Friday, January 6, 2012

Dec 2007 : Suspect And Child Neglector Gerry McCann Nominated For Scot Of The Year

Madeleine McCann's father has been nominated for the title of Scot of the Year 2007, alongside Gordon Brown and former Scotland manger Alex McLeish.
Glasgow-born Gerry McCann was one of 12 candidates put forward by the Scotland on Sunday newspaper for an online poll.
The news came as the family issued a desperate plea for information after it emerged that police had still not traced every holidaymaker who was in Praia da Luz on the night of the toddler's disappearance.
British police have never been given a comprehensive list of all the guests in the Portuguese resort and some forces are still searching for a handful of people who could hold the key to finding the missing four-year-old.
Meanwhile, a lawyer for Robert Murat, the first suspect in the case, said Portuguese detectives could conclude their inquiry as soon as January 3.

Francisco Pagarete said a public prosecutor would decide early in the New Year whether to charge his client or Kate and Gerry McCann.

Under Portuguese law, at that point the evidence-gathering process will end and the prosecutor will either formally accuse one or more of the three - all "arguidos" or official suspects - or shelve the case, he said.

Mr Pagarete predicted this was most likely to happen on January 3, exactly eight months after Madeleine vanished from her parents' holiday apartment in Praia da Luz. All three deny any involvement in the girl's disappearance.

The McCanns have urged all tourists who were staying in and around the Ocean Club resort on May 3 to come forward in the hope that new witnesses would be found.

"We would appeal to any UK residents who have still not been spoken to by British police and who were in Praia da Luz on May 3 to please come forward and to contact their local police or the confidential phone line based in Spain," said Clarence Mitchell, the official spokesman for Kate and Gerry McCann.

"We know for instance that there are a number of British people who were staying in or around the Ocean Club when Madeleine was abducted and who have not yet been interviewed by British police," he said.

Holiday firm Mark Warner is understood to have forwarded a list of all their guests and staff who were at the Algarve resort during the week of Madeleine's disappearance to Leicestershire police, who are co-ordinating inquiries in Britain on behalf of the Portuguese authorities.

But many tourists in Praia da Luz booked their holidays independently of any travel group and some of their identities are still not known.

The task has been made more difficult by the failure by Portuguese police to question everyone staying at the resort.

Meanwhile one element of the investigation will fall into the hands of Jacqui Smith, Home Secretary, this weekend, who has 48 hours to decide whether permission will be granted for the Portuguese police to re-interview the McCanns and their friends.

It has been reported that Portuguese authorities are ready to send the Home Office a "letter of appeal" with a list of questions to put to members of the so-called Tapas Nine - the name given to the McCanns and the seven friends who dined with them on the night of Madeleine's disappearance.

News of Mr McCann's Scot of the Year 2007 nomination was played down by Clarence Mitchell, the family's spokesman.

"Of course he would be flattered and buoyed by the support but this has come about entirely for the wrong reasons," he said.

"The only thing that would make Gerry happy is to be reunited with his daughter," he said.
Readers of the Sunday newspaper have been given one week to vote online for the Scot who has "inspired us most through the past year".

"Whether they are recognised stars in their field or people who have been thrust into the limelight by events, we want to hear about them," the paper's website says.

Other suggested candidates include Gordon Brown, Scotland football coach Alex McLeish, who resigned after the team failed to qualify for Euro 2008 and John Smeaton, the baggage handler who helped foil a terrorist attack on Glasgow airport.