Madeleine arrests: Judge hands down secrecy order

An Italian man and Portuguese woman who allegedly tried to extort money from the parents of missing British four-year-old Madeline McCann remained in custody in southern Spain today pending further questioning, a police spokeswoman said.

An Italian man and Portuguese woman who allegedly tried to extort money from the parents of missing British four-year-old Madeline McCann remained in custody in southern Spain today pending further questioning, a police spokeswoman said.

Police arrested the two in the exclusive Sotogrande district of San Roque town yesterday.

A judge in the nearby town of Torremolinos has taken charge of the case and placed a secrecy order on investigations, meaning police will not be able to comment on developments, the spokeswoman said. She was speaking on condition of anonymity in line with police rules.

The detainees were only identified by their initials; DC for the Italian and AD for the Portuguese woman.

In a statement yesterday, police said the two were suspected of trying to extract money from the McCanns by supposedly offering information concerning their daughter.

But the Italian Foreign Ministry said Spanish authorities had told them the man had no connection with the girl’s disappearance.

The McCann family have launched a Europe-wide search for their daughter after she disappeared two months ago during a family vacation in Portugal.

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