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Gonçalo Amaral
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'A Verdade Da Mentira', 'The Truth Of The Lie' (1) - Book Summary
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The Joana Case Verdict
Gerry returns to Portugal, 13 Jan 2009
Gerry: Culture, Media and Sport Committee
New Appeal Campaign March/April 2009
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Gerry Returns To PDL - Channel 4 Doc (2)
The Oprah Show / New Maddie Image
The Oprah Show / New Maddie Image (2)
Two Year: Anniversary Articles
C4 Cutting Edge: 'Madeleine Was Here'
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McCanns: SIC / This Morning Interviews
McCanns Try To 'Gag' Gonçalo Amaral
Gonçalo Amaral - The Civil Court Injunction
McCanns Try To 'Gag' Gonçalo Amaral (2)
'A Mordaça Inglesa' - The English Gag
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Raymond Hewlett - The "New" Suspect
Raymond Hewlett - A "Person Of Interest"
Raymond Hewlett - A Person Of No Interest
Raymond Hewlett - The Story Continues
The 'Victoria Beckham' Lookalike Suspect
The 'Victoria Beckham' Lookalike Suspect - 2
The 'Victoria Beckham' Lookalike Suspect - 3
McCanns Return To Portugal, 23/09/2009
Gerry McCann: IBA Conference, Madrid
'A Minute For Madeleine' Campaign
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Kevin Halligen & The Fund - 2008/2009
Kevin Halligen & The Fund - 2010-2012
Kevin Halligen & The Fund - 2013
Gonçalo Amaral's Court Hearing (adjourned)
McCanns Return To Praia da Luz
Gonçalo Amaral's Court Hearing (Day One)
Gonçalo Amaral's Court Hearing (Day Two)
Gonçalo Amaral's Court Hearing (Day Three)
Court Appeal Hearing - Live Text
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Temporary Injunction - Decision and Reaction
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Dossier Of Sightings Released To UK Press
Dossier Of Sightings Released To UK Press 2
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McCanns Return To Portugal / Fun Run / Aled Jones Interview
Three Years: GMTV & Age-Progression Image
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Peace Service, Maddie's 7th Birthday, Gerry's Cycle Event
Charles O'Neill and William Lauchlan - 1
Charles O'Neill and William Lauchlan - 2
Appeals Court Lifts Ban On Amaral's Book
McCanns' Appeal For Donations & Case Review (Media Reports)
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McCanns Appeal To The Supreme Court
McCanns Announce Book Deal
WikiLeaks Release
Kate McCann and Claudia Lawrence
Alpha Investigations Group
McCanns: 'Miles for Missing People' 2011
Kate's Book & JK Rowling Denial
Four Year Anniversary
Serialisation Of 'Madeleine' Begins
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'Madeleine' Media Opinions (2)
Media Interviews - 12 May 2011
Met. Police Review Announced
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News of the World Hacking Scandal
The Leh 'Sighting' - India
McCanns Appear At The Leveson Inquiry
McCanns' Evidence To The Leveson Inquiry
Leveson Inquiry: Crone, Myler and Sanderson
Met. Police Review / Spanish Connection
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Gonçalo Amaral v. Marcos Aragão Correia & António Pedro Dores
Met. Police Review / Portuguese Connection
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Madeleine: The Last Hope? - Panorama
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Bianca Jones / Trial of D'Andre Lane
April Jones
The Leveson Report - Publication
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The Royal Charter - Draft Publication
Madeleine Sightings / Searches / Leads - 2013
Met. Police Review - Jan to May 2013
Kate McCann: London Marathon 2013
Six Year Anniversary - Media Interviews
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Met. Police Review - June/July 2013
Urs Hans Von Aesch
Met. Police Review - 2013 (continued)
Gerry McCann: London Triathlon 2013
McCanns v. Gonçalo Amaral: Libel Trial
McCanns v. Gonçalo Amaral: Libel Trial - Day One
McCanns v. Gonçalo Amaral: Libel Trial - Day Two
McCanns v. Gonçalo Amaral: Libel Trial - Days Three/Four
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McCanns v. Gonçalo Amaral: Libel Trial - Day Six
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SY Mobile Phone Traffic Announcement
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Scotland Yard Release E-fit Image
Crimewatch Appeal - UK, Germany, The Netherlands
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Public Ministry Reopens Investigation
Euclides Monteiro - The Dead Suspect
Kate McCann: Missing People Charity Events
Michael Schneider: Searching For Madeleine
CMTV Reconstruction / Studio Debate
'Joint Investigation Team' and Crimewatch Update
Scotland Yard Investigation - Jan 2014
Scotland Yard Investigation - Feb 2014
Scotland Yard Investigation - Mar 2014
LCN DNA Review
Robert Murat
Robert Murat (2)
Robert Murat (3)
Murat Libel Settlements
The Tapas Seven
David Payne
Rogatory Interviews - Russell O'Brien
Rogatory Interviews - Matthew Oldfield
Rogatory Interviews - Rachael Oldfield
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'Tapas Seven' Libel Payout, 16 Oct 2008
Investigating Team
Portuguese Penal Code
Método 3
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Clarence Mitchell - Dubai Presentation
Madeleine 'Sightings'
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Cuddle Cat
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Madeleine's Fund - Analysis of Accounts to 31/03/2013
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Paulo Sargento
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Reports Post-Arguido (Jan-Dec 2008)
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The Madeleine Foundation - 2010
The Madeleine Foundation - 'Gonçalo Amaral Day'
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The Madeleine Foundation - 163 Questions and 50 Facts
The Madeleine Foundation - 2011
McCanns v. Bennett - Contempt of Court (1)
McCanns v. Bennett - Contempt of Court (2)
McCanns v. Bennett - Court Report
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Misc. Media Comments (03 May - 31 Aug 2007)
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Misc. Media Comments (01 Jul - 31 Aug 2008)
Misc. Media Comments (01 Sep 2008 - Date)
Madeleine Related 'Art'
CBS 48 Hours: 'Where's Maddie?'
RTE: Mystery Still Surrounds McCann Case
RTP: 'Anatomy of a Mystery'
Sky: 'The Mystery of Madeleine McCann'
MSNBC: 'Missing Madeleine'
Al Jazeera: 'The McCanns v. The Media'
Madeleine McCann: Haunting Evidence
Las Mañanas de Cuatro - Spanish TV Discussion & McCanns Interview
2007: May (1-28)
June (29-58)
July (59-89)
August (90-120)
September (121-150)
October (151-181)
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April (334 - 363)
May (364-394)
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2009: January (609-639)
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March (668-698)
April (699-728)
May (729-759)
June (760-789)
July (790-820)
August (821-851)
September (852-881)
October (882-912)
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December (943-973)
2010: Jan/Feb (974-1032)
Mar/Apr (1033-1093)
May/Jun (1094-1154)
Jul/Aug (1155-1216)
Sep/Oct (1217-1277)
Nov/Dec (1278-1338)
2011 - Jan/Feb (1339-1397)
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May/Jun (1459-1519)
Jul/Aug (1520-1581)
Sep/Dec (1582-1673)
2012 - Jan/Feb (1674-1733)
Mar/Apr (1734-1794)
Gerry's Blogs (Days 1-58) May/Jun 2007
Gerry's Blogs (Days 59-120) Jul/Aug 2007
Gerry's Blogs (Days 121-181) Sep/Oct 2007
Gerry's Blogs (Days 182-242) Nov/Dec 2007
Gerry's Blogs 2008-2009
Official McCann Updates, Mar-Dec 2009
Official McCann Updates, Jan-Dec 2010
Official McCann Updates, 2011-2013
Official McCann Facebook Updates
Contact/Links

The Tapas Seven

The group of 7 friends who were dining, with the McCanns, at the Tapas bar on the night of May 3rd 2007 and who have become collectively known as 'The Tapas Seven'.

