13 December 2011: Detectives
from Scotland Yard and the Spanish National Police carry boxes with documents given by the detective agency Metodo 3, in Barcelona
1) On 5 October
2011, the Met responds to a FOIA request concerning the terms of the case review. It states:
reviews, such as this one, are highly emotive and the manner in which they are conducted are usually kept in strict secrecy
so that the tactics and lines of enquiry that are followed do not become public knowledge thereby rendering them useless.'2)
On 5 December 2011, it is revealed that three Scotland Yard detectives had travelled to Barcelona to meet with their Spanish
counterparts. Scotland Yard refused to reveal what led them to Barcelona, between November 23 and 25, but this did
not stop press speculation that the visit was connected to the 'Victoria Beckham-lookalike' incident.
On 14 December 2011, it is revealed that Scotland Yard detectives had visited the Barcelona HQ of Metodo 3 - the detective
agency employed by the McCanns in 2007 - the previous day. It is reported that they took away 30 boxes of documents compiled
by the private detectives.
Freedom of Information Request: Metropolitan
Police Service (MPS), 05 October 2011
|Freedom of Information Request: Metropolitan Police
Service (MPS) whatdotheyknow.com
5 October 2011
From: Metropolitan Police Service (MPS)
[Request and response 2]
Freedom of Information Request Reference No:
respond in connection with your request for information which was received by the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) on 02/08/2011.
I note you seek access to the following information:
Re: Freedom of Information Act 2000 Questions - Madeleine
McCann Review Team
Please answer the following questions in relation to the Madeleine McCann Review Team:
1. What is the precise remit of the Review Team?
2. When was that remit agreed?
3. Who decided the remit?
When completed, to whom will the Review Report be presented ?
5. On 14 May 2011, the Daily Telegraph said that "Scotland
Yard's new investigation is being overseen by Commander Simon Foy, one of the force's most experienced detectives".
Please either confirm that, or provide information as to who is in overall command of this Review.
6. On 15 May 2011,
the Daily Record said that "Scotland Yard said Detective Chief Inspector Andy Redwood, from the Homicide and Serious
Crime Command, would be the senior investigating officer in the case". Please either confirm that, or provide information
as to who is the senior investigating officer in the case.
7. On 15 May 2011, the Independent on Sunday said that "Mr.
Redwood will report to Detective Chief Superintendent Hamish Campbell, Homicide and Serious Crimes Command (HSCC), operational
command unit commander." Please either confirm that, or provide information as to who is the person in overall charge
of the HSCC".
8. On 20 and 22 July 2011, an officer from the Intelligence Section of the Madeleine McCann Team,
Sam, Pay No. 220629, stated that the policy of the Team was not to answer any correspondence. Please state whether or not
this is the case.
9. Please state whether, if evidence or other information is sent to the Madeleine McCann Review Team,
any acknowledgement of the receipt of that information will be given.
10. Does the Madeleine McCann Review Team have
a deadline for completing its review? If so, when is it?
11. Does the Madeleine McCann Review Team have a budget? If
so, what is it? Do the funds allocated to this Review Team come from the Home Office or from the Metropolitan Police Authority?
Following receipt of your request searches were conducted within the MPS to locate information relevant to your request.
EXTENT OF SEARCHES TO LOCATE INFORMATION
To locate the information relevant to your request
searches were conducted within the Specialist Crime Directorate - Homicide and Serious Crime Command.
The searches located information relevant to your request.
I have today decided to:
Answer questions 5, 6 , 7, 10 and 11 in full
To refuse questions
8 and 9 by virtue of section 8 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (The Act) as an invalid request.
questions 1, 2, 3 and 4 by virtue of section 30 (1)(a)(b)(c) and section 31(1)(a)(b)(c) of the Act.
see the legal annex for the sections of the Act referred to in this email.
REASONS FOR DECISION
The following questions have been responded to in full:
At question 5
you asked: On 14 May 2011, the Daily Telegraph said that "Scotland Yard's new investigation is being overseen
by Commander Simon Foy, one of the force's most experienced detectives". Please either confirm that, or provide information
as to who is in overall command of this Review.
At Question 6 you asked: On 15 May 2011, the Daily
Record said that " Scotland Yard said Detective Chief Inspector Andy Redwood, from the Homicide and Serious Crime Command,
would be the senior investigating officer in the case". Please either confirm that, or provide information as to who
is the senior investigating officer in the case.
At question 7 you asked: On 15 May 2011, the
Independent on Sunday said that "Mr. Redwood will report to Detective Chief Superintendent Hamish Campbell, Homicide
and Serious Crimes Command (HSCC), operational command unit commander." Please either confirm that, or provide information
as to who is the person in overall charge of the HSCC".
The MPS response is: The senior officer
with oversight of the review is Commander Simon Foy. Detective Chief Inspector (DCI) Andy Redwood is the Senior Investigating
Officer. DCI Redwood reports to Detective Chief Superintendent Hamish Campbell.
At question 10 you asked:
Does the Madeleine McCann Review Team have a deadline for completing its review? If so, when is it?
MPS response is: The review team does not have a deadline for the completion of its review.
question 11 you asked: Does the Madeleine McCann Review Team have a budget? If so, what is it? Do the funds allocated
to this Review Team come from the Home Office or from the Metropolitan Police Authority?
The MPS response
is: The MPS has allocated a team to deal with this and the Home Office have agreed to reimburse this cost. This is
reviewed on a quarterly basis.
The following questions have been refused on the grounds that they do not
constitute a valid request under the Act:
At question 8 you asked: On 20 and 22 July
2011, an officer from the Intelligence Section of the Madeleine McCann Team, Sam, Pay No. 220629, stated that the policy of
the Team was not to answer any correspondence. Please state whether or not this is the case.
