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Police Probe Fresh Suspect In 'Last Throw Of The Dice' For Madeleine McCann Search

Police Probe Fresh Suspect In 'Last Throw Of The Dice' For Madeleine McCann Search

Police investigating the disappearance of Madeleine McCann have been given extra funding as they chase a specific person to interview, it emerged last night.

The person was near the area where Madeleine went missing from in the coastal resort of Praia da Luz, Portugal, in May 2007.

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Policing Minister Brandon Lewis last night said: "I am pleased to be able to support the British police who are trying to get to the bottom of what happened to Madeleine McCann and give some kind of closure and justice to her family."

Credit: PA Images

A Home Office spokesman added: "Following an application from the Metropolitan Police for special grant funding, the Home Office has confirmed £85,000 in operational costs for Operation Grange for the period April 1 until September 2017.

"As with all applications, the resources required are reviewed regularly and careful consideration is given before any new funding is allocated."

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Family spokesman Clarence Mitchell said: "Kate and Gerry remain incredibly grateful to the Home Office and the Met Police for the continued work into the search for their daughter.

"But, like the police, they will not be commenting on any operational details."

Senior officers see the development as the 'last throw of the dice' as total funding has now reached now £11.1 million, the Sun reported.

Kate and Gerry McCann pictured together. Credit: PA Images

In January, Madeleine McCann's parents lost a court appeal to silence a former police officer who claims they covered up their daughter's death.

Portuguese Supreme Court judges met in Lisbon this morning to resolve the couple's battle against a decision last April to reverse their 2015 libel win against Goncalo Amaral.

Gerry and Kate McCann could now face a huge legal bill, which had been frozen until the outcome of the final appeal.

The couple have been engaged in an eight-year fight over a book written by Amaral, who led the initial hunt when the then three-year-old vanished from their Algarve holiday apartment in May 2007.

Credit: PA Images

In 2015, a Lisbon court ordered Goncalo Amaral to pay Kate and Gerry €500,000 (£429,000) in compensation for the claims made in the book. However, last year, an appeals court overturned that conviction before reaching Portugal's top court.

The McCanns' Portuguese lawyer, Isabel Duarte, lodged the couple's new appeal last May after vowing to fight the U-turn by judges over Amaral's book.

Criticising the ruling in favour of the ex-police chief, Duarte said the ruling had left the couple 'seething'. She said: "This decision was an appreciation of the law and not the facts.

"We can appeal to the Supreme Court which we will do as we have instructions from our clients."

The book was published in 2008, three days after Portuguese police formally closed their inquiry into Madeleine's disappearance, clearing the McCanns of any wrongdoing.

Gerry and Kate McCann pictured in 2014. Credit: PA Images

Amaral is understood to have earned £344,000 from his book and a subsequent TV documentary before it was banned.

He claimed in the book that Maddie had died in their holiday flat and they had faked her abduction to cover up the tragedy.

Mr Amaral argued in his defence that the claims stemmed from the police investigation and that Portuguese media had already reported the possibility the parents may have played a role in Madeleine's disappearance.

More than £50,000 was raised in support for the detective, donated via a Go Fund Me page, after he was ordered to pay damages.

Police brought an end to all forensic investigations involved in the disappearance of Madeleine McCann in August last year, nine years after she went missing while on a family holiday in Portugal.

Police prepare to dig for Madeleine McCann in Algarve resort town back in 2014. Credit: Ruptly

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The investigation, named Operation Grange, was set up by former Prime Minister David Cameron in 2011, costing £12 million, but has reportedly not helped the police move the investigation forward.

"The final forensics were carried out about three months ago but, sadly, they didn't take us forward," a source told the Mirror. "There are no plans for any further forensic work to take place."

Credit: PA

The couple, from Rothley, Leicestershire, have spent nine years trying to locate their daughter, but all their attempts have been in vain.

"Until we have answers, until there is news, there will always be hope and we will do everything we can to help find Madeleine," the couple said.

Operation Grange was reportedly shelved due to the growing amount of money being paid by taxpayers towards it and because other areas of the police force were facing budget cuts.

Featured Image Credit: PA Images

Topics: Police, Investigation, Portugal

James Dawson

James Dawson is a Journalist at LADbible. He has contributed articles to LADbible’s ‘Knowing Me, Knowing EU’ series on the EU referendum, the 'Electoral Dysfunction' series on the 2017 general election, the ‘U OK M8?’ series tackling mental health amongst young men, and for its ‘Climate Change’ initiative in partnership with National Geographic.

 

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