July 1, 2008 / 9:15 AM / 10 years ago

Police hand Madeleine report to prosecutor

LISBON (Reuters) - Portuguese police have sent their final report on the disappearance of Madeleine McCann to public prosecutors, who will decide whether to take any further steps, prosecutors said on Tuesday.

Madeline McCann in an undated photo. REUTERS/Handout

Madeleine disappeared from her bedroom in an Algarve resort on May 3 last year during a family holiday, a few days before her fourth birthday. (For full coverage of the disappearance of Madeleine McCann click here)

“The police has put together its final report in the so-called ‘Maddie case,’ which will be carefully considered,” Portugal’s public prosecutor said in a statement.

It said it would consider the report in order to determine whether the “necessary and sufficient conditions are present to close the investigation and issue a final decision”.

Portuguese media reported on Tuesday that police had ended their investigation without finding sufficient evidence to charge anybody in the case.

In February, Portuguese Justice Minister Alberto Costa said police were close to concluding the case.

The case has attracted massive media attention, especially after Madeleine’s parents, Kate and Gerry McCann, were named as suspects in their daughter’s disappearance by Portuguese police.

The couple were dining with friends at a restaurant in the resort when their daughter disappeared from her bedroom nearby.

They have said they are innocent and on Tuesday urged Portuguese police to give them access to the report in order to continue their own search for Madeleine and to end their status as suspects.

“For the love of god, it has to be released,” Clarence Mitchell, spokesman for Kate and Gerry McCann, Madeleine’s parents, told Sky News on Tuesday.

The McCanns said on May 3 — a year after their daughter disappeared — they remained convinced that she was still alive.

They have said the best chance to find Madeleine is to appeal to the public for help and to keep the case alive in the media.

In the months after Madeleine went missing, police received hundreds of tip-offs from across Europe by people who thought they had seen the girl but none of them proved conclusive.

The prosecutor said the final police report included dozens of volumes, adding the case will remain under strict secrecy laws until the middle of August.

Reporting by Axel Bugge; Additional reporting by Kate Kelland in London; Editing by Ibon Villelabeitia

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