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Madeleine McCann’s parents believe that the new suspect could be “very significant”

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A picture released by the McCann family on May 24, 2007 shows missing British girl Madeleine McCann on May 3, 2007.

Kate and Gerry McCann’s daughters were only three years old when she disappeared from their holiday apartment in the Praia da Luz resort, Portugal, on May 3, 2007, sparking an international hunt. He was never found, and no one has ever been charged with his disappearance.

On Wednesday, police in Britain and Germany identified a new suspect as a 43-year-old German man. The British authorities described the development as “a significant new path of investigation”, while German authorities revealed the suspect had previously been convicted of children who sexually abused.

Family spokesman Clarence Mitchell said Thursday that the British and German police appeals were “the first time in more than 13 years that I remember [police] focus on one individual “.

“Kate and Gerry feel that is potentially very significant,” Mitchell told BBC radio. “This is another important chapter in finding their daughter,” he added.

German Prosecutor’s Office Braunschweig, in the state of Lower-Saxony, said in a statement Wednesday that the suspect is currently serving a “long” prison sentence “for unrelated problems.” He is now under investigation for “possible murder” in connection with McCann, the office said.

On Thursday, State Attorney’s Office spokesman Hans Christian Wolters told CNN that his office considered McCann dead. Wolters said they would not elaborate on what evidence they had to support this because this was an ongoing investigation.

Wolters also explained that if the investigation leads to indictment and trial, the suspect will be tried in Germany, because murder is a criminal offense in Germany, as is the case in Portugal, independently where the crime was committed.

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In the German crime settlement program “Aktenzeichen XY Unsolved” at the ZDF public broadcasting station, Wednesday night, Christian Hoppe of the German Federal Criminal Investigation Office said no bodies were found but “the investigation of the Federal Criminal Investigation Office instead led to the assumption that McCann had been the victim of a murder . “

In a statement sent to CNN on Wednesday, the missing girl’s parents thanked “the police forces involved for their ongoing efforts in searching for Madeleine.”

“All we want is to find it, uncover the truth and bring those responsible to justice. We will never give up hoping to find Madeleine alive but whatever the outcome, we need to know because we need to find peace.”

Mitchell, in his interview with BBC Radio 4, underlined that although the German police classified it as an investigation of a murder, the British police still treated it as a missing person case.

“A British citizen is still missing and British police are struggling to say there is no evidence at all that he has been harmed, is dead, or is still alive so they really keep an open mind about it,” he explained. .

The suspect had lived in the Algarve region of Portugal from 1995 to 2007, and also lived in a house in Praia de Luz, the resort town where McCann disappeared, according to the Braunschweig prosecutor’s office.

Police said the suspect had access to this campervan and was used in and around the Praia da Luz area.

London Metropolitan Police on Wednesday also revealed details of two cars linked to the suspect around the time of the disappearance, and asked the public to step forward with information about them.

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“The first vehicle is a typical VW T3 Westfalia campervan. This is a model of the early 1980s, with two-colored markings, a white upper body and yellow edges. The vehicle has a Portuguese registration plate,” a British statement said.

“The suspect has access to this van from at least April 2007 until around May 2007. It is used in and around the Praia da Luz area.”

“The second vehicle is the 1993 British Jaguar, XJR 6 model, with a German number plate and registered in Germany,” the statement added. “This car is believed to have been in Praia da Luz and its surroundings in 2006 and 2007. The car was originally registered under the name of the suspect. On May 4, 2007, the day after Madeleine’s disappearance, the car was re-registered to someone else in Germany.”

Asked if this might be another example of a real breakthrough that did not produce anything, Mitchell accepted that there were “lots of quotes, hints, rumors, assumptions” that “all was sad in vain”. “But as I said, in my memory about being involved in this case, the police were never as specific about someone as they were in this appeal,” he continued.

Police said the Jaguar was originally registered under the name of the suspect but the day after Madeleine's disappearance, the car was registered back to someone else in Germany.

Kate and Gerry McCann did not do the interview because they wanted to remain focused on police requests for information around the telephone numbers and cars used by this new suspect, Mitchell added.

The Metropolitan Police began reviewing McCann’s disappearance in 2011, in a large-scale investigation known as Operation Grange which cost at least £ 11.75 million ($ 14.7) in June 2019.

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“After the tenth anniversary, Met received information about a German man known to have been in and around Praia da Luz. We have worked with colleagues in Germany and Portugal and this man is a suspect in the disappearance of Madeleine,” Chief Detective Inspector Mark Cranwell said in a statement on Wednesday.

British authorities offer a £ 20,000 (around $ 25,000) prize for information that leads to penalties for those responsible.

Fred Pleitgen on Berlin CNN, Mia Alberti in Lisbon, Zamira Rahim, Max Ramsay, Milena Veselinovic and Isa Soares in London contributed to this report.

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Thiago Monteiro in 14th and 15th before the arrival of the WTCR in Portugal – Observer

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Thiago Monteiro in 14th and 15th before the arrival of the WTCR in Portugal - Observer

Portuguese driver Thiago Monteiro (Honda) finished 14th and 15th this Sunday in the two World Touring Car Cup (WTCR) races held in Aragon, Spain, which precede the Vila Real race.

The Portuguese rider always rode in the tail, he was hindered by the fact that Honda had more excess weight than his rivals.

“If they told me that I would be in this position, I would not believe it. But the reality is that we have not been able to withstand a number of adversities. From the moment when the pace is much lower than other rivals, we are prepared in advance. It’s heartbreaking,” the Portuguese rider began his explanation after the fourth round of the championship.

The Portuguese rider struggled to find the best balance in his Civic, as did his teammate, Hungarian Attila Tassi.

