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Investigator taken off McCann case

  • Story Highlights
  • An investigator on the Madeleine McCann case has been taken off, police said
  • Goncalo Amaral was one of the more visible investigators on the case
  • Madeleine disappeared from Portugal's Algarve region on May 3
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LONDON, England (CNN) -- One of the most visible Portuguese investigators who had been on the case of missing British girl Madeleine McCann has been taken off the case, Portuguese police told CNN Tuesday.

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Madeleine McCann has been missing since early May when she vanished in Portugal.

Police said investigator Goncalo Amaral remains on the police force, but will no longer work on the McCann case.

The move came hours after a newspaper published comments it said Amaral made earlier in the day criticizing British police for favoring Kate and Gerry McCann, the girl's parents, who have been named as suspects in the case by Portuguese police.

A spokesman for the McCann family said they had not been told of the change.

Madeleine's parents have said she disappeared from their hotel room in a vacation resort in Portugal's Algarve region on May 3 while they dined in a restaurant nearby.

They deny they had anything to do with their daughter's disappearance. While not the lead investigator in the case, Amaral had been one of the more visible Portuguese officials working on the mystery.

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He often discussed the case with the news media.

Amaral is also under investigation for allegedly beating a woman in custody who was later found guilty of murdering her own child in 2004. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

CNN Producer Isa Soares contributed to this report

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