parents, Kate and Gerry McCann, purporting to be from statements made to police early in the investigation.

These included Mrs McCann supposedly telling officers that Madeleine had been upset the night before she disappeared that her mother had not come to her when she cried.

But the PJ statement insisted the force had not been responsible.

"The PJ want to make it clear that is entirely false that the contents of this report included material from the inquiry which is covered by (the law of) secrecy of justice," it said.

It also expressed regret at what it said were "unfounded comments" by the McCann family spokesman, Clarence Mitchell.

Mr Mitchell had said the "leaked" statements were a "deliberate smear".

On 8 April, three Portuguese detectives sat in on interviews with witnesses - including friends of the McCanns who were with them on the night Madeleine vanished - conducted by Leicestershire police.




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