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Madeleine McCann case turns to phone records

Madeleine McCann: British police continue to hunt for evidence in the disappearance of British toddler Madeleine McCann.  In Lisbon, the girl's parents are pursuing a libel case against a former Portuguese detective.

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British woman Kate McCann, the mother of Madeleine McCann who disappeared in Portugal, in 2007, talks with journalists outside the civil court in Lisbon, Thursday, Sept. 12, 2013. The McCanns are seeking 1.2 million euros (US$1.6 million) in damages from Goncalo Amaral, who was part of the police investigation into Madeleine's disappearance.

(AP Photo/Francisco Seco)

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London's Metropolitan Police say authorities are combing phone records of tourists and residents who were in a Portuguese resort at the time of the disappearance of Madeleine McCann.

Detective Chief Inspector Andy Redwood told reporters Thursday that authorities were trawling through phone traffic of people in Praia da Luz around May 3, 2007, when the then-3 year-old vanished.

Scotland Yard says that since it began its own inquiry, 41 people of interest have been identified, including 15 UK nationals. Detectives in Britain had issued 31 requests to Portugal and other countries for access to the phone records.

A BBC reconstruction program is set to air later this month, and authorities say it contains fresh and substantive new information.

Authorities have expanded their appeal for data to Germany, Holland and Ireland.

Earlier this week, the father of Madeleine McCann has attended a Lisbon court hearing the family's libel case against a former Portuguese detective, but he wasn't called to testify.

Gerry McCann said he had hoped to address the court Wednesday. Calling witnesses is at the discretion of the judge. McCann family relatives have already testified at the trial which is expected to last at least another two months.

Gerry McCann said he was disappointed, but added that "we'll keep going and see the process through."

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The McCanns are seeking 1.2 million euros ($1.6 million) in damages from Goncalo Amaral. His 2008 book alleged they were involved in their daughter's disappearance from a vacation resort in Portugal's Algarve region in 2007, days before her fourth birthday.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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