9 you asked: Please state whether, if evidence or other information is sent to the Madeleine McCann Review Team,
any acknowledgement of the receipt of that information will be given.
The MPS response is: I have
decided to refuse access to the information you have requested under the provisions of Section 8(2)(a)(b)(c) of the Act.
A request under the Act is required by statute to be legible and capable of being used for subsequent reference. After
careful consideration, I have decided that your request does not meet this requirement as I am unable to ascertain what recorded
information you have requested, as defined by Section 8(2)(c).
To enable us to meet your request could you please
resubmit your application in accordance with the above requirements. If for any reason you are unable to do so, please contact
me for assistance or seek assistance from any other available source.
I attach an excerpt from the Information
Commissioner's website which may assist you in composing any future Freedom of Information requests.
can I request under the Freedom of Information Act?
You have the right to request any information held by public
authorities. The Act allows access to recorded information, such as emails, meeting minutes, research or reports held by public
authorities in England, Northern Ireland and Wales and some authorities located in Scotland.
You have not made
a request for recorded information which may be held by the MPS but questions which require a confirmation of a statement.
You will need to be specific as to the recorded information you require.
We will consider your resubmitted request
upon receipt as long as it meets the requirements stated above. You will receive the information requested within the statutory
timescale of 20 working days as defined by the Act, subject to the information not being exempt.
questions are exempt by virtue of Section 30 (1 )(a)(b)(c) and
Section 31(1 )(a)(b)(c) of the Act:
Please see the legal annex for the sections of the Act referred to in this email.
question 1 you asked: What is the precise remit of the Review Team?
At question 2 you asked:
When was that remit agreed?
At question 3 you asked: Who decided the remit?
question 4 you asked: When completed, to whom will the Review Report be presented?
The MPS response
is: This information is exempt by virtue of Section 30(1)(a)(b)(c)
and Section 31(1)(a)(b)(c) of the Act
Constituents of this information attract Section 30 and other constituents attract Section 31 of the Act.
It should not be surmised that we are applying Sections 30 & 31 to the same pieces of information.
Section 30(1 )(a)(i)(ii)(b)(c) of the Act, Public Authorities are able to withhold information if it was obtained or recorded
for the purposes of investigations, criminal proceedings or civil proceedings. In this case the information requested relates
to an ongoing review. Disclosing specific details of a review could potentially impact and undermine any current or future
reviews. This exemption can be applied after evidencing the Harm, which could be caused by its release and following completion
of a Public Interest Test (PIT). The purpose of the PIT is to establish whether the 'Public Interest' lies in disclosing
or withholding the requested information.
Under Section 31(1) (a) (b) (c) of the Act Public Authorities are able
to withhold information where its release could compromise Law Enforcement. In this case the information requested relates
to an ongoing review. Disclosing specific details of a review could potentially impact and undermine any current or future
criminal and /or civil proceedings. This exemption can be applied after evidencing the Harm, which could be caused by its
release and following completion of a Public Interest Test (PIT). The purpose of the PIT is to establish whether the 'Public
Interest' lies in disclosing or withholding the requested information.
This email serves as a Refusal Notice
under Section 17 of the Act .
REASONS FOR DECISION
Before I explain the reasons for
the decisions I have made in relation to your request, I thought that it would be helpful if I outline the parameters set
out by the Act within which a request for information can be answered.
The Act creates a statutory right of access
to information held by public authorities. A public authority in receipt of a request must, if permitted, confirm if the requested
information is held by that public authority and, if so, then communicate that information to the applicant.
right of access to information is not without exception and is subject to a number of exemptions which are designed to enable
public authorities to withhold information that is not suitable for release. Importantly, the Act is designed to place information
into the public domain, that is, once access to information is granted to one person under the Act, it is then considered
public information and must be communicated to any individual should a request be received.
I have considered your
request for information within the provisions set out by the Act. I have addressed your request in order to both confirm if
the requested information is held by the MPS and then to provide this information to you. Where I have been unable to provide
the requested information to you, I have explained my decision in accordance with Section 17 of the Act.
In considering whether or not this information should be disclosed, I have considered the potential
HARM that could be caused by disclosure.
Under the Act, we cannot, and do not request the motives of any applicant
for information. We have no doubt the vast majority of applications under the Act are legitimate and do not have any ulterior
motives, however, in disclosing information to one applicant we are expressing a willingness to provide it to anyone in the
world. This means that a disclosure to a genuinely interested applicant automatically opens it up for a similar disclosure
to anyone, including those who might represent a threat to individuals, or any possible criminal and / or civil process.
Information of this nature needs to be treated with extreme sensitivity, as it could have a detrimental effect on
a review and the operational effectiveness of the MPS and it's ability to fulfil its core function of law enforcement.
High profile reviews, such as this one, are highly emotive and the manner in which they are conducted are usually
kept in strict secrecy so that the tactics and lines of enquiry that are followed do not become public knowledge thereby rendering
Public Interest Test
Public interest considerations favouring
Disclosure of this information would enlighten members of the public as to the action taken
by the MPS in this investigation. This may go some way to promoting awareness, accountability and would reinforce the MPS's
commitment to openness and transparency. Release of this information would assist in any public debate on the MPS's action
during this investigation and would demonstrate the willingness of the MPS to be open and transparent with the public showing
what procedures are carried out.
Public interest considerations favouring non-disclosure
Information relating to an ongoing review will rarely be disclosed and only where there is a strong public interest consideration
favouring disclosure. In this case, release of the requested information could allow individuals to use the information contained
in the remit to undermine the methodology and techniques employed by the MPS and impede current /future investigations. Release
of the remit and the other details could inform suspects of the progress of the review and allow them to use the information
contained in it for criminal activities and to avoid justice.
weighing up the competing interests I have determined that the disclosure of the above information would not be in the public
interest. I consider that the benefit that would result from the information being disclosed does not outweigh disclosing
information relating to your request for information about the remit of The Madeleine McCann Review. The MPS will rarely disclose
information relating to an ongoing review as to do so could adversely harm that investigation.
