PRAIA DA LUZ, Portugal – The latest witness in the Madeleine McCann case insists he is innocent and has no idea where she may be, Sky News reported. Russian computer expert Sergey Malinka denied reports that he has past convictions for sexual offenses and said his relationship with the main suspect, Robert Murat, is "strictly professional."
It has been 15 days since the British 4-year-old was snatched from her family's vacation home in Praia Da Luz, Portugal, while her mother and father, Kate and Gerry McCann, were having dinner in a nearby Tapas bar.
Portuguese police say they are investigating telephone calls between Malinka and Murat on the night Madeleine vanished. But Malinka, 22, told Sky News that the first time he heard about the youngster was "the following day of the tragedy".
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Malinka says false reports had damaged his name and said he wants the media to leave him alone.
"I want to get on with my life ... and I want to clear my name," he said.
He said he had a clean record, adding: "I don't rape little kids. I'm a normal man."
Madeleine's family has said the support they have received and the scale of the international campaign to find her have been overwhelming. More than 40 million people are said to have visited a Web site dedicated to raise the profile of the search.
Many multinationals have also joined the effort. Oil companies such as BP, Shell, Texaco and Total have agreed to distribute posters of her at their garages across Europe. Banks such as Spain's Banco Santander and France's Credit Agricole are also displaying posters at their branches in France, Portugal and Spain.
The McCanns, both doctors from Leicestershire, have vowed to remain in Portugal until Madeleine is returned to them.