 
Jane Tanner on Robert Murat

Jane Tanner

Jane Tanner on Robert Murat as the 'abductor'

"I've never pointed the finger at Robert Murat because I simply don't know if it was him or not," she said.

- Liverpool Daily Post, 20 November 2007 (see below)

Jane Tanner was placed inside a police surveillance van (with windows that allow you to look outside, from the van, without being seen), the van was parked in a strategic position, near apartment 5A, and PJ investigators took Murat with them, making exactly the same walk the man carrying a child had made, according to Jane Tanner.

Jane Tanner looked at Murat walking and told police she was sure he was the same man, she recognised the way he walked, with no doubt.

- 'A Verdade da Mentira', 'Maddie: The Truth of the Lie' by Gonçalo Amaral

Jane Tanner
 

Jane Tanner

Jane Tanner, partner of Dr Russell O'Brien, has provided perhaps the single most important evidence of the case so far - the description of a man, she said she saw, carrying a child near the McCanns' apartment.
 
The original description of 'a man carrying what appeared to be a child in his arms', eventually became a definite sighting of Maddie where even the colour of the pyjamas was remembered.
 
Jane Tanner was widely alleged to be one of the 2 Tapas group members who wished to amend their original witness statements but who wanted to remain anonymous, due to the fear of pressure from the McCanns and their supporters.
 
However, speaking on the BBC Panorama programme, she denied the allegation, but did state that she would welcome the opportunity to be interviewed again if it helped to clear Kate and Gerry.
 
Jane Tanner is a mother of 2 and lives in Exeter.
 
Sun interview with Jane Tanner below
   
Dr Russell O'Brien
 

Dr Russell O'Brien

Dr Russell O'Brien, partner of Jane Tanner, left the dining table for a long period during the night of May 3rd. This period has been reported as being anything between 25 and 45 minutes.
 
It has been stated that this was to attend to his young daughter who had been vomitting and that he needed to change the sheets. Staff at the Mark Warner Ocean Club have been reported as denying that there was ever any request to wash sheets from their apartment.
 
He is also one of the three Tapas group (with Rachael Oldfield and Dr Fiona Payne) who were recalled by the Portugese police to clear up queries in their statements and 'confront' Robert Murat.
 
Dr O'Brien lived in Leicestershire, near the McCanns, before moving to set up home in Exeter with his partner Jane Tanner. He works at the Peninsula Medical School at the University of Plymouth's Exeter campus.
 
He was widely reported to be the other Tapas group member who allegedly wished to amend their original statement.
 
When contacted by Portuguese newspaper, Sol, he is reported to react with surprise but said:
 
"We drank. We were on holidays. So what?"
 
"It is normal that we are suspects, and the DNA test is a consequence thereof. We were the closest people involved."
 
"I have nothing further to tell you. I am not going to dishonour the compromise I assumed with Kate and Gerry. They want to control all information that is disclosed."
 
*
Note: The word 'compromise' attributed to Russell O'Brien appears to be a mis-translation of the Portuguese word 'compromisso', which also means 'promise'.
 
Dr Matthew Oldfield
 

Dr Matthew Oldfield

Dr Matthew Oldfield, husband of Rachael Oldfield, is alleged to have checked on the McCanns' children at 9.30pm. However, he is reported to have since admitted that he did not actually see Madeleine in her bed but assumed she was there because he couldn't hear any noise.
 
Dr Oldfield is an endocrinologist who works at Kingston Hospital in Surrey. He previously worked with Gerry in Leicester before moving to London with his wife.
Rachael Oldfield
 

Rachael Oldfield

Rachael Oldfield, wife of Dr Matthew Oldfield, does not appear to have taken part in any of the alleged checks that took place on the night of May 3rd.
 
She is one of the 3 Tapas group members (with Dr Russell O'Brien and Dr Fiona Payne) who were recalled by the Portugese police to clear up queries in their statements and 'confront' Robert Murat.
 
Mrs Oldfield is an ex Corporate Tax Lawyer. Admitted as a solicitor in November 1996. With Richards Butler for 6 years and Blake Dawson Waldron, Melbourne for 18 months. Spent time in retail and Polo Ralph Lauren and John Lewis before working as a recruitment consultant.
 
The Oldfield's have a 22 month-old daughter (at May 2007).
 
David Payne
 

David Payne

David Payne

David Payne, husband of Dr Fiona Payne, does not appear to have taken part in any of the alleged checks on the night of May 3rd. It is believed that the Payne's were the only parents using a listening device to check on their children.
 
It is reported that Mr Payne was playing in a tennis competition, which included Gerry, on the early evening of May 3rd. It is alleged that when he had been eliminated from the competition, Gerry asked him to pop into their apartment and check on Kate. Reports state that Mr Payne saw Madeleine being put to bed, by Kate, at 6.30pm. If true, this would make David Payne the last 'independent' witness to see Madeleine before her disappearance.
 
Commenting on the fact that the McCanns had been made offical suspects, he said: "We know they didn't do it. One of our party saw Madeleine being abducted. We were waiting for something to happen but didn't in our worst nightmare think it would be this."
 
Mr Payne is a Senior Research Fellow in cardiovascular sciences at Leicester University. This is not a permanent position, normally expected to last for 5/6 years, after which he can apply for consultant positions.
 
He helped run the 'Find Madeleine' campaign after May 3.
 
When contacted by Portuguese newspaper, Sol, David Payne said: "We have a pact. This is our matter only. It is nobody else's business."
 
Minutes after trying to contact Kate, Gerry, in a fury, called the Sol journalist: "What do you think you are doing? Do you think you’re better than the Portuguese police? I’m going to forward your contact to PJ and you will have to explain yourselves."
 
Dr Fiona Payne
 

Dr Fiona Payne

Dr Fiona Payne, wife of David Payne, does not appear to have taken part in any of the alleged checks on the night of May 3rd. It is believed the Payne's were the only couple using a listening device to check on their children.
 
She is also one of the three Tapas group (with Dr Russell O'Brien and Rachael Oldfield) who were recalled by the Portugese police to clear up queries in their statements and 'confront' Robert Murat.
 
She, with her husband, stayed in the Algarve after May 3rd to support Kate and Gerry.
 
The Payne's have 2 children and live in Stoneygate, Leicester.
 
Dianne Webster
 

Diane Webster

Dianne Webster, Dr Fiona Payne's mother, is alleged to have told police that each couple were responsible for checking their own children. She was the only member of the 'Tapas Nine' to have her testimony translated by Robert Murat, according to Murat's lawyer.
 
It is widely reported that she was the only member of the Tapas group to remain seated following Kate's announcement that Madeleine had been 'taken' and has never given any interviews or offered any statements.
 
She works as a credit controller in Bedford. 