Section 17 of the Act provides:
(1) A public authority which, in relation
to any request for information, is to any extent relying on a claim that any provision in part II relating to the duty to
confirm or deny is relevant to the request or on a claim that information is exempt information must, within the time for
complying with section 1(1), give the applicant a notice which-
(a) states the fact,Section
8(1)(a)(b)(c)(2)(a)(b)(c) of the Act provides:
(b) specifies the exemption
in question, and
(c) states (if that would not otherwise be apparent) why the exemption applies.
(2) For the purposes of subsection (1)(a), a request
is to be treated as made in writing where the text of the request-
(a) is transmitted by electronic means,Section
30(1)(a)(b)(c) of the Act provides:
(b) is received in legible form, and
(c) is capable of being used for subsequent reference.
(1) Information held by a public authority is exempt information
if it has at any time been held by the authority for the purposes of-
(a) any investigation which the public authority
has a duty to conduct with a view to it being ascertained- Section
31(1)(a)(b)(c) of the Act provides:
(i) whether a person should be charged with an offence,
or(b) any investigation which is conducted
by the authority and in the circumstances may lead to a decision by the authority to institute criminal proceedings which
the authority has power to conduct, or
(ii) whether a person charged with an offence is guilty of it,
(c) any criminal proceedings which the authority has power to conduct.
(1) Information which is not exempt information by virtue of section
30 is exempt information if its disclosure under this Act would, or would be likely to, prejudice-
(a) the prevention
or detection of crime,
(b) the apprehension or prosecution of offenders,
(c) the administration of justice
Request and response 2.doc.pdf (342K)
click here to download file
Home Office response, 17 October 2011
Home Office response
17 October 2011
Thank you for your letter of 3 August 2011 to the Home Secretary on behalf of [redacted] who
expresses concern about the continuing role of the Metropolitan Police into the review into the disappearance of Madeleine
McCann following the phone hacking scandal. I am replying as the Minister responsible for policy in this area. I apologise
for delay in this reply.
Ensuring the integrity of our police is vital for their work and as [redacted] indicates,
any allegations of corruption or favouritism undermines public confidence in whichever police force those officers belong
to, and in policing as a whole. That is why this government will not stand idly by following the recent events. The Prime
Minister announced an independent inquiry in July which will be led by Lord Leveson. Crucially, amongst other issues, the
inquiry will look into the original police investigations and their failings, the issue of corrupt payments to police officers
and the implications of all this for relations between police and the press. The Home Secretary has also asked Her Majesty's
Inspectorate of Constabulary to provide her with recommendations for improving police integrity and the Independent Police
Complaints Commission for a report on their experience of corruption in the police. And we are considering what other powers
may be needed to investigate institutional failings in a force or forces.
Turning to the case of Madeleine McCann
more specifically, it might be helpful if I clarify the Government's role in this matter. Since Madeleine's disappearance
in Portugal some four years ago, the Portuguese authorities have retained the lead in this case. However, the Government has
continued to liaise with them and the police here have been following up any leads and passing information on to the Portuguese
authorities as appropriate.
In view of the passage of time since Madeleine disappeared, in May, the Home Secretary
with the Prime Minister's support, asked the Commissioner for the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) to bring its particular
expertise and know-how to the case which might help provide a fresh perspective and suggest lines of inquiry which might usefully
be pursued. In the light of the request, the Metropolitan Police Commissioner took the operational decision to review the
evidence relating to the case. That work is underway and is part of the UK's continuing contribution to the search for
Madeleine. The MPS have continued to update the Home Secretary on progress with the review and despite recent events involving
the MPS and the allegations of phone hacking, we are satisfied that it is appropriate that they continue to take this forward.
[redacted] also expressed concern about government funding being directed to the review. The nature and scope of the
work will depend on their operational assessment by the MPS of how best their expertise might be used in taking forward the
search for Madeleine. That work is ongoing and it is not possible at this stage to estimate how long the review will take
or the likely costs. The Home Office will provide necessary funding and this will be subject to the Home Office and the MPS
reviewing together the value and cost of the work at each stage. While Madeleine remains missing we will continue to do what
we can in the search for her.
[redacted] suggests that the results of the review and associated costs are published.
Under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 the public has a general right of access to all types of recorded information held
by public authorities. It also sets out exemptions from that right and places a number of obligations on public authorities.
The Act applies to the vast majority of public authorities in the United Kingdom, including the MPS. Therefore, [redacted]
is free to submit a request to the MPS for information relating to this case.
Scotland Yard officers in Spain as search for Maddy crosses the border, 05 December
|Scotland Yard officers in Spain as search for Maddy crosses the border Evening Standard
Justin Davenport, Crime Editor
5 Dec 2011
Scotland Yard detectives examining the Madeleine McCann case have flown to Spain, the Standard can reveal.
Homicide officers have met Spanish colleagues in Barcelona in the last two weeks to hold talks over her disappearance.
The trip widens inquiries by officers carrying out the "investigative review" into the three-year-old's
disappearance from a Portuguese holiday resort in 2007. Police are believed to be discussing reports that Madeleine may have
been abducted and smuggled across the border to Spain.
Detectives have also travelled to Portugal three times to
meet detectives involved in the original investigation.
Kate and Gerry McCann, Madeleine's parents, issued
a statement today hailing the work of the Metropolitan Police, saying : "We are pleased that the review is making progress."
Their comments came after they made an emotional appearance at the Leveson inquiry into press standards, when they
told how they were left distraught by suggestions they were responsible for their daughter's death.
Yard was called in to carry out a review of the McCann files this year after a request by Prime Minister David Cameron. The
McCanns had asked him to help revive the search for their daughter, who disappeared shortly before her fourth birthday while
the family was on holiday in the Algarve.
