McCanns slam Maddie website
By SEBASTIAN LANDER
Published: 07 Feb 2008<ROOTTAG>
THE McCanns' spokesman has slammed an unofficial Maddie website which asks for 'donations' to support its jobless author.
www.mccannfiles.com, run by Nigel Moore, 48, was set up in a bid to "find the truth" about Madeleine's disappearance.
'Nige' - who works full-time creating the site - says that due to its popularity, "it now requires virtual full-time attention, 7 days a week."
He adds, "I have spent over 500 hours putting this site together (yes, scary, isn't it?) and I hope you appreciate my efforts in continuing to ask questions, and highlight inconsistencies, that other media outlets seem disappointingly reluctant to explore."
The homepage - which features profiles of those involved in the case and key events - also carries a prominent 'donate' button.
The website owner explains: "To enable me to continue to maintain and develop the site, I need support. Yours! Unfortunately, I do not have the luxury of rich benefactors behind me!"
The McCanns' spokesman Clarence Mitchell hit out, saying that unofficial sites such as these distract from the search for Madeleine.
He said: "This man did not seek our permission. We have not cooperated in any shape or form.
"Most of this is ill-informed comment at best. While some of it might be accurate, this sort of site runs the risk of repeating mistakes."
He added: "He's now seeking money to maintain the site. We'd rather people's efforts and money went to helping to find Madeleine."
Nigel told The Sun that he had not contacted the McCanns but was "trying to get something from them to put on the site."
He admitted: "They probably don't want to touch it with a barge pole.
"I've heard from someone there. I gather they're not particularly happy with it. I've had some feedback through an email but I'd rather not say from who."
Nigel added: "I've carefully sourced everything. I've not made anything up on there."
Asked if the McCanns' disapproval deterred him from continuing with the website, he added: "I still feel there are questions there that have not been answered that require answers. Not just around the case but the fund and things like that.
"My personal view is that the McCanns have some questions to answer."
Nigel added that the site - which has banner ads - was "costing him an arm and a leg."
"I'm not out to make a profit from it. There is no money coming from the actual site. The donate button is there for people to help me to keep it going. It's become quite popular," he added.
Nigel admitted that no one had yet made a donation.
And asked why any money should not go to the Madeleine fund, as suggested by Clarence Mitchell, he said: "I don't think a lot of people have confidence in where the money's actually going in the Madeleine fund."
Nigel added that his main concern was that Madeleine would be found.
He said: "That's the bottom line for everything. It's not a vendetta against the McCann family. I appreciate it's an incredibly difficult time for them."