 
I saw man carrying Maddie, 28 May 2007
 
I saw man carrying Maddie Daily Mirror (online article now removed)
 
McCann friend's guilt at 'not noticing' abduction
 
Vanessa Allen In Praia Da Luz 
28/05/2007
 
A WOMAN who believes she saw Madeleine McCann being carried away was racked with guilt last night.
 
Thinking the tot was the man's own child, the friend of parents Gerry and Kate made no attempt to stop him.
 
A source said: "The family believe this was Madeleine being taken. The woman feels dreadful guilt that she was the last person to see her and didn't do anything. But the family do not blame her."
 
Yesterday it was claimed child porn was found on the computer of the only suspect in the case, Briton Robert Murat, 33. The witness was on her way to join Gerry and Kate McCann for dinner near their apartment in Praia da Luz at about 9.30pm on May 3 when she saw the suspect.
 
He was hurrying away from the area clasping a child wearing pink pyjamas similar to those worn by Madeleine, then three.
 
The man was white, of medium build, aged 35 to 40 and 5ft 10ins. He wore a blue jacket and beige trousers. Our source said: "The woman thought it was odd but believed it was the man's own child. He was walking urgently, neither running or walking slowly."
 
Dismissing the thought, the witness went on to dinner. Earlier the McCanns had regularly checked Madeleine and twins Sean and Amelie, two, sleeping in their nearby room.
 
But at 10pm Kate, 38, discovered Madeleine was missing and frantically raised the alarm.
 
The friend instantly realised what she had seen and within hours had given a statement and description to the authorities.
 
But astonishingly the significance of her sighting was apparently missed. The source said: "Officers who took the description did not seem interested. They just seemed to have filed it away.
 
"The woman returned to the UK where police said she was the principal witness."
 
Because of Portuguese laws which forbid the release of details of an investigation, the sighting could not be publicised.
 
It was not until Saturday - 22 days after Madeleine vanished - that a description of the suspect was issued after the probable intervention of Chancellor Gordon Brown. Since then it has generated hundreds of calls to police. Already there have been reports of a possible second sighting of a man carrying a child in Praia Da Luz that night.
 
Desperate to have the details released Gerry, 38, had held talks with Mr Brown.
 
The two fathers, both Scots, were said to have had an "instant connection". Mr Brown lost daughter Jennifer Jane who was born prematurely in January 2002.
 
Heart specialist Gerry, of Rothley, Leics, told the Chancellor in detail of the couple's frustrations about the slow-moving Portuguese investigation. In particular, he stressed their concern that their friend's sighting had not been made public.
 
In days the Portuguese authorities had made a remarkable U-turn. Kate, still holding Madeleine's pink Cuddle Cat, yesterday urged the public to come forward.
 
She said: "Was this man seen anywhere else in or near the town with a child, or what appeared to be a child? Which direction was he heading in? Did he have a vehicle?"
 
A spokesman for the McCanns said: "I can confirm that telephone conversations have taken place between Gerry McCann and Chancellor Gordon Brown.
 
"During them, Mr Brown offered both Gerry and Kate his full support in their efforts to find Madeleine, although details of the conversations will remain private.
 
"The talks took place against the background of the Chancellor's earlier offer to help when he met and spoke to other members of the McCann family in the UK."
 
The Treasury refused to confirm that Mr Brown had personally intervened to get the Portuguese police to change their minds.

 
Jane Tanner in Rothley - Day 150, 30 September 2007
 

Jane Tanner in Rothley - Day 150, 30 September 2007

Jane Tanner in Rothley - Day 150, 30 September 2007
Click to enlarge

Gerry's blog - Day 151, 01 October 2007

Yesterday marked 150 days since Madeleine was taken. For our family it was just another painful day without our beautiful daughter. The questions we ask are pretty much the same as those we asked in the first few days. Who took her, why did they take her and where is she? Without wanting to be boringly repetitive we believe that someone out there knows something that could answer these questions.

I am still amazed at the irresponsible reporting going on in the press with unsubstantiated reports from unreliable sources being repeated in the UK and Portuguese press unquestioningly. It is simply untrue that the twins think that Madeleine has gone on a 'little trip'. They clearly miss their big sister and have asked on numerous occasions where is Madeleine?'. Kate I and have told them that we don’t know where she is but lots of people are looking for her and we hope that we will find her. They are not traumatised by her continued absence, simply being too young to comprehend the situation but we are well aware that their insight will change as they continue to develop rapidly.

At the weekend we again had lots of visitors with kids, which was great for Sean and Amelie. After attending mass yesterday morning we had a family lunch and then spent a couple of hours in the garden playing. There are still a few photographers hanging around at the end of our street taking daily pictures of Kate and I. We are managing to get out and about in the village and we have lots of support from the local community. On Saturday we decided to go for a run but drove nearby and parked the car but we were 'snapped' at the end, when I was certainly looking wearier than Kate!

 
I saw him take Madeleine, 28 October 2007
 
I saw him take Madeleine Sunday Mirror
 
Grant Hodgson And Susie Boniface In Praia Da Luz, 
28/10/2007
 
EXCLUSIVE THE SEARCH FOR MADELEINE DAY 178 'It was 9.15pm and he looked a bit odd' 'But I never imagined girl was Maddie'
 
A friend of Kate and Gerry McCann has described for the first time the moment she believes she saw Madeleine being snatched.
 
Jane Tanner is haunted by the image of a man "striding urgently" away from the McCanns' apartment with a barefooted child slumped in his arms.
 
She admits thinking he "looked a bit odd" but says she never imagined the youngster he was carrying could be four-year-old Madeleine...until the alarm was raised 45 minutes later that she was missing. And by then it was too late.
 
Jane was dining with Kate and Gerry on the night Madeleine disappeared. She saw the man when she went to check on her own daughter. It was her description which led to an artist's impression of a man carrying a child released earlier this week. Jane, 36, told a friend: "I never in a million years would have imagined that it was Maddie being carried away.
 
"The first thing that raced into my head after finding out she was missing was this person I'd seen."
 
As Kate and Gerry began a frantic hunt for their daughter, horrified Jane twice told police about the dark-haired man she'd seen walking off carrying a child. The first time was at 11.15pm, then again at 3am. She was astonished that detectives failed to release the information to appeal for witnesses for another 22 days.
 
Jane and partner Russell O'Brien, also 36, from Exeter, Devon, were among seven friends who were holidaying with the McCanns in Praia da Luz. All nine were dining together at a tapas restaurant on the night Madeleine disappeared.
 
Gerry McCann had gone to check on Madeleine and her twin brother and sister at about 9.05pm. Ten minutes later, Jane left the tapas bar and was on her way back to her apartment to check on her own daughter when she saw the man heading away from the McCanns' apartment, down the hill.
 
Jane's friend said: "It was about 9.15pm when Jane saw the man. She said that although he looked a bit odd and the child he was carrying had bare feet on a cold night, she never in a million years thought it could have been Maddie. You see a lot of people taking children to and from a nearby creche around there.
 
"Jane also had just passed Gerry and another man, Jeremy Wilkins, talking in the street, so she assumed that Madeleine had just been checked on.
 
"Suddenly this man scoots across in front of her with the child, which she thinks is a bit strange because the child was in pyjamas and had no shoes or socks on. He wasn't running, he wasn't walking, but he was striding. It was like an urgent walk.
 
"Jane knows it was a child from the size of the person being carried. It was obviously a small child. There was no doubt in her mind. There have been reports the child was held in a blanket. But Jane says that is not true."
 
Jane arrived at her apartment, checked on her daughter and then returned to the tapas bar. Soon after, Jane says that another friend Matthew Oldfield, 37, and her partner Russell headed off to make their checks on the kids. But Jane's daughter had become ill and Matthew came back to fetch her.
 
On his way back - between 9.30pm and 9.45pm - he stopped and listened at the door of the McCanns' apartment but did not enter.
 
"Jane finished her meal and went up to the apartment straight away to see her daughter," the friend said. "Around 10 or 15 minutes later, Kate discovered that Madeleine was gone.
 
"Jane heard shouting outside and came out and saw Matthew's wife Rachel, who told her Maddie was missing.
 
"The first thing that came into Jane's head was this person she'd seen. She felt complete horror. Kate was screaming 'She's gone, she's gone' and there was a huge panic."
 
The local civilian police force arrived to carry out door-to-door inquiries, knocking on Jane's door at 11.15pm. "She told police about the man as soon as they arrived in her apartment," the friend said. "She also then told detectives during her interview with them in the early hours of the morning of May 4 and Gerry was present at that interview.
 
"Jane did feel that her sighting was taken seriously but it was frustrating that the police didn't realise a description of the man immediately."
 
The height of the man - aged around 35 with black hair, wearing a maroon shirt, camel-coloured trousers and black or brown shoes - was also miscalculated by cops when they converted feet into metres.
 
Jane says the person she saw was 5ft 9ins rather than 5ft 8ins as previously reported. She is also adamant the child was not wrapped in a blanket.
 
Jane will be asked to recount what she saw over the coming weeks when she and the other friends are re-interviewed by Portuguese police in the UK.
 
Last night it emerged that Kate and Gerry might have to wait a YEAR to see police files on them explaining why they are suspects.
 
Portuguese newspaper 24 Horas reported that prosecutors have applied to judge Pedro Frias to extend the deadline by giving the case "special complexity" status.
 
The paper said Madeleine's parents were told yesterday they might have to wait until August 2008 to see police papers outlining the case against them. They deny any involvement in her disappearance.
 
The paper said the request came because Portuguese police are still waiting for full DNA results from a UK lab and the chance to quiz the Tapas Nine - the McCanns and their holiday friends - on British soil. Yesterday it was also reported that detectives are still waiting for the couple's UK phone operators to send a list of their calls the night Madeleine disappeared.
 
An insider said: "Portuguese police say it is hampering their investigation. But you have to question why they've been so quick to jump on the McCanns when they've yet to see something as basic as their phone records."
 
Meanwhile Kate and Gerry are having panic buttons installed at home as police step down the round-the-clock vigil outside their house.
 
The couple have had a constant police guard since arriving back from Portugal seven weeks ago.
 
Heart specialist Gerry, 39, is returning to work on Thursday. He took twins Sean and Amelie to a park near his home in Rothley, Leics, yesterday.

 
Tapas group deny pact of silence, 30 October 2007
 
Madeleine McCann: Friends deny 'silence pact' Telegraph
 
By Caroline Gammell
Last Updated: 2:25am GMT 30/10/2007
 
The group of friends who were on holiday with Madeleine McCann’s parents have denied making a "pact of silence" about the four-year-old’s disappearance.
 
Kate and Gerry McCann and their seven friends were eating dinner only a short distance from where Madeleine vanished on May 3 in the Algarve resort town of Praia da Luz.
 
Alleged discrepancies in the friends’ versions of events, as well as their refusal to comment on what happened that night, sparked frenzied speculation in Portugal, with reports claiming they agreed to keep quiet to protect the McCanns who remain official suspects in the case.
 
News that the Portuguese police wanted to re-interview some of those on holiday with the McCanns was seen by the Portuguese media as further confirmation of this theory.
 
But the seven friends - Russell O’Brien and his partner Jane Tanner, Rachael and Matthew Oldfield, Fiona and David Payne, and Mrs Payne’s mother Dianne Webster - have made a public statement to insist they had nothing to hide.
 
"We wish to state that there is categorically no ‘pact of silence’ or indeed anything secretive between us - just the desire to assist the search for Madeleine," they said in a joint statement, released by the McCanns’ spokesman Clarence Mitchell.
 
"From day one, the police in Portugal told us not to discuss our statements.
 
"It is incredibly frustrating for us that the fact we have done as we were asked to by the Portuguese police is still being looked upon as suspicious.
 
"Everything we have done, and continue to do, has been to help with the search for Madeleine and to end this nightmare for Gerry and Kate."
 
The denial from the group, known together with the McCanns as the Tapas Nine, came as a source confirmed 39-year-old Mr McCann will return to his work as a consultant cardiologist this Thursday, just a few days before the six-month anniversary of Madeleine’s disappearance.
 
He has not been back to work at Glenfield Hospital in Leicester since his daughter went missing although he has kept in regular contact with his colleagues.
 
It is understood Mr McCann will initially work three half-days a week, focusing on administrative matters.
 
He will only return to direct contact with patients when he and his employers at the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust feel he is ready.
 
Mrs McCann, also 39, has said she will not return to work as a part-time GP.

 
'Full timeline' prepared for the tapas group, 04 November 2007
 
Four of Tapas Nine 'to be named suspects' by Portuguese police Daily Mail
 
By Vanessa Allen
Last updated at 21:10pm on 4th November 2007
 
Four close friends of Kate and Gerry McCann fear they could be named as official suspects in the hunt for Madeleine, it has been revealed.
 
The four - all part of the so-called Tapas Nine who dined with the McCanns on the night Madeleine vanished - have consulted lawyers over mounting speculation they could be named as arguidos, or official suspects.
 
Dr Russell O'Brien and his partner Jane Tanner, and their friends Dr David Payne and Matthew Oldfield have all been warned they could be made suspects within days, the Sunday Express claimed. Police have been analysing a series of alleged contradictions in the statements the group of friends gave to police just hours after Madeleine disappeared.
 
The entire group has always denied any involvement in Madeleine's disappearance. They are barred by strict Portuguese secrecy laws from speaking about the events of May 3 but last week issued a statement denying they had a "pact of silence" or that they were covering up a secret.
 
But a friend of the group said they realised there was a "possibility" they could be made arguidos.
 
He said: "There has always been the possibility that some or all of the friends from the tapas restaurant may be made arguidos if they were reinterviewed by police.
 
"However, it is possible but unlikely because the police have not made any moves to start that process and were last week banned from doing so unless they find more significant evidence.
 
"All of those who have given statements are absolutely confident about what they said because it is the truth.
 
"A full timeline has been prepared detailing what happened on May 3, who went where at what time, in case their versions of events were ever formally questioned, which seems increasingly unlikely."
 
Dr Payne, 41, a cardiovascular researcher from Leicestershire, was the last person outside the McCann family to see Madeleine alive. He went to the family's apartment at 6.30pm on May 3 and said he saw Mrs McCann there with all three of her children, while Mr McCann played tennis.
 
