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Last updated: 7:48 PM

From Press Association


McCann friends to be re-interviewed

Press Association
Monday October 22, 2007 6:18 AM

The friends who dined with Gerry and Kate McCann on the evening of their daughter's disappearance will soon be re-interviewed, Portuguese police said.

Officers in the Madeleine McCann investigation will travel to the UK with a public prosecutor "in days", Policia Judiciaria national director Alipio Ribeiro told Spanish newspaper El Pais.

It is reported the interviews will be conducted using questions written by the Portuguese detectives. Their inquiries have been supported by police in the UK, led by the force in the McCanns' home county of Leicestershire.

No-one from Leicestershire Constabulary was available for comment.

The McCanns insist that Madeleine, four, was abducted while they ate at a nearby tapas bar with friends Rachael and Matthew Oldfield, Jane Tanner and her partner, Russell O'Brien, David and Fiona Payne, and Mrs Payne's mother, Dianne Webster.

The report of fresh interviews came as it was confirmed that Mr McCann was considering a return to work before Christmas.

The consultant cardiologist at Leicester's Glenfield Hospital has not been back since his daughter vanished from their holiday apartment on May 3 and is currently on unpaid leave.

But he is now talking to bosses about a possible return before the end of this year, said his spokesman, Clarence Mitchell.

It is another difficult decision for the 39-year-old father-of-three, who, with wife Kate, agonised about flying back to the UK without their eldest child.

A fighting fund set up to help the Leicestershire couple and their search for Madeleine has helped meet their living costs.

Copyright (c) Press Association Ltd. 2007, All Rights Reserved.

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