Former Portuguese police chief Goncalo Amaral (pictured) has claimed for the first time a German paedophile probed over Madeleine McCann’s disappearance is not Martin Ney
Former Portuguese police chief Goncalo Amaral has claimed for the first time a German paedophile probed over Madeleine McCann’s disappearance is not Martin Ney.
And he has revealed new details about why the new ‘suspect’ is being investigated – and made a fresh, false slur against the missing youngster’s dad Gerry – in an interview with a Spanish TV station.
The ex-cop sparked speculation Hamburg-born child strangler Ney was the prime suspect after telling an Australian podcast earlier this year investigators were focusing on a German paedophile in prison.
He failed to identify Ney by name at the time, describing the suspect only as someone who had been ruled out of the investigation into the missing British youngster in 2008 but later jailed in his home country.
Now Amaral, the original lead investigator in the case, has fuelled new speculation about his identity by telling a Spanish TV programme: ‘A paedophile who is German and serving life for killing children has been spoken about.
‘What I know is that the suspect is not him, it’s another man. He’s also in prison in Germany. He’s also a paedophile.
He has revealed new details about why the new ‘suspect’ is being investigated – and made a fresh, false slur against the missing youngster’s dad Gerry – in an interview with a Spanish TV station
Left: Martin Ney, 48, who is in prison in Germany and a previously issued suspect’s photofit (right)
‘Years later, many years later, it appears that in an Internet chatroom there is a conversation between that person and another person where they talk about Madeleine.’
He responded: ‘It can’t be him’ when he was shown a photo of Ney before adding in a false and vile jibe at Madeleine McCann’s father: ‘I’ll say something else, the kidnapper is similar, very similar, to Gerry McCann’ before pointing at the photo he had been shown of Martin Ney and adding: ‘That man is not similar to Gerry McCann.’
Police in the UK and Portugal, who are leading separate investigations into Madeleine McCann’s May 3 2007 disappearance from the Algarve holiday resort of Praia da Luz, declined to comment on Portuguese reports around the 12th anniversary that investigators had a ‘new lead and a new suspect.’
The ex-cop (right) sparked speculation Hamburg-born child strangler Ney was the prime suspect after telling an Australian podcast earlier this year investigators were focusing on a German paedophile in prison
Madeleine McCann disappeared from the Ocean Club resort in Portugal’s Praia da Luz as a three-year-old in May 2007
The Policia Judiciaria said in a statement released in May after leading Portuguese daily Correio da Manha said a new suspect had been flagged up to investigators in Lisbon and Porto by Scotland Yard: ‘The investigation into the disappearance of an English child in Praia da Luz in 2007, remains open within the framework of an investigation supervised by Portimao’s Public Ministry.
‘This investigation has been developed in conjunction with international authorities, following police and judicial rules of cooperation justified by the circumstances of the situation.
‘The PJ does not feel it is appropriate to make any further clarifications in the interests of the investigation.’
Goncalo Amaral (pictured) claimed last year MI5 spies had helped to cover up Madeleine’s death and disappearance
Martin Ney’s name emerged after Mr Amaral told an Australian podcast: ‘They are preparing the end of the investigation, with a German paedophile who is in prison right now.
‘I don’t know how they will start it, but that will be the big ending, if it ends.’
He did not identify the mystery German at the time, although Correio da Manha went on to claim Ney was not the suspect.
The 49-year-old was jailed for life in 2012 for abducting and murdering three children between 1992 and 2001.
He targeted children on holiday by entering their tents or villas wearing a mask and armed with a weapon.
Clarence Mitchell, spokesman for Madeleine’s parents Kate and Gerry was quoted at the time as saying about Ney: ‘He fits the profile – he is a known predatory paedophile and he’s a foreigner.
‘It is quite plausible police are looking at him again but it could be someone else.
‘If he is the person of interest, a German force will have to get involved to interview him on their soil.’
The McCanns (pictured) have made a last-ditch attempt to the European Court of Human Rights after losing a libel fight against Mr Amaral in Portugal
Mr Amaral’s false slur against Madeleine’s father over his ‘similar’ physical appearance to the man he says investigators are focusing on, follows years of legal wrangling between the former police chief and the missing youngster’s parents over his book ‘The Truth of the Lie.’
He claims in the controversial 2008 book Gerry and Kate had covered up their daughter’s accidental death in their holiday apartment.
The McCanns have made a last-ditch attempt to the European Court of Human Rights after losing a libel fight against Mr Amaral in Portugal.
The McCanns have repeatedly said the false accusations against them have harmed the search for Madeleine (pictured)
The ex-cop, removed as head of the Madeleine McCann probe in October 2007 for criticising the British police, made his latest comments about the case on a show called ‘En El Punta de Mira’ about missing adults and children which was aired on Spanish national TV station Cuatro.
He claimed last year MI5 spies had helped to cover up Madeleine’s death and disappearance.
He said British secret agents ‘for sure had an involvement’ in an Australian documentary which aired in April 2018.
The McCanns have repeatedly said the false accusations against them have harmed the search for Madeleine.
Gerry has been quoted as saying: ‘I’m sure it’s a very small minority of people who spend their time doing it, but it has totally inhabited what we do.’