Madeleine's parents declared suspects

Saturday 08 September 2007 22.44
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Gerry and Kate McCann - Both denies involvement in their child's death
Gerry and Kate McCann - Both denies involvement in their child's death
McCann and De Abreu - Lawyer says 'no bail conditions'
McCann and De Abreu - Lawyer says 'no bail conditions'

Friends of Gerry and Kate McCann say the couple intend to stay in Portugal to prove their innocence after being named official suspects in the case of their missing daughter, Madeline.

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

Four-year-old Madeline disappeared in May from the family's holiday apartment in Praia da Luz.

Jon Corner said the couple were determined the search for their daughter would not be 'derailed'.

He said he believes the Portuguese police were under pressure to solve the case.

The couple deny any involvement in Madeline's disappearance.

Kate McCann was named as a suspect yesterday morning and last night her husband Gerry was also given the legal status of an arguido or suspect.

Mrs McCann said she blames herself every day for leaving Madeleine unattended, but now finds that police are pointing the finger at her.

The couple says they left Madeleine, who would now be aged four, and her two-year-old twin siblings in their holiday apartment in Praia da Luz in the Algarve on the evening of 3 May as they had a meal with friends nearby.

They and their friends checked on the children regularly, they add, although Mrs McCann has said she is now wracked with guilt over the arrangement. 

Soon after the toddler's disappearance, the parents launched an international campaign to find Madeleine.

The couple fiercely denies any involvement in Madeleine’s disappearance and Mr McCann has called the new allegations against his wife ludicrous.

During questioning, Portuguese police asked Mrs McCann about blood found in a hire car.

Police have not commented, though Gerry McCann's sister has said they offered a deal under which Mrs McCann would get a shortened sentence if she admitted being involved in killing her daughter.

No charges have yet been pressed against either Mr or Mrs McCann.