Friday, October 29, 2010

113 day of lies and smears against the McCanns

Last updated at 23:39 23 August 2007

Alleged smears from TV journalist Sandra Felgueiras are not the only insults the McCanns have had to endure. Here, Fiona Barton, who has reported from Praia da Luz for the Mail since the story broke, documents just some of the other lurid allegations.
• 'Wife-swopping' holidays
According to a retired detective speaking on Portuguese television, Kate and Gerry McCann were 'swingers' who enjoyed wifeswopping with the friends they were on holiday with.
There was not the slightest evidence to support the claim, but the idea was picked up by Portuguese newspapers.
Scroll down for more
Kate and gerry McCann The McCanns have been upset by the smears and lies from the Portugese media
•'Doping' their children
The McCanns - both doctors- were accused in a number of Portuguese newspapers of 'doping' their children to make them sleep so they and their friends could go out to dinner.
This claim came from unnamed police sources who were apparently astonished that Madeleine's twin brother and sister, aged two, could have slept throughout her abduction.
The McCanns say they have never used any kind of sedative on their children and never would.
•'Drinking too heavily'
Speculation that the couple and their friends were drunk when they should have been looking after their children began among tourists and was picked up by the Portuguese press.
It may stem from a remark made by one of the other doctors in the party of nine adults and eight children, who recalled: 'We drank. So what. We were on holiday.' However, the McCanns have consistently denied they drank too much that night.
•Toddlers 'left to cry'
Local are said to have spoken of the McCanns leaving their children crying as the parents went out to enjoy themselves, and that they had once gone to Lagos - 15 minutes' drive from the apartment - where they were seen in a bar looking 'very happy'.
But intensive inquiries by British reporters failed to substantiate the claim. The McCanns insist they ate every night at a restaurant '52 seconds' walk from the apartment.
•'Killed in the apartment'
More recently, press speculation has moved away from the theory that Madeleine was kidnapped. Quoting 'police sources', various newspapers and television stations have asserted that Madeleine died in the apartment, either through negligence by her parents or through murder.
The national daily, Diario de Noticias, quotingunnamed sources, proclaimed: "Police have known for a month that Madeleine McCann was killed that night at the apartment."
It failed to explain why the police might think this.
Another daily, Jornal de Noticias, claimed traces of blood found in the apartment were Madeleine's, adding with unexplained confidence: "This evidence locates Madeleine's death inside the apartment, but the investigators are still not certain it was murder, despite the fact that forensic experts have revealed that somebody did try to erase the blood traces.
"The theory most favoured by detectives to explain Maddie's death - now taken as almost certain - is that it involved an accident."
•'A body in the hire car'
Another newspaper, quoting 'police sources' said there was forensic evidence that Madeleine's body had been in the family'srented Renault Scenic car.
The McCanns point out that the car was rented five weeks after their daughter disappeared.
•'Intercepted' phone calls
Diario De Noticias claimed that police had 'intercepted' emails and phone calls between the McCanns and their friends and these provided 'decisive proof' that Madeleine was not kidnapped.
In fact, the McCanns handed over all their mobile phone and computer records to police. •Friends 'under surveillance'
The McCanns' friends have also come under suspicion.
The newspaper 24 Horas claimed that members of the holiday party were 'under surveillance' back in the UK - a claim comprehensively denied by British and Portuguese police.
•The 'missing' 90 minutes
Dr Russell O'Brien, one of the group in Praia da Luz, was reported to have been mysteriously 'missing' from the dinner table for an hour and a half when Madeleine vanished.
The senior university academic is considering suing over the claim. He told police he had left the table to look after his own child who was sick.
•'Forged' birth certificate
To add insult to injury, the Portuguese media claimed that Gerry McCann was not Madeleine's real father and had abused his position as a doctor to alter details on her birth certificate.
This slur has caused the couple particular anguish- all three of their children were conceived by IVF.

Read more: