Madeleine McCann Portuguese police take unusual step as they fly to England to meet parents

Madeleine McCann
Madeleine McCann was last seen in 2007
Holly Bishop

By Holly Bishop

Published: 30/10/2023

- 07:43

Updated: 30/10/2023

- 10:00

A group of police officers travelled to meet with Gerry McCann

Portuguese police have made the unusual step of travelling to the UK to meet with Madeline McCann’s parents and apologise for their investigation.

Officers met with Gerry McCann to say sorry about the way they handled her disappearance when she first went missing.

The British toddler disappeared whilst on holiday with her family in the Algarve in May 2007.

The three-year old’s disappearance sparked a nation-wide manhunt.

WATCH NOW: Madeline McCann case falling apart

A group of police officers travelled to London earlier this year to meet with Gerry McCann, according to the BBC.

The officers apologised to Madeline’s father for how they handled the investigation into the young child’s disappearance.

The McCanns have yet to comment on the apology.

In 2007, Gerry and Kate McCann were treated as “arguidos” - suspects – in the disappearance case, which still remains unsolved to this day.

Officers grilled the couple on their involvement, suggesting that the pair staged an abduction.


Madeleine McCann newsGerry and Kate McCann holding up the pyjamas Madeleine was wearing when she disappeared BBC Crimewatch

The accusations that they had concealed their daughter’s body came four months after she vanished.

Kate McCann revealed that Portuguese police officers offered a deal – if she admitted to concealing her daughter’s death, she would receive a shorter prison sentence.

Their status as arguidos remained in place until 2008.

The lead detective in the case, Goncalo Amaral, was later removed from the investigation.

He went on to write a book accusing Madeline’s parents of covering up her “accidental death” as a disappearance.

Kate and Gerry McCann holding aged-up photo of MadeleineMcCann went missing in 2007, aged threePA

The pair took him court over the claims, where they won their initial case but then Portuguese overturned the ruling.

They then took him to the European Court of the accusations, however judges ruled in Amaral’s favour.

Over the years, the couple have been subjected to a hostile online campaign, which theorises that the McCanns killed their daughter and then covered it up.

Now, the officers involved in the initial investigation, have admitted that the case was not handled properly.

Portuguese police have stated that at the time, not enough importance was given to missing children.

Hans Christian Wolters, a German prosecutor on the case, said: “It's a good sign. It shows that, in Portugal, there's development in the McCann case.”

The Portuguese police gave their support to German police, who believe that Christian Brueckner is guilty of killing the toddler.

He is set to face five new charges in Germany, and earlier this month, it was revealed he could stand in court as early as February next year.

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