McCanns fight back as Portuguese police seek more answers

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The Independent Online

Kate and Gerry McCann face questioning by Leicestershire police this week, with 40 questions sent by the Portuguese authorities. These are likely to focus on alleged discrepancies in statements provided by the McCanns and their friends about the night Madeleine disappeared.

Meanwhile, Portuguese police are continuing their search for a body, including using aircraft with infrared cameras that can detect where land has been disturbed. A police source said: "It's fundamental that we find it so we can solve the case."

The McCann family started fighting back yesterday. "The main objective is to leave no stone unturned in the search for Madeleine," said Gerry McCann's brother, John, when launching an £80,000 advertising campaign to find Madeleine, mainly using billboards in Spain and Portugal.

In one of her last interviews before abruptly stepping down as the McCanns' spokesperson, Ms Justine McGuinness confirmed that the couple have sought professional medical help to cope with stress and that they arranged for their local GP to visit last week to check on the health and well-being of their twins, Sean and Amelie.

More than 18,000 have signed a petition calling for the twins to be taken into care, while the sheer number of letters and flowers sent by supporters has turned their Rothley home into what Mrs McCann describes as a "sorting office". Yesterday saw new statements of support released to the media, this time from two of Kate McCann's closest friends who dismissed claims she could have had anything to do with her daughter's disappearance and praised her as a devoted mother.

Portuguese police sources suggest the Renault Scenic the McCanns hired after their daughter's disappearance which provided an 80 per cent DNA match to Madeleine, will need to be repossessed and stripped down for further tests.