She vanished from a holiday flat in the resort of Praia da Luz as her
parents, both doctors, were dining with friends nearby.
Since then there have been hundreds of "sightings"
of Madeleine around the world but none confirmed. The official police inquiry into her disappearance was shelved in July 2008
but private detectives employed by the McCanns continued the search. Scotland Yard says the trips to Portugal, and now Spain,
are part of "laying the ground work" for future co-operation between the police forces.
They are playing
down any suggestion of a breakthrough in the case but the visits raise the possibility that British detectives will be involved
in an active role in any future inquiries. In July Scotland Yard said it would examine all the evidence connected to the case,
including material gathered by private investigators.
One theory - among the many others - was that the child was
snatched by a paedophile gang and smuggled over the border to Spain an hour's drive away, or even taken there by boat.
There were sightings of someone matching her appearance in Spain shortly after she disappeared and Portuguese authorities
were criticised for not alerting border and police officials until 12 hours after she went missing.
team is believed to have been discussing these reports with Spanish colleagues.
Detectives spent the first five
months reading a huge file of case material which had to be translated into English from Portuguese.
The Met says
it has been in close liaison with the McCann family about their actions. The Yard emphasises that the Portuguese police remain
the "lead force".
A Met Police spokesman said: "There has been very good co-operation with Portuguese
authorities and liaison will continue.
"Officers have travelled to Portugal three times in connection with
the investigative review and three officers travelled to Barcelona. They are continuing to discuss how to take it forward
and we are hopeful that we will be able to do that."
Madeleine McCann: Yard Cops Fly To Spain, 05 December 2011
Madeleine McCann: Yard Cops Fly To Spain Sky News
Monday, 5th December 2011 13:13
Yard detectives have spent time in Spain as part of their re-examination of the disappearance of Madeleine McCann in Portugal.
The Metropolitan Police joined the hunt for the missing girl, who vanished in 2007, following a request by Home Secretary
Theresa May made with the backing of Prime Minister David Cameron.
The force has now revealed that detectives working
on the case flew to Spain as part of their review and spent three days with police in Barcelona.
|Kate and Gerry McCann arriving at the Leveson inquiry last month
Officers working on the case also travelled to Portugal three times as they continue to hunt for leads.
The Met has vowed there will be no limits in its re-examination of how Madeleine disappeared from a holiday flat in
Praia da Luz in the Algarve.
A huge hunt was launched after she went missing on May 3, 2007 while her parents Kate
and Gerry dined with friends nearby but she has never been found.
Her frustrated parents, both doctors who live
in Rothley, Leicestershire, have battled to retain the case's high-profile.
Mrs McCann wrote on the Find Madeleine
website at the end of October: "It is a big relief to us that our Government finally agreed for a review to take place.
"We are grateful to them and to the Metropolitan Police Service for undertaking this fundamental and highly valuable
procedure which has been underway now for several months.
"Although it will be a lengthy and difficult process,
it is definitely a major step forward for Madeleine."
Detectives refused to reveal what led them to Barcelona
between November 23 and 25, but a Scotland Yard spokesman said: "The review continues.
"There has been
very good co-operation with Portuguese authorities and liaison will continue. We are not prepared to discuss specific details
of these visits nor speculate about any future deployments to Portugal or elsewhere."
Detective Chief Inspector
Andy Redwood, the senior investigating officer, is understood to have been among a team of detectives who went on the trips.
|Madeleine McCann was snatched from an apartment in Praia da Luz
Sky's crime correspondent Martin Brunt says police are not
believed to have made a breakthrough and are still doing the groundwork of liaising with foreign officers.
of 30 people are now working on the force's Operation Grange.
The review prompted criticism when it was launched
in May, with politicians expressing concerns that it would divert resources from other crime victims.
detectives, helped by officers from Leicestershire Police, carried out a massive investigation into Madeleine's disappearance.
But the official inquiry was formally shelved in July 2008, after which no police force was actively looking for her.
The Madeleine Team Spreads Its Wings Sky News Blogs
December 05, 2011 2:52 PM
The Madeleine McCann review
team are certainly clocking up the miles and expanding their horizons.
Initially we were told that the Scotland
Yard review would be largely a paper exercise, but now we learn three detectives spent a few days in Barcelona last month.
That's on top of three trips to Portugal since the Prime Minister ordered the review on the fourth anniversary
of Madeleine's disappearance in May, 2007.
Why Barcelona? Perhaps because that was the base of the private
investigators Metodo 3 the McCanns hired at great and mostly fruitless expense.
Or is it because that was the sighting
of the Victoria Beckham-lookalike suspect, seen and heard outside a marina restaurant asking a complete stranger: "Have
you got the girl?".
The Yard is reluctant to discuss details of the latest trip, maybe because staff are conscious
of the expense totting up by its 30-man squad at a time of severe cutbacks.
Some senior cops felt they were bounced
into the "investigative review" by an over-anxious Prime Minister who responded to pleas from Kate and Gerry McCann.
In the old days a full-team from the Yard was regularly parachuted in to help rescue major unsolved crimes, home and
And I'm sure they are just as welcome in Portugal and Spain as they were in Pontefract and Stevenage.
Detectives travel to Barcelona in hunt for Madeleine McCann 'to probe reports
she was smuggled to Spain', 05 December 2011
|Detectives travel to Barcelona in hunt for Madeleine McCann 'to probe reports she was smuggled
to Spain' Daily Mail
• Suggestions they could be looking into reports child was smuggled over border
from Portugal to Spain
By Emily Allen
updated at 6:43 PM on 5th December 2011
Detectives investigating the disappearance of Madeleine McCann have flown to Spain as part of a review
into the case.
Two officers from Scotland Yard travelled to Barcelona two weeks ago to liaise with officers as
part of a review of the whole investigation.