Mr Oldfield, 37, from South West London, was the last of the group to go to the apartment to check on the children, about 30 minutes before the alarm was raised that Madeleine was missing. He told police he saw the two-year-old twins but that her bed was out of his line of sight.
 
Ms Tanner, 37, of Exeter, told police she saw a man carrying a child away from the McCanns' apartment at about 9.15pm. But police have pointed to contradictions in her statements, and to the fact that another witness said he was outside the apartment at the same time but did not see Ms Tanner or the mystery man.
 
Meanwhile Dr O'Brien, 36, was away from the group for up to 45 minutes while he tended to his own child, who was being sick in his apartment.
 
He told police he had changed her bedlinen, but staff at the Ocean Club were said to have denied that any change of sheets was requested.
 
Contradictions in the statements and timings given by the group have led to suggestions in the Portuguese press that they could have been involved in Madeleine's disappearance.
 
Criminologist Barra da Costa told the Portuguese newspaper 24 Horas that he believed one way to crack the case would be to offer immunity from prosecution to anyone involved as an accomplice.
 
He said: "Extreme measures should be taken to recover Madeleine. One of those measures would be to grant immunity to any possible accomplice."

 
McCanns accused of pressuring Tapas Nine to 'keep them silent', 12 November 2007
 
McCanns accused of pressuring Tapas Nine to 'keep them silent' Daily Mail (no longer available online)
 
Last updated at 15:04pm on 12th November 2007
 
Madeleine McCann's parents faced fresh allegations today that they are pressurising their friends into keeping silent over the events surrounding their daughter's disappearance.
 
One of the "Tapas nine" who was dining with the couple on the night Madeleine vanished is said to feel "obliged to keep silent".
 
Respected Spanish newspaper El Mundo quoted an un-named lawyer, said to represent the friend, criticising the McCanns' advisers.
 
The lawyer told the newspaper: "My client feels obliged to keep silent about what he can do to help the investigation, and not because of the Portuguese secrecy laws.
 
"This is very revealing about the strange circumstances surrounding this case.
 
"It's not that he is scared of the McCanns, but the economic and political lobby surrounding the couple is truly frightening to anybody.
 
"What my client wants is to reveal the whole truth, but he does not mean to accuse or blame anyone, as that is the job of the police.
 
"The only thing he wants is to help the police discover the truth about what happened before, during and after that dinner on May 3."
 
Last week El Mundo reported that lawyers acting for two of the McCanns' friends have contacted Portuguese police to say they wish to "correct" certain parts of their statements.
 
Gerry and Kate McCann's spokesman Clarence Mitchell denied the report and said it was not true that any of the couple's friends want to change their stories.
 
But the British lawyer, who has an office in London, told El Mundo: "If you take into account all of the pressure that has been placed on my client and on other people, it is perfectly natural and understandable that my client has not told Clarence Mitchell of his decision to hire his own lawyer to co-operate more closely with the police."
 
The lawyer also claimed that on the night of May 3 the McCanns did not call the police until they had discussed the possible implications for them of having left their three children alone in the holiday apartment.
 
The lawyer said: "The police were only informed after the group in question analysed the problems they could face for having left the children alone, and until now, my client has not had the opportunity to talk for himself about it all."
 
The lawyer, who is said to have been hired by the friend in September, was also critical of the help the McCanns have been given by the British authorities.
 
He said: "I understand perfectly that our government is legally obliged to help the McCanns.
 
"What I can't understand is that they have received help which goes far beyond what would be considered normal in a case like this.
 
However, from the very beginning it has been clear that the Madeleine case is not a normal police case.
 
"It's not my job to have to explain why and how certain politicians have intervened in this case, but I'm afraid these interventions have been prejudicial not only to my client, but also for determining the truth.
 
"My client has not received any personal support from the British authorities, only that which has come through the McCann couple.
 
"I don't want to accuse anyone, but there are people very close to the McCanns who are not helping them at all.
 
"The intention of my client is to bring to light the truth of this sad story, without any concern for who might be implicated."
 
Four of the Tapas Nine, the name given to Gerry and Kate McCann and the seven friends they were dining with on the night Madeleine disappeared from the holiday complex in the Algarve, have reportedly brought in their own lawyers as they prepared to be named as official suspects.
 
A Sunday newspaper named the four as Russell O'Brien and his partner Jane Tanner, Matthew Oldfield and Dr David Payne.
 
It claimed they had been warned they would join the McCanns and Robert Murat as "arguidos" after the discovery by Portuguese investigators of inconsistencies in key statements made immediately after Madeleine vanished.
 
Dr Payne, a 41-year-old cardiovascular researcher from Leicester, was the last person outside the McCann family to see Madeleine at the Ocean Club resort on May 3.
 
Gerry asked him to check on his wife and children while he having a tennis lesson at about 6.30pm.
 
Attention has also focused on Jane Tanner's claim she saw a man carrying a girl from the McCanns' ground floor apartment at about 9.15pm - when another witness says he was outside the flat at the same time but did not see her or the mystery man.
 
Mr Oldfield, 37, from south London, has said he entered the McCanns' apartment to check on the children about 30 minutes before Madeleine was reported missing by her mum.
 
He told police that although he had seen the McCanns' two-year-old twins Sean and Amelie, their sister's bed was out of his sight-line.
 
Dr O'Brien, 36, from Exeter, was away from the group for up to 45 minutes between 9.30pm until 10.15pm while he tended to his own child who was sick in his apartment.
 
He told police he had changed her bedlinen, but staff at the Ocean Club were said to have denied any change of sheets was requested.
 
The McCanns and their friends have always denied any involvement in Madeleine's disappearance - and insist she was kidnapped.
 
They are barred by strict Portuguese secrecy laws from speaking about the events of May 3 but recently issued a statement denying they had a "pact of silence" or that they were covering up a secret.
 
Portuguese police are preparing to send a three-man team led by chief investigator Paulo Rebelo to the UK to reinterview the Tapas Nine.
 
British detectives will ask questions put to them by their Portuguese counterparts.

Note: The Daily Mail article above was fairly quickly overwritten with the article that appears below.

 
Madeleine investigation grinds to a halt as police are barred from asking suspects 100 new questions, 14 November 2007
 
Madeleine investigation grinds to a halt as police are barred from asking suspects 100 new questions Daily Mail
 
By VANESSA ALLEN
Last updated at 13:36 14 November 2007
 
The Madeleine McCann investigation has hit an impasse as police are being blocked from asking the McCanns 100 new questions.
 
Detectives said a 'root and branch' review of the six-month inquiry had 'confirmed suspicions' but failed to uncover any new clues which could solve the disappearance.
 
They have drawn up a list of questions they want to put to Kate and Gerry McCann but they will not be allowed to do so unless they convince a public prosecutor that they have a case against them.
 
They also want to interrogate the other members of the so-called Tapas Nine, and to quiz relatives about the couple and their relationship with their children.
 
But the Portuguese public prosecutor has said he will not authorise any new interrogations without seeing stronger evidence in the case.
 
Police have privately admitted that it would take 'a miracle' for them to build a better case against the couple, although they still hope there could be a forensics breakthrough in the investigation.
 
A source told the Portuguese newspaper 24 Horas that detectives were waiting for further test results from the Forensics Science Service in Birmingham.
 
He said: "The tests were requested more than three months ago but the results have not yet arrived. These tests are fundamental to direct the investigation.
 
