LAWFUEL – The Legal Newswire – The Portuguese police investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann appeared to have come to a standstill today after it emerged that a successor to the sacked head of the inquiry was unlikely to be appointed until next week, The Times reports.
Chief Inspector Goncalo Amaral, who until yesterday was director of the Policia Judiciaria (PJ) in Portimao, was dismissed after claiming that British police were helping Kate and Gerry McCann cover up their role in their daughter’s death.
Alipio Ribeiro, the national director of the PJ, along with other senior officers, will hand-pick his successor. But the political sensitivity of the case, combined with a Portuguese public holiday that falls on Friday, means that any appointment is unlikely to be made this week.
Clarence Mitchell, the McCanns’ spokesman, said today that the couple hoped Mr Amaral’s replacement would refocus the inquiry. He said: “Let’s get back out there and we hope whoever takes over from Mr Amaral will re-energise the search for Madeleine.”
Mr Amaral today shrugged off his dismissal, telling Portuguese newspaper Jornal de Noticias: “A policeman does not limit himself to one case. There is plenty of work still to be done.”
The detective was removed from his post after giving an interview in which he accused British police of siding with the McCanns. “British police have only worked on what the McCann couple want them to work on,” he told Diario de Noticias.