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“We still had problems, and we could not reach the full potential of the car. It was very difficult, unpleasant and discouraging, especially since we are going to Vila Real and this scenario does not suit me. But we will have to continue to look for our own path and believe that everything will work out, ”Thiago Monteiro concluded.

Belgian Giles Magnus (Audi) and Spaniard Mikel Ascona (Hyundai) won both races on Sunday.

Ascona leads the league with 129 points, while Thiago Monteiro is 16th with 12 points.

The WTCR competition in Portugal will take place next weekend in Vila Real.

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Joao Almeida became the champion of Portugal in cycling

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Joao Almeida became the champion of Portugal in cycling

This Sunday, Portuguese cyclist João Almeida (UAE-Emirates) became the Portuguese champion in cross-country cycling for the first time, winning the elite national championships held in Mogaduro.

In his first online race since Joao Almeida was forced to pull out of the Vuelta Italia after testing positive for the coronavirus, he won his first national title since becoming time trial champion in 2021.

Almeida crossed the finish line in Mogadora, covering the 167.5 km distance in 4:08.42 hours, 52 seconds behind Thiago Antunes (Efapel) second, Fabio Costa (Glassdrive-Q8-Anicolor) third, and Rui Oliveira (UAE). – Emirates), fourth.

In the end, João Almeida stated that he was “very pleased” with the victory, admitting that the race “went very well” and thanking his teammates.

Former national champion José Neves (W52-FC Porto) did not finish the race, as did Rafael Reis (Glassdrive-Q8-Anicolor) who won the time trial title on Friday.

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Portuguese military admits ‘it will take time’ until territory is taken under control

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Portuguese military admits 'it will take time' until territory is taken under control

The “path” chosen for about a year in the fight against rebel groups in the province of Cabo Delgado in northern Mozambique is “the right one,” Brigadier General Nuno Lemos Pires said in an interview with Lusa.

“Now, while the situation is not fully under control, we all understand that, as in any other counter-terrorism situation in the world, it will take a lot of time,” added the head of the European military training mission, although he acknowledged that this “ does not mean that sometimes there are no fears and failures.

However, “this is part of what constitutes an action taken against terrorists who operate in a very wide area, who in themselves have the initiative and the ability to hide in a very wide area,” he said.

In fact, he stressed, many of the recent attacks that have taken place in the south of Cabo Delgado in recent weeks are due to the fact that Islamist extremist rebels had to “flight from the north” of the province.

“Because this was a consolidated military operation carried out in close cooperation between the Mozambique Defense and Security Forces (FSS), [e com as forças d]Rwanda and SAMIM (Southern African Development Community Mission (SADC) in Mozambique), who were clearing out the intervention areas that existed in the area, the reaction of many terrorists was to flee the area, go further south, where they were not pursued. , and make new attacks,” he explained.

“In such cases, the initiative almost always belongs to the terrorists. There are few of them, they hide among the population, they move over very large territories, with a lot of dense vegetation, it becomes very difficult to find them, but you can easily move,” he continued.

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On the other hand, the Portuguese general emphasized, “it is now difficult for these groups” “to concentrate power and forces for large-scale operations, as was the case three years ago during the conquests, such as Mocimboa da Praia or Palma.” ,” he said.

“They don’t have that ability. Many of these attacks even demonstrate [estratégias] survival [clássicas das guerrilhas]. They’re looking for food, they’re looking for supplies, they’re searching deep down for a place where they can survive, because the area is already under quite a lot of control. [por parte] Mozambique FSS, Rwandan forces and SAMIM,” he explained.

In this context, Nuno Lemos Pires highlighted the “quick response” of the Mozambican authorities to each of these developments, starting with head of state Filipe Nyusi.

“I think it is exemplary that the moment there is a movement or a series of significant attacks in other areas, we immediately see the President of Mozambique heading north, linking up with his Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces (CEMGFA). , with the Minister of Defense, with the Minister of the Interior, and outline plans on the ground for a quick change of equipment and the ability to respond to such movements,” he said.

During one such trip to northern Mozambique in mid-June, Mozambican Interior Minister Arsenia Massingue said that Mozambican police were informing the “enemy” – the rebel forces in Cabo Delgado – about the positions of the FDS and allied forces on the ground.

However, Lemos Pires downplayed the situation. “We must be aware that there are infiltrations in any political system. It’s happening everywhere. Ignoring this dimension is tantamount to ignoring what is happening everywhere,” he said.

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“I don’t know of a single case of insurgency, counterinsurgency, terrorist or counter-terrorist combat where these leaks didn’t happen frequently. You need to be careful. .

In addition to the vastness of the territory that has been the scene of conflict and the topography favorable to insurgent guerrilla strategies, the porous borders with Tanzania to the north of Cabo Delgado and Malawi to the northwest also pose a danger. challenges the SDF and allied forces of SAMIM and Rwanda.

Lemos Pires also relativized this question. “We are talking about transnational terrorism, and it is good to understand that the situation in the north of Mozambique, in Cabo Delgado, is not limited and is not limited – and has never been limited – exclusively and exclusively to this region. A phenomenon that exists throughout Africa. , namely in Central Africa,” he said.

The UETM commander even took advantage of this circumstance to formulate an “extended response” to “a broad problem, a regional one, and the solution must also be a broad regional one.”

Therefore, “it’s very good what we see here on the ground, in fact, this is the unification of the efforts of regional African forces to try to deal with a problem that really worries everyone,” he concluded.

“What happens in one region can affect another. That is why it is in everyone’s interest that these groups be fought, detained and that the narrative that they are currently spreading can be counteracted – we hope that there are fewer and fewer successes,” the Portuguese general stressed.

NPS // PYAA

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