Raymond Hewlett, a British man aged 64, named yesterday as being the new suspect in Madeleine McCann's disappearance, "wasn't in Praia da Luz," on May 3rd 2007 and, "has an alibi," which witnesses have confirmed with the police.
Information confirmed today by a PJ officer, adding that the English team of investigators who were sent to Portugal immediately following Maddie's disappearance, "ruled the individual out as a suspect for various reason, his profile amongst other things," this same officer told 24 Horas, indicating that "all known cases involving the supposed suspect concern young people and not children of Madeleine's age.
Yesterday, Clarence Mitchell, spokesman for Kate and Gerry McCann, admitted that the couple were aware of suspicions regarding the individual, but he stressed that the British man, whose identity has been revealed by the media, is only, "a person of interest in the investigation," which two ex-police officers are in the process of carrying out in this case.
The British man - who lived in Portugal, but mostly in Tavira, for a few years - is currently in hospital in Germany, but he told an English newspaper that on the day of Maddie's disappearance he was at a fair* in Fuzeta. Contacted by 24 Horas, the Fuzeta town council confirmed that there are two fairs a month whose dates tally with the suspect's statements: the monthly fair that is held on the first Thursday of each month and which, in May was held on Thursday May 3rd, the day of the disappearance, and the second-hand fair that is on the first Sunday of each month.
In 2007, the vendors were not obliged to identify themselves to the fair organisers, an omission rectified this year by the town council. The employee who handles contact with the vendors is still the same, but the PJ have not questioned him. 24 Horas tried to contact him, but he is on leave.
The disclosure of this new suspect - who does not match any of the descriptions given up to the present time, by witnesses to the supposed abduction - was done following the accusation by an English couple, Alan and Cindy Thompson, who personally knew Raymond and his history, but had never contacted the police. The two ex-police officers, who replaced the Metodo 3 Spaniards - described by relatives of the McCanns as incompetent and very expensive - continue to insist that the little girl was not kidnapped by any paedophile ring or taken away by boat.
Duarte Levy (Also in 24 Horas)
* In Portugal, in general, the fair takes place once a month and is only clothing, in contrast to the food market which is every day.