Page last updated at 08:30 GMT, Wednesday, 7 May 2008 09:30 UK

Madeleine police chief quits post

Madeleine McCann
Madeleine McCann has been missing for just over a year

The Portuguese police chief criticised for his handling of the Madeleine McCann case has resigned, the country's Ministry of Justice has confirmed.

Alípio Ribeiro, the national director of the judicial police, reportedly told a local radio station he was "tired" of being in the media spotlight.

He had made a number of public comments about Madeleine's disappearance, despite judicial secrecy laws.

In February, he said police had been "hasty" in naming her parents suspects.

Mr Ribeiro will be replaced by José Maria Almeida Rodrigues, a senior detective currently based in the town of Coimbra.

Officer fired

As head of the Polícia Judiciária - Portugal's equivalent of the CID - Mr Ribeiro insisted information about the hunt for Madeleine should not be made public.

He also fired the police officer who earlier headed the investigation, Goncalo Amaral, for comments he made to the media.

But Mr Ribeiro himself mentioned the case several times in interviews, including discussing the role forensic evidence from Kate and Gerry McCann's hire car could play in uncovering what happened to their daughter.

On Tuesday, Mr Ribeiro reportedly told Radio Renascenca that he regretted "what he said as well what he failed to say" publicly about the investigation.

Four-year-old Madeleine, from Rothley, Leicestershire, was last seen in a holiday apartment in the resort of Praia da Luz on 3 May 2007.




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