Claim and counterclaim

19 September 2007
The Daily Telegraph

Claim: It was widely reported that traces of bodily fluids found in the boot and spare wheel well of the McCanns' hire car were an 80 per cent match with Madeleine.

Counterclaim: A family friend said a "perfectly innocent explanation'' was that the girl's belongings were moved from the family's holiday apartment to a rented villa. Among her possessions was a pair of sandals which would have held her sweat and thus her DNA.

The friend added that more than 30 people - including family members - had used the car before it was seized by police, consequently contaminating any DNA samples. According to experts, an 80 per cent match indicated that profilers could find only 16 of the 20 markers usually used for such analysis which suggested the traces were tiny and degraded.

Claim: It is alleged that specialist British sniffer dogs detected the "smell of death'' on Mrs McCann's clothes, the family's holiday apartment and their car, hired 25 days after Madeleine disappeared. The springer spaniel was filmed jumping around in an excited fashion and the video was subsequently shown to Mrs McCann during her police interviews.

Counterclaim: The McCanns' lawyers consulted the legal team of Eugene Zapata, who was accused of murder in the US.

A judge ruled that sniffer dog evidence indicating the presence of human remains was inadmissible because it was unreliable.

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