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Portuguese police shelve Maddie investigation

Latest update : 2008-07-22

Portuguese authorities closed the probe into the disappearance of four-year-old Madeleine McCann on Monday. They lifted the "suspect" label from her parents and property consultant Robert Murat due to lack of evidence.

Portuguese authorities closed the probe into the disappearance of young British girl Madeleine McCann on Monday and lifted the "suspect" label from her parents due to lack of evidence.
   
They decided to "close the file on the investigation concerning the disappearance of the minor Madeleine McCann due to lack of evidence that any crime was committed by the persons placed under formal investigation," a statement from the attorney general's office said.
   
The "arguido", or official suspect, status was also lifted from a third person, 34 year-old property consultant Robert Murat, it said.
   
Madeleine, then aged three, vanished from an apartment in the resort of Praia da Luz, on the Algarve, on May 3, 2007 as her parents Gerry and Kate McCann dined with friends at a nearby restaurant.
   
A spokesman for the girls' parents promptly said they were relieved at the decision.
   
"There is a degree of relief but no air of celebration whatsoever," said Clarence Mitchell. "They should never have been arguidos. The fact that they have emerged from this without being charged proves that."
   
A lawyer for Kate and Gerry McCann said last week that an end to the official probe could make information available for use in a private investigation they have been funding.

Date created : 2008-07-21

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