They would not confirm their specific reasons for travelling to the
city, however it is thought they might be looking into reports the three-year-old was abducted and smuggled over the border
from Portugal to Spain.
This morning Clarence Mitchell, the McCanns spokesman told MailOnline: 'Kate and Gerry
welcome the on-going work by the Metropolitan Police and they are pleased that the investigative review is making progress.'
The trip is part of the Met Police's 'investigative review' into all the work done since the investigation
into the missing child began in 2007.
It was ordered by David Cameron and Home Secretary Theresa May in May last
As part of the review detectives have also travelled to Portugal three times to speak with officers who worked
on the original investigation.
They also spent the first five months reading all the information from the case
file which had to be translated from Portuguese to English.
There are no suggestions of any major breakthroughs in
The Evening Standard said officers could be investigating one theory that the toddler was abducted by
a paedophile gang and smuggled over the border to Spain either in a vehicle or by boat.
There were sightings of a girl matching Madeleine's appearance
in Spain shortly after she vanished and Portuguese authorities were criticised for not informing border officials for 12 hours
after they first knew she was missing.
In September 2009 the McCanns received 1,000 reports following an appeal
of a Victoria Beckham lookalike seen in Barcelona who they thought may be connected to the disappearance of their daughter.
Investigators wanted to trace the woman, said to have been acting suspiciously, who asked a witness at a Barcelona
marina if he was there to deliver her 'new daughter' on May 7, 2007.
The well-dressed woman was described
as possibly having an Australian accent and appeared agitated.
Madeline, from Rothley, Leicestershire, vanished
from Portuguese holiday resort Praia da Luz in the Algarve four years ago. She was asleep in the family's holiday apartment
with her brother Sean and sister Amelie when she vanished on May 3, 2007 shortly before her fourth birthday.
parents Gerry and Kate McCann, both doctors, were eating at a nearby tapas restaurant with friends at the time.
A Met Police spokesman said two officers had travelled to Portugal
three times for the investigative review and two officers travelled to the Spanish city between November 23 and 25.
He would not reveal any further details but added: 'The investigative review is on-going.'
Portuguese and Leicestershire police investigation into Madeleine's disappearance ended in July 2008. However private
detectives working for the McCanns have been working to trace her ever since.
British police visited Spain in missing Madeleine case, 05 December 2011
British police visited Spain in missing Madeleine case AFP
|Gerry and Kate McCann have been searching for their daughter for more than four years
British detectives visited the Spanish
city of Barcelona last month as part of their review of the disappearance of British girl Madeleine McCann from a holiday
flat in Portugal, police said on Monday.
"Three officers went to Barcelona on November 23-25 as part of the
review of the case," a spokesman from London's Metropolitan police said.
He said he had "no idea"
if the visit was linked to claims which appeared in the British press in 2009 that Madeleine might have been transported by
sea to Barcelona after being snatched from the Algarve resort of Praia da Luz in 2007.
The Met has said there will
be no limits in its re-examination of the evidence.
Madeleine went missing from an apartment in the Algarve resort
of Praia da Luz on May 3, 2007, a few days before her fourth birthday, as her parents and their friends dined at a restaurant
Portuguese police wound up their investigation after 14 months, but Madeleine's parents Kate and Gerry
won an assurance from British Prime Minister David Cameron in May that the Met would help to re-examine the evidence.
The Met spokesman said there had been "excellent cooperation" with the Portuguese authorities.
Madeleine - Police: We are making progress,
06 December 2011
Madeleine - Police: We are making progress Daily Express (paper edition)
By John Twomey
Tuesday December 6, 2011
reveal four secret visits to Spain and Portugal
Madeleine McCann: Police:
We are making progress Daily Express
Tuesday December 6,2011
SCOTLAND Yard detectives made a secret visit to Spain in the hunt for Madeleine McCann, it was revealed yesterday.
Officers spent three days in Barcelona for confidential talks with Spanish police and law enforcement officials.
The Yard confirmed the summit had taken place as it emerged detectives have so far made three visits to Portugal in
the hunt for new leads.
And police sources said yesterday: "We are making progress." Madeleine's
parents, Kate and Gerry McCann, praised the Yard yesterday and said: "We are pleased the review is making progress."
Madeleine was three when she vanished from a holiday flat at the resort of Praia da Luz on the Algarve, Portugal,
in May 2007.
No trace of her has been found and there is no clear picture about what happened.
line of inquiry was that she had been kidnapped by a paedophile gang and was smuggled into Spain by road or sea. Speculation
that the key to the mystery lay across the border was fuelled by several sightings in Spain in the days following Madeleine's
The three-man team from the Yard's Operation Grange squad spoke in detail about the sightings
and various theories with their Spanish counterparts.
The trip to Spain last month and the visits to Portugal are
believed to be "laying the ground work" for future liaison between police in the three countries.
is no question that the trips either to Spain or Portugal have produced any major breakthroughs. More liaison visits are planned
for the near future.
Yesterday, a Yard spokeswoman confirmed the three detectives spent three days in Barcelona
from November 23 to 25. She added: "The review continues. There has been very good co-operation with Portuguese authorities
and liaison will continue.
"We are not prepared to discuss specific details of these visits nor speculate
about any future deployments to Portugal or elsewhere."
Portuguese police, assisted by Leicestershire Police
– the McCanns' home force – carried out a massive investigation into Madeleine's disappearance. But the
official inquiry was formally shelved in July 2008.
The McCanns, both doctors from Rothley, Leicestershire, are
convinced clues were missed and potentially vital leads never followed up.
In despair, the couple hired a team
of private investigators.
The Yard launched Operation Grange in May following a request to the then Commissioner
Sir Paul Stephenson from Home Secretary Theresa May, backed by the Prime Minister.
