It has been revealed by Portuguese investigators why Gerry and Kate McCann were never officially made suspects over the disappearance of their daughter Madeleine.
Maddie, who was three at the time, was left with her two-year-old twin siblings in her family’s holiday apartment in 2007 before she went missing.
As reported by the Daily Mirror, Portuguese police did not charge the couple with abandonment because they believed it was custom for English parents to leave their children alone.
Former minister of internal affairs Rui Pereira has spoken out to condemn police for the potential oversight.
The error was not constituting the parents as arguidos for the crime of abandonment.
At the beginning there was an extraordinary and ridiculous theory that said the English have very peculiar cultural customs.
And therefore it was natural for them to leave the two-year-old twin siblings and the other three-year-old child alone in a bedroom for the parents to go out a few hundred metres away to socialise with their friends.
Pereira added that the McCanns were afforded a level of compassion by police that would not have applied had they been Portuguese citizens.
Have no doubts. If this had involved a Portuguese child our public ministry would have immediately set off measures which are in place to protect children.
In our culture this kind of behaviour would have not been tolerated as reasonable. I am not even sure it is tolerated under Anglo-Saxon cultural values.
Meanwhile, it has been reported by the Daily Telegraph that British investigators believe Maddie may have been abducted during a ‘botched robbery’.
Police want to re-interview three suspects who were placed at the scene of the resort via mobile phone records, and fear failure to do so will leave the investigative trail cold.
Nine years on and the truth still seems so far away.