Madeleine McCann latest: Three British nationals to be questioned by police investigating girl’s disappearance

Two of them – a man and a woman – will reportedly be declared as formal suspects in Portugal

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The Independent Online

Three British nationals are among 11 people reportedly set to be questioned by police in the investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann.

Seven of them, including a British man and woman, will be identified as new suspects and declared as “arguidos”, or formal suspects under Portuguese law, it has been reported.

ITV News said the seven will be interviewed by police in Faro, Portugal, between 24 and 28 November. The other four people will be spoken to as possible witnesses, according to the broadcaster.

While neither the Metropolitan Police nor officers in Portugal were willing to make any official comment on the reported new suspects, the Mirror said their status as “arguidos” showed officers are still focussing on the theory that Madeleine was taken or killed during a break-in attempt.

In addition to the British woman, the seven suspects also included a woman of eastern or central European origin, according to ITV News. None of the suspects were thought to be known to the McCann family. It comes as the latest stage in a large new operation to find out what happened when three-year-old Madeleine disappeared from an apartment where she was staying with her parents in Praia da Luz in the Algarve in 2007.

Last year detectives said they had received an “overwhelming response” to a televised appeal for fresh information, while in May investigators travelled to the Algarve to supervise a new search of scrubland around the apartment block, though nothing was found.

It is believed that the latest suspects were identified following an extensive search through mobile phone records, and that officers from Scotland Yard’s Operation Grange travelled to Portugal towards the end of August to secure permission to conduct the interviews.