In August, police made their
first of three visits to Portugal for talks with the officers involved in the original inquiry.
It is believed
30 officers are working on the review under Detective Chief Inspector Andy Redwood, who is thought to have taken part in the
There was unease among some politicians about the amount of resources dedicated to the review.
The Operation Grange team is solely engaged on the Madeleine case while other squads handle several murder investigations
and cold case reviews at the same time.
Mrs McCann, 43, and Mr McCann, 42, a heart specialist, are convinced a
major breakthrough will now eventually be made.
Kate McCann wrote on the Find Madeleine website at the end of October:
"It is a big relief to us that our Government finally agreed for a review to take place. We are grateful to them and
to the Metropolitan Police Service for undertaking this fundamental and highly valuable procedure.
it will be a lengthy and difficult process, it is definitely a major step forward for Madeleine."
say they will never give up hope of finding their daughter alive.
On the website they state: "There is absolutely
nothing to suggest that Madeleine has been harmed. Madeleine is still missing and someone needs to be looking for her.
"She is very young and vulnerable and needs our help. We love her dearly and miss her beyond words."
Portuguese files reveal there have been reported sightings of Madeleine in the US, Hong Kong and New Zealand as well
as Portugal and Spain.
Maddie: Attorney General's Office not part of new investigations, 06 December 2011
Maddie: Attorney General's Office not part of new
Investigators were in Barcelona, but not here, assure the Attorney General's Office
By: Paula Oliveira | 6- 12- 2011 13: 24
With thanks to Astro for translation
The English police is investigating the disappearance of Maddie McCann
without the assistance of the Portuguese authorities. This information has been confirmed to TVI24 by the [Portuguese] Republic's
Three Scotland Yard investigators were in Barcelona between the 23rd and the 25th of November,
following leads in the disappearance of the English child that disappeared from an apartment in Praia da Luz, in the Algarve,
in 2007. The presence of investigators in Spain may indicate that the child was taken across the border. But Scotland Yard
did not contact the Portuguese investigators.
"Scotland Yard did not have any contact with the Attorney General's
Office about that issue. In the process, there is no knowledge of the existence of any new data/facts about Maddie's disappearance.
The process will only be reopened under the regulations of article 279 of the Penal Process Code, which is to say, if any
new elements appear that invalidate the basis for the archiving," the Attorney General's Office states in a written
reply to TVI24.
The case was archived by the Attorney General's Office. Approximately one year ago, Pinto Monteiro
[the Attorney General] asserted that he would only reopen it if new data appeared.
In May last year, Scotland Yard
reopened the process after the personal intervention of the United Kingdom's prime minister, David Cameron.
is not known whether the British investigators have discovered any new fact that the Portuguese police failed to notice.
In August this year, Scotland Yard confirmed to [Portuguese news] agency Lusa that they traveled to Portugal in order
to discuss the Maddie case with Portuguese investigators. At that time, the Judiciary Police (PJ) and the Attorney General
said they did not know about that information.
Police re-open probe into Victoria Beckham lookalike 'waiting to receive Maddie
after she was snatched and smuggled to Spain', 06 December 2011
|Police re-open probe into Victoria Beckham lookalike 'waiting to receive Maddie after she
was snatched and smuggled to Spain' Daily Mail
• Incident in Barcelona happened four days after child disappeared from Algarve
By DAVID RICHARDS
Last updated at 2:27 PM
on 6th December 2011
Scotland Yard detectives have flown to Spain to investigate whether Madeleine McCann was abducted and
smuggled across the border from Portugal before being delivered to a Victoria Beckham lookalike.
who visited Barcelona last month, are believed to be re-examining reports that the well-dressed woman asked businessman at
the city's marina if he was there to deliver her 'new daughter' shortly after the youngster's disappearance.
The man, who was chaperoning his brother on a stag party, was too shocked to reply and the woman repeated the question
twice more. A second member of the party also spoke to the woman before she left.
Madeleine was nearly four when she went missing from her
family's holiday flat in Praia da Luz in the Algarve on May 3, 2007 as her parents Kate and Gerry dined with friends nearby.
The incident with the woman happened on May 7.
The theory is that the child may have been snatched by a paedophile
gang and smuggled into Spain – an hour's drive away from her family's holiday flat.
hired by the McCanns have always believed that the suspicious incident in the Spanish port could be significant.
They made a public appeal for information about the woman, said to have an Australian or New Zealand accent and able to
speak fluent Spanish, who approached the Britons drinking in a bar at 2am.
One man was approached by the woman,
who was reportedly between 30 and 35, in the belief that he was someone she was expecting to meet.
her as appearing 'agitated'.
Madeleine, from Rothley, Leicestershire, vanished from
the Algarve holiday resort four years ago. She was asleep in the family's holiday apartment with her brother and sister
when she vanished shortly before her fourth birthday.
The detectives who flew to Barcelona spent three days with
their Spanish colleagues and are among 30 Metropolitan Police officers carrying out a review of her case. They are also examining
possible sightings of Madeleine after she vanished.
There were a number of sightings of children matching her description
in Spain shortly after she disappeared, and Portuguese authorities were criticised for not alerting border and police officials
until 12 hours after she went missing.
In July, Scotland Yard said it would examine all the evidence connected
to the case, including material gathered by private investigators, after a request by David Cameron.
then spent months reading a huge file of case material that had to be translated from Portuguese to English.
police played down any suggestion of a breakthrough in the case, but Madeleine's parents Kate and Gerry McCann said they
were 'pleased that the review is making progress'.
A Met police spokesman said: 'There has been very
good co-operation with Portuguese authorities and liaison will continue.
'Officers have travelled to Portugal
three times in connection with the investigative review, and three officers travelled to Barcelona. They are continuing to
discuss how to take it forward and we are hopeful that we will be able to do that.'
