'The police don't want a paedophile murder here so they are blaming us'

'The police don't want a paedophile murder here so they are blaming us'
Mum tells of nightmare
The search for Madeleine Day 129
The Sunday Mirror
9 September 2007
Lori Campbell in Praia da Luz

Shell-shocked Kate McCann has given a dramatic, impassioned interview to the Irish Sunday Mirror to denounce claims that she killed her own daughter.

Breaking down in tears, distraught Kate said of the Portuguese police: "They want me to lie - I'm being framed.

"Police don't want a murder in Portugal and all the publicity about them not having paedophile laws here, so they're blaming us."

Kate was speaking on Friday morning - after her first police interrogation this week, but before police officially classed her a suspect in her daughter Madeleine's disappearance.

And she addressed head-on the extraordinary allegation that she accidentally killed Madeleine, then hid the body and engaged in a monumental cover-up to pretend she had been abducted.

Furious at the astounding claims, Kate, 39, said of the police: "They are basically saying, 'If you confess Madeleine had an accident, and that I panicked and hid the body in a bag for a month then got rid of it in a hire car, I'd get two or three years' suspended sentence.'

"I was even told, 'Think about it - Gerry would even be able to work again'. I was told that I could say I was stressed and I sedated Madeleine and it could be the best option for me. It is ridiculous. The worst nightmare".

Devout Catholic Kate revealed that the Portuguese police have even taken her Bible away - in the apparent belief that a crumpled page from it relating to a dead child indicates a guilty conscience.

Kate said: "One of the pieces of evidence is that a page from a passage in Samuel about having to tell a man his child is dead is crumpled - so I must have been reading it.

"I mean how ridiculous is that? My faith is sorely tested."

Under Portuguese law, she can say no more until her suspect status is lifted - making her interview with us her only and final comment on the mind-boggling police allegations.

KATE spoke to the Irish Sunday Mirror as she was being hauled back in for her second quizzing on Friday morning.

Later on Friday, she was officially classed a suspect - as was her husband Gerry, in the early hours of yesterday morning.

The couple have dutifully never discussed the police investigation until now, in accordance with Portuguese law - but besieged Kate felt that she had no option but to speak out.

Police offered the "confession" deal through her lawyer before Friday's police interview. Breaking down in tears, the GP from Rothley, Leics, said defiantly: "They're telling my lawyer this could be the best option for me and I was advised that, if I deny it, I'm now at the point of no return. But I will never lie for them."

She said her desire not to give in to police pressure was fuelled by the McCanns' burning desire for Madeleine to be found. "And I think, 'Sod us, what about Madeleine? This would mean people stop looking for her'." She added: "We were under 24-hour constant scrutiny after Madeleine was taken. Where would I have hidden a body? We had no vehicle even then."

Meanwhile, the Sunday Mirror has learned that Kate and Gerry, a surgeon, have made a pact not to cry in front of Portuguese police - however upsetting the questions they face.

"They have promised each other that they will not let the police break them," a friend said. "No matter how intolerable the questioning, they will maintain their resolve."

The police case against Kate and Gerry revolves around claims that traces of Madeleine's DNA were found in a Renault Scenic car hired for the McCanns by a representative of holiday firm Mark Warner 25 days after their daughter's disappearance.

Kate said: "The police are going to say they have found bodily fluids from Madeleine in the car. It's impossible. We hired the car three-and-a-half weeks later."

In fact, when Kate was grilled for the second time, police repeatedly told her they had found blood in the Renault car but wouldn't say it was Madeleine's.

Sources close to the family say that, if Madeleine's DNA was in the car, it would be quite possible the traces got there from Madeleine's clothes and toys which the McCann twins Sean and Amelie had been playing with.

HER DNA would also be on her parents' clothes from where they cuddled and played with her. Kate said: "Five weeks ago, they took away all our clothes, items people had sent out for us."

A police dog sniffed out traces of corpses on Kate's clothes, it is said. "Apparently the dog started barking at my jeans and in the apartment," said Kate.

Friends have pointed out that GP Kate was present at several deaths before she went away on holiday.

"It was us who instigated and pushed for the searches," said exasperated Kate. "Would we have done that if we had something to hide? The British police have been great, they are totally behind us."

But she can no longer contain her fury at the Portuguese police's behaviour.

Kate fears the cost of the inquiry means police in Praia da Luz are anxious to get it over as soon as possible. "The Portuguese police are running out of budget for this investigation and want it to end," she said. "The British have been paying."

The McCanns' relations are at their side, but Kate fears for her 67-year-old dad Brian Healy, who suffers from Parkinson's. "This is so hard on them," she said.

So fearful are the McCanns that they are being framed they got a message through to Gordon Brown's office on Friday about the cruel twist of events.

It is believed a British consular official contacted police in Portugal to protest at the confession deal being put to Kate.

The McCanns have also asked if the American FBI could undertake a review of the case - but have been told it won't be possible.

Kate McCann gave this interview to The Irish Sunday Mirror on Friday morning, hours before being made an arguida - official suspect - in the Madeleine inquiry.


THE passage of the Holy Bible that fascinated Portuguese police came from The Old Testament. In Samuel, Book 2, Chapter 12, Verses 15-19, David's child is stricken with illness after he "scorns" the Lord.

David fasts for seven days, refusing to get up off the ground, to try and gain redemption - but eventually his child dies.

His servants have a dilemma as to whether to tell him as they are afraid that "he may do himself some harm". Eventually he guesses.

Police took Kate's Bible away because they said the page with the passage on was crumpled - evidence that she had been reading it.

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