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article image3RD ROUNDUP: Prosecutors reveal new steps in Madeleine case

By dpa news     Sep 11, 2007 in Crime
Police files outlining the case against Kate and Gerry McCann in connection with the disappearance of their daughter Madeleine were Tuesday handed to a Portuguese public prosecutor, while the attorney-general announced new steps in the case.
The investigation "is not finished," Attorney-General Fernando Pinto Monteiro said in a statement.
New proceedings could prompt changes to the control measures imposed on the McCanns, and might require international cooperation, he added.
Pinto Monteiro said a decision would be taken within 10 days. He added that the investigation would now be supervised also by the Evora district public prosecutor in addition to Portimao prosecutor Jose Cunha de Magalhaes e Meneses, who received the file on Tuesday.
Magalhaes e Meneses passed the file on to an instructional judge. The prosecutor was seeking the seizure of an object which could help the investigation, a source of the public prosecutors' office told the news agency Lusa.
The couple, who are suspected of involvement in Madeleine's disappearance from the holiday resort of Praia da Luz on May 3, are now allowed to travel freely.
Alipio Ribeiro, the head of Portugal's judicial police, had earlier said he did not expect stricter controls.
The daily Publico said material contained in the files showed that the McCanns were suspected of hiding Madeleine's body, but not of killing her. Investigators suspected that she died accidentally, according to the daily.
On the basis of the files, the prosecutor could seek charges against the McCanns, or decide that there is not sufficient evidence against them.
Ribeiro denied British reports that a full correspondence had been found between Madeleine's DNA and blood traces discovered in a car hired by her parents.
Reports claiming that the girl's body had been in the car were "speculation," he added.
Ribeiro rejected criticism of Portuguese police by British media, saying police followed European rules, working meticulously and respectfully.
Portuguese Justice Minister Alberto Costa said in Brussels that he had "full confidence" in the work of Portuguese police in the case.
Madeleine's parents meanwhile described the case as an "unending nightmare" and said life had become "unbearable."
Ever since their return to Britain from Portugal Sunday, Kate and Gerry McCann have locked themselves into their family home in Rothley, in the county of Leicestershire in central England.
In his regular internet blog, Gerry McCann said he and his wife were facing an "unbearable" situation. But when all the facts were presented, they would be able to show that they played "no part in Madeleine's abduction." dpa st at pr
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