'Find Madeleine's body and prove we killed her': McCanns' challenge to police
Kate and Gerry McCann have challenged the Portuguese police to produce their daughter Madeleine's body to prove they killed her.
Without it, their lawyers believe, it will be extremely difficult for authorities in the Algarve to press charges.
The couple threw down the gauntlet as it emerged Portuguese prosecutors want to seize Mrs McCann's private diaries and her husband's laptop computer. Scroll down for more...
Mrs McCann and daugher Amelle on their way from their Leicestershire home to a playground
They have submitted an 'emergency' request to a judge to authorise commandeering the ring-bound journals and Apple Mac as they prepare their case against the McCanns for alleged involvement in Madeleine's death.
Police believe something Mrs McCann has written in her diary could unlock the mystery to the four-yearold's disappearance.
Mr McCann uses his laptop to send emails and update his Internet blog which is read by hundreds of thousands each day.
It was also reported yesterday that police want to confiscate Madeleine's toys, including her favourite Cuddle Cat, which her mother has carried everywhere since her disappearance.
Mr McCann's sister, Philomena McCann, said the possibility that police might seize the toy was a 'disgrace', adding: "It would be extremely distressing for Kate because she has seen it as a symbol of her daughter since she went missing.
"Why on earth do they ask for the toys now? Why didn't they think of this before?"
Yesterday it emerged that lawyers in Britain acting for the McCanns have advised them the Portuguese authorities will struggle to press charges that stick.
A close friend said: "The legitimate question to ask Portuguese police is: "Where is the body? Where's the evidence that Madeleine is dead?"."
The friend said the McCanns' new legal team, based in London, had been working around the clock to 'get up to speed on the case'. Scroll down for more...
Off to play: Gerry McCann and his two-year-old twin son Sean
The couple's Portuguese lawyer, Carlos Pinto de Abreu, has hit out at his country's judicial system in a scathing interview with a local newspaper in which he declared: "Justice in Portugal is slow and incapable of producing proof."
Friends of the McCanns believe they are the victims of a sinister campaign to frame them for Madeleine's disappearance after police botched the search to find their abducted little girl.
The 39-year-old doctors have strenuously denied ever harming Madeleine and are devastated the hunt for her has been overshadowed by an attempt to 'set them up'.
But in two days of police interviews in Portimao last week, detectives alleged there was damning evidence that Madeleine had been in the Renault Scenic they hired 25 days after she disappeared. They alleged bodily fluids, blood and hair corresponding to Madeleine's DNA had been found in the boot.
Judge Pedro Miguel dos Anjos Frias is now sifting through a 4,000-page police dossier as Madeleine's parents face an agonising wait to learn if they will be charged.
He could take 'weeks' to study the contents of ten lever arch files, according to a friend of the McCanns, who said: "Our understanding is there's no filtering process whatsoever - everything is in there.
"The judge has had the kitchen sink thrown at him."
The judge will make a decision within ten days on key requests made by the prosecutor, Jose Cunha de Magalhaes e Meneses. Scroll down for more...
These requests have not been made public, but are things Mr Meneses now believes need to be done to complete the case.
A source in Portugal claimed that one of the requests was to bring Kate McCann back to be requestioned.
And the whitewashed church in Praia da Luz that became a poignant focus of the McCanns' campaign is expected to be searched, with the judge present.
It still has yellow and green Madeleine ribbons on the pews and altar.
Roads around the church, which had deep holes dug by workmen at the time Madeleine vanished, could also be excavated.
Portuguese sources said the prosecutor wanted police to re-interview the couple's friends and family.
Detectives in the Algarve believe somebody could have helped them dispose of Madeleine's body, although the friends with whom they were on holiday have furiously denied such a 'hurtful' conspiracy.
The couple were declared 'arguidos', or formal suspects, during police questioning in Portimao last Friday.
They flew out of the country to their home in Rothley two days later.
Last night the McCanns got a boost when the police case appeared to be undermined by a pensioner who is potentially a key witness.
Pamela Fenn, 81, lives above the apartment where Madeleine disappeared and is reported to have told police she heard Madeleine screaming below.
But yesterday she broke her silence to say it was 'absolute rubbish' she had made any such claims to police. Mrs Fenn said: "I didn't even know that family was in there."
Sir Alec Jeffreys, the inventor of DNA fingerprinting, said he was prepared to act as an expert witness for the McCanns.
He stressed that DNA matches on their own did not establish a person's innocence or guilt.
Sir Alec told BBC TV's Newsnight: "There are no genetic characters in Madeleine that are not found in at least one other member of the family. "So then you have an incomplete DNA profile that could raise a potential problem in assigning a profile to Madeleine given that all other members of that family would have been in that car."
'Find Madeleine's body and prove we killed her': McCanns' challenge to police | the Daily Mail