Wednesday, February 9, 2011


Kate and Gerry McCann (Reuters)
German reporter asks McCanns: Were you involved in abduction?
MADELEINE McCann's parents were yesterday cruelly forced to deny being involved in her kidnap.

In a shocking slur, German reporter Sabine Mueller asked Kate and Gerry McCann: "How do you feel that more and more people seem to imply you might have something to do with it?"

Appalled Kate, 38, replied: "I don't think that's the case." Angry Gerry, 39, added:

 "There's no way Kate and I are involved."

The McCanns were in Berlin to publicise the disappearance of Madeleine, four. Defiant Mueller, 35, said: "Either they're very good actors or they're telling the truth."

IT was an outrageous question that Madeleine McCann's parents could never have expected - and it left them visibly stunned.

But despite their anger Kate and Gerry McCann kept their dignity yesterday when a German journalist asked if they had anything to do with the kidnap of their four-year-old girl.

With an insensitivity that beggared belief, German Radio's Sabine Mueller coolly asked: "How do you feel with the fact that more and more people seem to be pointing the finger at you?

"They're saying the way you behave isn't how people would normally behave when their child is abducted.

"They seem to imply that you might have something to do with it."

 Clutching Madeleine's Cuddle Cat toy, Kate, 38, looked utterly appalled by the monstrous suggestion.

But somehow she collected herself, and shot back: "I don't actually think that's the case.

"It's a very small minority of people who criticise us. The facts are out there. We were dining very close to the children and checking them very regularly.

"We're responsible parents and love our children so much."

Struggling to contain his rage, Gerry said in a voice shaking with emotion: "I've never heard that anyone considers us suspects. The police certainly don't.

"We were with a large group of people and there's absolutely no way Kate and I are involved in this."

 The couple were at a news conference in Berlin to highlight Madeleine's disappearance from her holiday apartment in Praia da Luz, on the Algarve, 35 days ago.

The youngster was taken as her parents ate nearby.

Afterwards an unashamed Ms Mueller, 35, insisted her question was legitimate. She said defiantly: "I knew it was a difficult question but I felt it had to be asked. I didn't think it improper.

"I didn't want to hurt and I don't suspect the McCanns of being involved.

"Gerry McCann was very calm and I was completely convinced by his reply. Either they're very good actors or they're telling the truth.

"They're putting themselves out there a lot. They've got to expect uncomfortable questions. I was doing my job."

A friend of the couple tactfully said they were "surprised" by the question.

The friend said: "They answered it firmly and dismissed it out of hand.

"It's a travesty to suggest something like that. It's totally untrue.

"I was ready for them to walk out. But, in keeping with the people they are, they maintained their dignity and moved on.

"They'd no idea there was talk of them being remotely suggested as suspects.

"They've nothing to hide and took the question on the chin.

"If they'd got cross or upset it would have implied they'd something to hide, which is simply not the case."

Later, Gerry defended the couple's decision to keep Madeleine's disappearance in the public eye by visiting European cities.

The 39-year-old heart specialist said: "I understand why people are amazed at what we're doing. I'm sure everyone has asked how we can continue to function.

"We've tried to influence things by raising awareness. We've taken strength by being active. If we'd just locked ourselves away and waited, we'd be shells of the people we are.
"This isn't a tour. We're coming to centres we think can influence the search. What we can't do is look back in six months time and say we wished we'd done this or that.

"We don't want a long campaign, we just want Madeleine back.

 We've got to keep going. We think it's more likely she's alive than not alive."

Kate - mother of twins Sean and Amelie, two - said: "It's not easy. We're doing this for a purpose, to try to get Madeleine back." It is clear the relentless trips across Europe have left the brave couple, from Rothley, Leics, exhausted. By last night, they had held 14 interviews in 13 hours.

Before arriving in Berlin, the McCanns met the Pope in Rome. They then travelled to Madrid.

After meeting German politicians and the British ambassador yesterday, they flew to Holland. They will return to Portugal before making an expected trip to Rabat, in Morocco, on Sunday.

And still there is no let-up. The family is even planning to lobby MEPs to raise issues of child protection.

On the flight to Berlin, Gerry wearily admitted the couple's campaign to find Madeleine could last years.

They refuse to leave Praia da Luz while their precious daughter is still missing.

Asked how long they might stay there, he said: "Well, our kids don't start school for three years."

Fiona Phillips

I FEEL sickened by the venomous whispering campaign surrounding Kate and Gerry McCann.

More and more people seem to be joining in now and it turns my stomach. If it was one of my children missing, I'd sell my soul to get them back.

Kate and Gerry McCann are attractive, middle class and earn decent livings as doctors. This seems to provoke a dreadful envy among some people.

I've heard rubbish about how there wouldn't have been the publicity had Madeleine been the daughter of a single mum from a council estate.

Of course there would. Class does not come into it. Regardless of class, money or status, we all feel the most incredible amount of love for our children.

I've had floods of letters from Mirror readers slamming the McCanns for leaving their children alone.

People claim they would never have done the same.

Apart from being utterly insensitive and unhelpful, that smacks of smugness.

Believe me, Kate and Gerry will be beating themselves up enough about what happened. They don't need the rest of us to join in.
I've even had letters saying that Gerry should stop wasting the taxpayers' money and get back to work.

I was listening to a radio discussion and people were arguing that there was more than one little girl missing in the world.

That isn't the McCanns' fault. This tragedy could have happened to anyone.

I can't imagine the pain the McCanns are going through. If I was in their position I'd be tempted to lock myself away and weep.

But every day, out of sheer desperation to get their little girl back, the McCanns have somehow gathered the strength to face the cameras. They've done so with such dignity. They do it to keep Madeleine in the public eye.

The McCanns should be applauded, not condemned.

Anyone with a soul should feel nothing but overwhelming compassion and sadness for Kate and Gerry.

Please, let's stop this poison and focus on what's important. Bringing Madeleine back home.