Madeleine detective fly to Spain, 11
By James Murray
SCOTLAND Yard detectives will fly to Spain to pursue
leads that Madeleine McCann was kidnapped to order by organised criminals.
When three officers
flew to Barcelona for two days last month they met detectives from Spain's Drugs and Organised Crime Unit.
theory being considered is that Madeleine's abduction was part of a sophisticated child kidnap racket, possibly involving
The McCann's private investigator Dave Edgar has had discussions with Scotland Yard about
a woman in Barcelona who has never been traced.
Four days after Madeleine vanished from Praia da Luz in Portugal
on May 3, 2007, the woman, a Victoria Beckham lookalike, spoke to a British man on a stag night and asked him a strange question
along the lines of: "Have you got her? Have you got the child?"
She appeared to be expecting to meet
a man at 2am who would be handing over a child.
Scotland Yard will be examining that contact.
Screenshots from Telecinco: Breaking News,
14 December 2011
Scotland Yard searches for clues about Madeleine
McCann in Barcelona, 14 December 2011
|Scotland Yard searches for clues about Madeleine McCann
in Barcelona El Periódico de Cataluña
New research in the case of the missing child
detectives pass their investigations to the British officers
NAVARRO - MADRID
Wednesday, 14 December 2011
With thanks to Joana Morais for translation
Police from Scotland Yard seek
clues about the mysterious disappearance of the little girl, Madeleine McCann, which occurred on May 3, 2007 in the Portuguese
Algarve, where she was on holiday with her parents. The little girl disappeared a few days before her fourth birthday.
from Scotland Yard and the Spanish National Police carry boxes with documents given by the detective agency, yesterday in
The British detectives collected yesterday, from the investigative agency Método 3, various
boxes with copies of all the documentation that the private detectives had accumulated during the six months they worked for
the parents of the girl. The London Metropolitan police reopened the case last May by order of the prime minister, David Cameron,
due to a request made by the parents.
Since then, Scotland Yard, has been reviewing the investigations that were
carried out. They also have available a copy of the Portuguese police investigation, that archived the case in July of 2008
due to lack of evidence. Scotland Yard has allocated thirty people to this new investigation.
On the night of her
disappearance, Madeleine slept in an apartment in Praia da Luz with her two siblings whilst her parents dined at the
nearby bar. Neither the police investigation, nor the private searches supported by the parents, nor the noisy media circus
created around the dozens of alleged clues of the most varied kind have been able to explain what happened.
Maddy police 'following eight major new
leads', 14 December 2011
Maddy police 'following eight major new leads' Evening Standard
Tom Worden in Barcelona and Justin
14 Dec 2011
Scotland Yard detectives searching for Madeleine McCann are examining
up to eight "very important" new leads after meeting Spanish private investigators, it was claimed today.
Four officers yesterday visited the Barcelona HQ of Metodo 3, the agency employed to look for her by Madeleine's parents
Kate and Gerry for six months after she vanished.
The British officers, from a 30-strong Met team reviewing the
case, took away 30 boxes of documents compiled by the private detectives.
The agency's director, Francisco
Marco, said there were "six, seven or eight very important leads" within the files which he claimed could help police
to solve the case.
Madeleine, of Rothley in Leicestershire, disappeared from her parents' holiday apartment
in Praia da Luz on the Algarve in Portugal in May 2007. She was days short of her fourth birthday.
It is the second
visit by British officers, who were in Barcelona last month. Mr Marco said on Spanish TV today: "We have provided them
with all the documents and information we have collated worldwide about Madeleine's disappearance so they can continue
the investigations we carried out in Spain, Morocco and the rest of the world.
"I think there are six, seven
or eight very important leads in there."
He claimed Portuguese police ignored the leads for political reasons,
and that when his investigators visited Portugal, "we were never allowed to do a proper job. The English police are now
continuing with an investigation which should never have been closed".
Asked if he believed Madeleine is still
alive, Mr Marco said: "When we were investigating we were always trying to find a living child. Hopefully for the parents
she will be found alive."
Madeleine's parents, who have younger twins, a boy and a girl, hired Metodo
3 to find Madeleine four months after she vanished, for a reported £50,000 a month.
The agency, which it
was claimed had 40 staff working on the case, sent a team to Morocco to chase up leads that she might have been smuggled out
Today Mr Marco said he still believed that was "very possibly" what happened to her but
he refused to give more details on the leads.
Eight strong leads in Madeleine McCann's disappearance were ignored by Portuguese
police says private detective, 14 December 2011
|Eight strong leads in Madeleine McCann's disappearance were ignored by Portuguese police says
private detective Daily Mail
• 30 boxes of files handed over to Scotland Yard
• Agency followed
leads in Spain and Morocco
• Portuguese police criticised for closing case
By TOM WORDEN
Last updated at 3:13 PM on 14th December 2011
Scotland Yard detectives searching for Madeleine McCann are examining up to eight 'very important'
new leads after meeting private investigators in Spain, it emerged today.
Yesterday four detectives visited the
Barcelona headquarters of Metodo 3 - a Spanish agency that spent six months working for Madeleine's parents Kate and Gerry.
The British officers - from a 30-strong Metropolitan Police team carrying out a review of the case - took away around
30 boxes of documents compiled by the private investigators.
Afterwards the agency's director, Francisco Marco,
said there were 'six, seven or eight very important leads' within the files that could help police locate Madeleine.
Mr Marco also criticised Portuguese police for failing to follow up those leads, and for shelving the Madeleine investigation.
He was a guest on the Spanish TV show The Ana Rosa Programme this morning, and said: 'We have provided (Scotland
Yard) with all the documents and information we have collated worldwide about Madeleine's disappearance so they can continue
the investigations we carried out in Spain, Morocco and the rest of the world.
'I think there are six, seven
or eight very important leads in there.