"The letter of appeal (to the British authorities) is concluded. It contains over 100 questions which will be put to Kate and Gerry McCann, their family members and their friends.
 
"The purpose is to confirm the testimonies produced at the time the little girl disappeared."
 
Preliminary results from the FSS proved inconclusive, as did forensic tests carried out in Portugal.
 
An FSS spokeswoman said tests were ongoing, but a Portuguese police laboratory source revealed growing frustrations within the investigation about the lengthy wait for results.
 
He said: "The truth is that those tests - despite being complex - are carried out in 90 days maximum. One cannot understand the English delay."
 
Detectives have prepared letters of appeal to the British authorities, asking for British police to re-interview Mr and Mrs McCann, both aged 39, and the seven friends with whom they were on holiday.
 
They also want the couple's laptops seized, and some personal items including Kate's bible and diary. But the public prosecutor, Jose Magalhaes e Meneses has refused to authorise the moves without seeing stronger evidence.
 
A police source told 24 Horas: "The new analysis of the evidence, carried out by the team which took charge of the case, has confirmed all the suspicions that exist but nothing more.
 
"There is no new data. New operations were carried out, other people who had not been interviewed at the time were interrogated. But nothing new came of it.
 
"If a body does not turn up or unless somebody comes forward with a credible lead we continue increasingly without any chance of closing the case."
 
Mr and Mrs McCann have provided police with a list of 25 witnesses they would like to see interviewed, including several relatives, in the hope they would give detectives a better picture of their family relationships.
 
A friend said they had heard nothing more from detectives since sending them the list last month, and admitted that frustrations were growing.
 
He said: "Of course there are frustrations this is still unresolved.
 
"There are frustrations amongst Kate and Gerry's friends, that's for sure.
 
"They want to help them in any way they can but are barred from talking because of Portugal's strict privacy laws."
 
Meanwhile it emerged yesterday that police suspected the McCanns as early as July but did not act on their suspicions as they feared they might leave Portugal.
 
A source told Correio da Manha: "They feared the two would stop co-operating, which is exactly what happened when they were made arguidos."
 
Publicly the police insisted the parents, of Rothley, Leicestershire, were not suspects, but then named them as arguidos in September.
 
McCann family spokesman Clarence Mitchell said: "Once again, we will not comment on speculation in the Portuguese media.
 
"Kate and Gerry have nothing to hide and we hope they will be cleared as soon as possible."

 
Jane Tanner's exclusive interview with The Sun, 20 November 2007
 
I DID see man abduct Maddie The Sun
 
By ONLINE REPORTERS
Published: 20 Nov 2007
 
MADDIE kidnap witness Jane Tanner yesterday told how she watched the tot being snatched – and insisted she has NO doubt about what she saw.
 
In an exclusive interview with The Sun – her first with any newspaper – Jane forcefully hit back at critics who have suggested she is lying.
 
Amid sobs, she said: "I DID see a man that night carrying away Madeleine.
 
"She WAS abducted."
 
Tears welling in her eyes, she went on: "I wake up to that image ever day. Every day I see him there, striding away, carrying Madeleine and I try desperately to remember more detail, what his face was like.
 
"I think about it over and over again. It’s horrible.
 
"Madeleine was adorable. Every day I hope this is the day we find her."
 
Twisting her Look For Madeleine yellow and green wristbands, Jane, 36, then went into detail about the night of May 3.
 
She told how she and the other members of the so-called Tapas Nine had been leaving the restaurant at the complex in Praia da Luz to check their children.
 
Returning
 
It was on one of her visits to see her two daughters that Jane passed Maddie’s dad Gerry, 39. He was returning from seeing his children.
 
Seconds later she saw a man cross from left to right in front of her with a child lolling back in his arms.
 
Jane said: "It wasn’t unusual to see people with children, even at that time of night. But my attention was drawn to him because the child had bare feet.
 
"It was a cold night and I thought that was strange because as a mother I would never have taken my child around at that time without something on their feet or a blanket. All I could see of the child was their legs dangling.
 
"The man was about ten to fifteen feet in front of me and was walking quite quickly and I can remember thinking, 'That’s odd'.
 
"But that was all, nothing to make me scream out to make him stop. I never at that time thought it could be Madeleine. I’d just passed Gerry so I thought his children were all asleep in bed."
 
Jane carried on to her apartment where she found her daughters were fine, so she went back to the tapas bar.
 
About 15 minutes later her partner Dr Russell O’Brien checked and found one of the girls had been sick so he asked a friend to fetch Jane.
 
It was while Jane was there that Maddie’s mum Kate, 39, went to see her children at around 10.05pm – and found the girl missing.
 
Jane said the first she knew was when she looked out of her window and saw the table at the tapas bar was empty. She opened the door and there was commotion.
 
She said: "I saw all our friends outside shouting. I opened the door and one, Rachael, shouted at me, 'Madeleine’ s gone!' As soon as she said that the image of that man carrying the child came into my head and I felt physically sick. A feeling of complete horror washed over me."
 
Minutes later Jane saw Kate. Close to tears, Jane admitted she could not bear to tell her about the man. She said: "At that time it seemed everyone thought Madeleine was hiding.
 
I knew that if I told her about the man it would shatter that. I was also hoping desperately that I’d been wrong. Instead I took another friend, Fiona, to one side and told her.
 
"Then, at around 11.15, two policemen arrived and I told them. Later CID arrived. They did this thing called a cognitive technique, where they put you back in the moment, and it was then that I remembered the pyjamas.
 
"There were pink and white, they were what Madeleine was wearing. I just felt so awful, I felt I could have stopped this from happening. I think of that everyday.
 
"I have to live with it forever, that guilt is never going to go away." It has been reported that the man she saw that night was Robert Murat, the first person named as a suspect. But Jane said she simply does not know.
 
Jane, from Exeter, Devon, said: “He had his face turned away and it was dark.
 
"I’ve done an artist’s impression and want people to look at that and rack their brains as to whether they know him, or if they were on holiday, saw him.
 
"Please just ring the Find Madeleine Spanish hotline."
 
Meanwhile, the Portuguese police plan to question the McCanns' seven friends once more, it was reported today.
 
Portuguese newspaper Jornal de Noticias said the interviews would take place in an attempt to clear up some of the reported contradictions in the friends' statements.
 
The newspaper added that the questioning was expected to take place over the next few days working with English local authorities.

 
Madeleine McCann witness's sorrow at not stopping abduction, 20 November 2007
 
Madeleine McCann witness's sorrow at not stopping abduction Liverpool Daily Post
 
Nov 20 2007
 
A woman who insists she saw Madeleine McCann being carried away has spoken of her guilt at failing to stop the abductor.
 
Jane Tanner is one of the so-called "tapas nine" who were dining in an Algarve holiday resort when the young girl went missing on May 3.
 
Minutes before the alarm was raised, Ms Tanner saw a man carrying a child away from the Mark Warner holiday complex in Praia da Luz.
 
She revealed she did not get a close look at his face and was unsure whether she could identify him.
 
Ms Tanner, 36, told The Sun: "I wake up to that image every day.
 
"Every day I see him there, striding away, carrying Madeleine away and I try desperately to remember more detail, to try and remember what his face was like.
 
