Madeleine McCann case turns to phone records

Madeleine McCann: British police continue to hunt for evidence in the disappearance of British toddler Madeleine McCann.  In Lisbon, the girl's parents are pursuing a libel case against a former Portuguese detective.

(AP Photo/Francisco Seco)
British woman Kate McCann, the mother of Madeleine McCann who disappeared in Portugal, in 2007, talks with journalists outside the civil court in Lisbon, Thursday, Sept. 12, 2013. The McCanns are seeking 1.2 million euros (US$1.6 million) in damages from Goncalo Amaral, who was part of the police investigation into Madeleine's disappearance.

London's Metropolitan Police say authorities are combing phone records of tourists and residents who were in a Portuguese resort at the time of the disappearance of Madeleine McCann.

Detective Chief Inspector Andy Redwood told reporters Thursday that authorities were trawling through phone traffic of people in Praia da Luz around May 3, 2007, when the then-3 year-old vanished.

Scotland Yard says that since it began its own inquiry, 41 people of interest have been identified, including 15 UK nationals. Detectives in Britain had issued 31 requests to Portugal and other countries for access to the phone records.

A BBC reconstruction program is set to air later this month, and authorities say it contains fresh and substantive new information.

Authorities have expanded their appeal for data to Germany, Holland and Ireland.

Earlier this week, the father of Madeleine McCann has attended a Lisbon court hearing the family's libel case against a former Portuguese detective, but he wasn't called to testify.

Gerry McCann said he had hoped to address the court Wednesday. Calling witnesses is at the discretion of the judge. McCann family relatives have already testified at the trial which is expected to last at least another two months.

Gerry McCann said he was disappointed, but added that "we'll keep going and see the process through."

The McCanns are seeking 1.2 million euros ($1.6 million) in damages from Goncalo Amaral. His 2008 book alleged they were involved in their daughter's disappearance from a vacation resort in Portugal's Algarve region in 2007, days before her fourth birthday.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.