LAWFUEL – The Legal Newswire – Serious doubts are being cast on a crucial part of the police case against Kate and Gerry McCann.
Portuguese police began to suspect the couple after a sniffer dog trained to detect “the scent of death” reacted strongly to their hire car and Madeleine’s Cuddle Cat toy.
However similar evidence has been dismissed as unreliable in a US murder trial where experts found the dogs had a poor record and were wrong seven or eight times out of 10.
The dramatic development came as:
* FORENSIC experts continued to pour scorn on the reliability of the DNA evidence;
* THE official police spokesman quit in a row over the way his colleagues had leaked material hostile to the McCanns;
* THE Archbishop of York said the couple had been treated “unjustly and inhumanely”; and
* THE examining magistrate in charge of the case made an unprecedented appeal to be allowed to speak publicly, apparently to defend police.
Precedent already set
The McCanns’ legal team is in touch with American lawyers to obtain case papers in which a US judge rejected sniffer dog “evidence”. Sources called the papers “important and relevant”.
It was a decision to bring over a sniffer dog from South Yorkshire several weeks ago which persuaded Portuguese police the McCanns may have been involved in their daughter’s death.