"I think about it over and over again. It's horrible. He had his face turned away from me, sort of sideways and it was very dark. I just didn’t see it properly, I wish to God I had.
 
"I wouldn't be able to identify him from photos or anything because I didn't get a clear look at him."
 
She also said she had never told police the abductor was Robert Murat, an Anglo-Portuguese ex-pat who was the first named suspect in Madeleine's disappearance.
 
"I've never pointed the finger at Robert Murat because I simply don't know if it was him or not," she said.
 
"I would say the man I saw was more local, or Mediterranean-looking, rather than British, or a tourist. He had dark, almost black, long hair and had swarthy skin.
 
"He was dressed in that sort of smart casual way European people dress, not the way Brits on holiday dress normally."
 
Under police interview Ms Tanner, a marketing executive from Exeter, remembered that the girl being carried away had worn pink and white pyjamas.
 
When she found out that Madeleine had been wearing the same colour clothes she was "totally stricken by guilt".
 
"I just felt so awful, I felt I could have stopped this all from happening," she said.
 
"I think of that everyday. I have to live with it forever, that guilt is never going to go away."
 
She urged people to look at an artist's impression of the man she saw and "rack their brains" to think whether they knew him or saw him around the complex.
 
Ms Tanner told a BBC Panorama documentary broadcast last night she would be happy to face further questioning from Portuguese police.
 
"I actively want to be re-interviewed," she said. "If there is a feeling that what we're saying is wrong, we can clarify that it's not wrong, we're not making things up, it's just what happened."
 
Portuguese detectives have searched the church in Praia da Luz where Mr and Mrs McCann prayed after Madeleine disappeared, according to reports.
 
Officers examined the church of Nossa Senhora da Luz and an old cemetery nearby "informally and with maximum discretion" about two weeks ago, the Portuguese newspaper Diario de Noticias said.
 
They were looking for clues that would suggest the young girl's body was hidden there, the paper reported.
 
Meanwhile, Mr Murat's girlfriend has denied a claim she was spotted with the young child two days after she vanished, a friend said.
 
A new witness identified Michaela Walczuch, 32, as a woman seen with the missing girl in Portugal's central coastal area on May 5, a source said.
 
But family friend Tuck Price said any suggestion Ms Walczuch was involved in the case was "ridiculous", adding: "She would deny that 100%."
 
Mr Murat also insists he had nothing to do with the young girl's disappearance.
 
The Panorama documentary reported that some Portuguese detectives briefed journalists that they did not believe the McCanns' story just days after Madeleine vanished.
 
Jose Manuel Oliviera, Diario de Noticias's crime correspondent, told the programme: "We started to receive information, according to which the police suspected the theory - they had apprehensions, didn't believe the theory that she had been kidnapped.
 
"To conclude, the police started to suspect the parents from the word go."
 
Panorama also revealed that Mr McCann had suspicions that the couple's two-year-old twins Sean and Amelie could have been drugged on the night Madeleine vanished.
 
He and his wife have repeatedly denied reports suggesting they themselves gave their children sedatives, and insist they had nothing to do with their daughter’s disappearance.
 
Speaking in August, Mr McCann recalled attempting to preserve the scene in the bedroom Madeleine was sharing with the twins for forensic experts.
 
He said: "The twins were still sleeping in their cots. So we tried to leave it (the room) as undisturbed as possible.
 
"And they slept very soundly until we moved them out across into the other apartment, which does make you wonder about whether there were any substances used to keep them asleep."

 
McCanns willing to return to Portugal, 05 December 2007
 
McCanns' vow to return for cops Daily Mirror
 
Victoria Ward in Praia da Luz 5/12/2007
 
Kate and Gerry McCann yesterday insisted they are willing to return to Portugal if detectives want to interview them there.
 
Portuguese officers plan to come to Britain again next week to ask new questions of the McCanns and their holiday friends - the Tapas Nine who were at a restaurant when Madeleine vanished on May 3.
 
But some or all of the group may then be asked to go back to Praia da Luz to take place in "face-to-face" meetings or identity parades, say police sources.
 
Kate and Gerry's spokesman Clarence Mitchell insisted the group had repeatedly made it clear they would always co-operate with the Portuguese authorities.
 
He added: "If Kate and Gerry, or indeed any of their friends, are required to go back to Portugal they will be more than happy to comply.
 
"They will do anything necessary if it helps them move on and be eliminated as suspects."
 
Three Policia Judiciaria detectives are expected to leave for the UK in the next few days. They will not interview the Tapas Nine themselves but will be present while British detectives ask questions. It is thought the questions will focus on apparent inconsistencies in the various statements given by the McCanns and their friends about the night Madeleine vanished.
 
But if the interviews do not yield results, some or all of the group will be asked to return to the Algarve, a Portuguese newspaper claims.
 
A police source told the Correio da Manha newspaper: "Only when the interviews start to take place will they determine if it is necessary for anyone to return to Portugal. Police may feel they need to have someone identified or organise a face-to-face meeting." But a close friend of the McCanns yesterday said the new interviews would rule out any need for them to return to Portugal.
 
She said: "If and when Kate and Gerry's friends are interviewed, nothing will change. Nothing will be said to incriminate them in any way.
 
"Any outstanding discrepancies will be ironed out. Nothing suspicious will be said and no one is going to change their story. They will only tell the truth.
 
"The friends aren't going to say anything which will give them need to call Kate and Gerry back. Nothing substantial will come of this."
 
The McCanns left Portugal on 9 September, 48 hours after they were made official suspects over the disappearance of Madeleine, four.
 
The decision to re-interview the Tapas Nine was made following a two-day summit between Portuguese officers and British forensic experts and detectives.
 
British DNA experts are currently doing second tests on samples of hair and blood from the McCanns' holiday apartment and hire car.

 
Tapas Nine group in secret meeting, 11 December 2007
 
'Tapas 9' in secret McCann meeting Daily Mirror
 
By Rod Chaytor and Victoria Ward 11/12/2007
 
Kate and Gerry McCann held a secret meeting with the rest of the "Tapas Nine" amid reports that Portuguese police are coming to Britain to re-interview them, it was revealed yesterday.
 
The friends met last month for the first time since the McCanns' four-year-old daughter Madeleine vanished in Portugal seven months ago.
 
They were all dining with the couple in a tapas bar near the holiday apartment in Praia da Luz, Portugal, where Madeleine was sleeping with two-year-old twin brother and sister Sean and Amelie.
 
Portuguese police were furious about the meeting. A source close to the investigation claimed it was "highly suspicious" that they had met up to "talk tactics".
 
Detectives are said to be awaiting formal clearance to come to Britain and question the nine again about alleged discrepancies in their statements.
 
But the couple's spokesman Clarence Mitchell denied that the nine had gathered to square their accounts before a police visit.
 
He said the emotional reunion "a few weeks ago" at a hotel near the couple's home in Rothley, Leics "was just to discuss the overall situation.
 
"They weren't comparing notes or doing anything untoward. It was an operational meeting to discuss what might be coming up in the next few weeks.
 
"They are in touch all the time by phone and emails anyway but decided to meet face to face. They were together for a few hours and discussed the overall position. They wanted to see each other because they hadn't done so for some time."
 
He added: "It was a private meeting and I therefore don't want to say more about it."
 
