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Branson donates to McCanns' legal fund

By Channel 4 News

Updated on 16 September 2007

The Virgin tycoon is thought to have given up to £100,000 to kick-start a fund to pay the McCanns' legal costs in defending their names in the case of missing Madeleine.

Branson - along with a host of other celebrities including J K Rowling - is known to have donated to the original Find Madeleine fund, which has reached £1m.

However, the fund directors - and Madeleine's parents - decided that it would be inappropriate to use those donations to clear their names.

The couple became suspects last week in the continuing investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine, who was three when she went missing on 3 May.

The new fund should help the couple cope with the legal bills of the top laywer they have appointed: Michael Caplan QC, who fought efforts to extradite Pinochet.

Meanwhile, Kate and Gerry McCann attended mass near their Leicestershire home this morning. They said it was comforting to be among friends and family - as special prayers were said for their missing child.

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