The other seven members of the party are heart specialist Dr David Payne, 41, his doctor wife Fiona, 34, hospital consultant Dr Russell O'Brien, 36, his partner Jane Tanner, 37, endocrinologist Dr Matthew Oldfield, 37, and wife Rachael, 36, and Dr Payne's mother Dianne Webster.
 
They are key witnesses who gave police crucial evidence supporting the couple's belief that Madeleine was kidnapped.
 
Jane Tanner claims to have seen a man carrying a small child in pink pyjamas like Madeleine's away from the flat. Three have given statements claiming they saw Robert Murat, the first official suspect, outside the apartment - though he claimed he was at home with his mother.
 
A friend of the couple claimed the meeting gave the lie to a rumour that some of the party had fallen out with the McCanns and were preparing to change their statements.
 
The source said: "It was a show of solidarity under police claims that one or two had wanted to change their stories. That is not the case and the meeting showed that.
 
"It was a meeting to express support by the friends and just to see each other again. They hadn't all seen each other for months."
 
The friend said the reunion last month was kept secret because of the huge interest it would have generated.
 
The McCanns were officially made suspects on September 7 by Portuguese police, who believed they accidentally killed Madeleine and hid her body. Some detectives are said to have suspected that some or all of the seven helped cover up the crime.
 
A furious Portuguese police source said: "This meeting is highly suspicious.
 
"The McCanns left Portugal and flew home the moment they were made suspects and refused to answer many key questions about what had happened.
 
"Now, they and their friends are about to be re-interviewed and it is revealed they have met up in secret in a hotel.
 
"The McCanns are suspects and their friends are witnesses who could soon also have arguido (official suspect) status. They should not be meeting to discuss the case and certainly not the evidence."

 
Who are the McCann tapas seven? 07 April 2008
 
Who are the McCann tapas seven? BBC News
 
By Steve Kingstone
Page last updated at 02:36 GMT, Monday, 7 April 2008 03:36 UK
 
As Portuguese police fly to the UK to listen in on interviews with the so-called "Tapas 7", what is known about the people who are key witnesses in the disappearance of Madeleine McCann?
 
The seven friends who dined with Kate and Gerry McCann on the night of Madeleine's disappearance are the central witnesses in this case.
 
Their evidence has been pored over by the police, and their backgrounds closely scrutinised by journalists and bloggers alike.
 
None of the seven is a formal suspect or "arguido". and all have cooperated willingly and voluntarily with the investigation. Bound by judicial secrecy laws, most have made no public comment about what they saw.
 
Their friendship goes back a long way. Four of the group - Matthew Oldfield, Russell O'Brien, David Payne and Fiona Payne - studied medicine together at Leicester University in the early 1990s - the Paynes becoming a couple.
 
Timeline
 
Doctors Kate and Gerry McCann moved to Leicestershire in 2000, and quickly became part of the medical social circle.
 
Three other holidaymakers completed the table at the poolside tapas restaurant on 3 May last year: Rachael Oldfield (married to Matthew), Jane Tanner (partner of Russell O'Brien) and Diane Webster (Fiona Payne's mother).
 
The couples had travelled to the Algarve from East Midlands and Gatwick airports, together with eight young children.
 
Following Madeleine's disappearance, the nine adults collectively provided the police with a timeline of the evening.
 
As far as they were concerned, the timeline was a common sense means of speeding up the investigation; but elements within the Portugal's Policia Judiciaria (investigating police) seem to have interpreted the move as a closing of ranks.
 
Either way, the timeline is absolutely key to understanding what might have happened to Madeleine.
 
This is how the group recalled the evening:

  • 1730: Kate and Gerry McCann pick up their three children from afternoon tea at the Ocean Club

  • 1800: Gerry begins a game of tennis with other guests

  • 1840: David Payne checks on Kate and the children, at Gerry's request and sees Madeleine

  • 1900: Gerry finishes playing tennis

  • 2035: Kate and Gerry McCann arrive at the Ocean Club's tapas restaurant

  • 2105: Gerry checks on his children, and sees Madeleine alive and well

  • 2115: Having left the table to check on her own children, Jane Tanner sees a man carrying a child, close to the McCanns' apartment

  • 2130: Matthew Oldfield checks on the McCanns' apartment. Hearing no noise from the children's bedroom, he assumes all is well and leaves without seeing Madeleine

  • 2200: Kate McCann checks on her children. Madeleine is gone.

Key witness

Arguably the most significant witness is Jane Tanner.

She has already given detectives a detailed description of a man she saw, close to the ground floor corner apartment where the McCanns were staying.

She says he was carrying a child, dressed in pinkish pyjamas - the same colour that Madeleine was wearing that evening.

The man has never come forward or been traced by the police, leading the McCanns to conclude that Jane Tanner almost certainly witnessed their daughter being abducted.

Last November, Ms Tanner told the BBC's Panorama programme: "I know what I saw, and I think it's important that people know what I saw - because I believe Madeleine was abducted."

Based on her account, the McCanns produced an artist's impression of the man, in the hope that it might jog the memory of other holidaymakers.

Of the remaining friends, David Payne was the last person - besides Kate and Gerry McCann - to see Madeleine alive that evening, so his recollection of timing is crucial.

Matthew Oldfield was the only group member, beyond Madeleine's parents, to enter the McCanns' apartment during the dinner.

If Jane Tanner did unwittingly see Madeleine's kidnapper, the timeline suggests that the abduction took place before Mr Oldfield made his check.

But not having set foot in the children's bedroom, he cannot be sure of whether the little girl was there or not.

Finally, three of the group have offered significant evidence relating to Robert Murat, the third arguido in the case.

Russell O'Brien, Fiona Payne and Rachael Oldfield all say they saw Mr Murat later that evening, during the frantic search for Madeleine.

Their testimony is directly at odds with his assertion that he was at home with his mother all night. Robert Murat says the McCanns' three friends are, at best, confused; and, at worst, lying. But they, in turn, remain certain of what they saw.

*

This article was subsequently rewritten following the libel payout of £375,000 to the group on 16 October 2008. The new article rewrites the first section to bring it up to date and removes the final three paragraphs concerning Robert Murat and the possibility that the Tapas Seven could have been 'lying'.

Who are the McCann tapas seven? BBC News

Page last updated at 12:13 GMT, Thursday, 16 October 2008 13:13 UK

What is known about the so-called "Tapas 7", the people who were key witnesses in the disappearance of Madeleine McCann?

The seven friends who dined with Kate and Gerry McCann on the night of Madeleine's disappearance were central witnesses in the case.

Their evidence was pored over by the police, and their backgrounds closely scrutinised by journalists and bloggers alike.

None of the seven were ever a formal suspect or "arguido", and all co-operated willingly and voluntarily with the investigation.

Bound by judicial secrecy laws while the case was still being investigated by Portuguese police, most made no public comment about what they saw.

They have now received a £375,000 libel payout from Express Newspapers after untrue allegations about their conduct appeared in three publications.

Their friendship goes back a long way. Four of the group - Matthew Oldfield, Russell O'Brien, David Payne and Fiona Payne - studied medicine together at Leicester University in the early 1990s - the Paynes becoming a couple.

Timeline

(article then continues exactly as before but without the final 3 paragraphs)

*

See also 'Tapas Seven' Libel Payout, 16 Oct 2008