'They were passed at the time to Portuguese police
who ignored them because it was a very politicised issue and they didn't want to look into anything that didn't come
from their own sources... because of Portuguese chauvinism in this case, because they didn't want the English (police)
or private detectives to discover more than they did.
'Every time anyone from Metodo 3 went to Portugal they
were continually followed and monitored to see what they were doing.
'We were never allowed to do a proper
job. Scotland Yard can now continue with all the work we did outside of Portugal and inside Portugal as well.
'The English police are now continuing with an investigation
which should never have been closed.'
Asked if he believed Madeleine was still alive, Mr Marco said: 'When
we were investigating we were always trying to find a living child.
'I'm not going to answer your question
because I don't want to offend the parents.
'Hopefully for the parents she will be found alive.
'I am a father, and to lose a child and not know where he or she is is the worst thing in the world.'
Today Barcelona-based newspaper El Periodico de Catalunya published
photographs of the Scotland Yard detectives, wearing suits, leaving the offices of Metodo 3, in the plush Eixample district
of the city.
Metodo 3 were hired by the McCanns to look for their daughter in September 2007 - four months after
Madeleine, days short of her fourth birthday, went missing during a family holiday in Praia da Luz, on the Algarve.
Metodo 3 were reportedly paid £50,000 a month to search for Madeleine and sent a team to Morocco to chase up leads
that she might have been smuggled out of Portugal to north Africa.
Mr Marco was in daily contact with the McCanns,
both doctors, from Rothley, Leicestershire, and claimed he had 40 staff working on the case.
In December 2007 he
was criticised after claiming in a newspaper interview that he knew who had abducted Madeleine and would have her home for
Metodo 3 continued to work part-time on the search for Madeleine after their six-month contract - funded
by the McCanns' backer Brian Kennedy and the Find Madeleine Fund - expired.
Today Mr Marco said he still believed
it was 'very possible' Madeleine had been smuggled out of Portugal to Morocco. He refused to go into further detail
about the nature of the fresh leads.
Also included in the files taken by Scotland Yard are investigations the agency
carried out into Raymond Hewlett, a convicted British paedophile who was in Portugal when Madeleine went missing and left
for Morocco three weeks later.
Hewlett, an ex-soldier and convicted child rapist, died of throat cancer at the
age of 64 in Germany last year having refused to talk to detectives about Madeleine's disappearance.
Cameron asked the Met to examine all the evidence connected to the Madeleine case in July.
Scotland Yard detectives
travelled to Spain last month to meet officers from the National Police and Civil Guard force.
They were also reportedly
interested in chasing up a suspicious incident in Barcelona three days after Madeleine went missing.
woman with an Australian or New Zealand accent, described as looking like Victoria Beckham, is said to have approached a British
tourist in the city's port area and asked him: 'Are you here to deliver my new daughter?'
Madeleine McCann investigators find "eight
important leads", 15 December 2011
Madeleine McCann investigators find "eight important
leads" Daily Mirror
|Madeleine McCann has been missing since May 2007
Spanish private detectives claim they have handed Scotland Yard up to eight "very important leads"
in the search for missing girl Madeleine McCann.
Four Metropolitan Police officers held talks with Barcelona firm
Metodo 3, which investigated her disappearance on behalf of the family, sources said.
Officers travelled to Spain
yesterday to pick up around 30 boxes of documents, investigator Francisco Marco Fernandez told Spanish TV.
who was hired by parents Kate and Gerry for six months, told the Ana Rosa Programme he provided police "with all the
documents and information we have collated worldwide about Madeleine's disappearance"
"I think there
are six, seven or eight very important leads in there," he added.
A Scotland Yard spokesman refused to confirm
the meeting took place. "We will not be providing a running commentary," he added.
|Parents Kate and Gerry McCann
Family spokesman Clarence Mitchell added: "Kate and Gerry will
simply not be commenting whilst the Metropolitan Police review of Madeleine's case is under way.
remain pleased that the Met team is continuing its work and that progress is being made."
It is the second
time officers are understood to have visited the Spanish city.
A team also spent three days with Spanish colleagues
in Barcelona last month discussing the girl's disappearance across the border in Portugal.
Police force has said there would be no limits in its re-examination of the search.
Madeleine was nearly four when
she went missing from her family's holiday flat in Praia da Luz in the Algarve on May 3 2007 as her parents dined with
|The hotel in Algarve, Portgugal where Madeleine McCann went missing
Police have also travelled to Portugal three times in connection
with the fresh review. A total of 30 people are now working on the force's Operation Grange.
The review prompted
criticism when it was launched in May, with politicians expressing concerns that it would divert resources from other crime
It was sparked after a request from Home Secretary Theresa May supported by Prime Minister David Cameron.
Portuguese detectives, helped by officers from Leicestershire Police, carried out a massive investigation into Madeleine's
But the official inquiry was formally shelved in July 2008 and since then no police force has been
actively looking for the missing child.
Madeleine McCann: Cops' 8 new tips, 15
Madeleine McCann: Cops' 8 new tips Daily Star
By Jerry Lawton, Chief Crime
15th December 2011
BRITISH police hunting for Madeleine McCann were last night
examining up to eight "important" leads after meeting private eyes.
Four detectives visited
the Spanish HQ of the Metodo 3 investigation agency, which spent six months working for parents Kate and Gerry.
Brit officers, from a 30-strong Metropolitan Police team carrying out a review of the case, took away around 30 boxes of documents.
The agency's director Francisco Marco told a Spanish TV show: "I think there are six, seven or eight very
important leads in there.
"They were passed at the time to Portuguese police who ignored them because it was
a very politicised issue.
"They didn't want to look into anything that didn't come from their own
sources because of Portuguese chauvinism.
"We were never allowed to do a proper job. Scotland Yard can now
continue with all the work we did inside and outside of Portugal."
Asked if he thought Madeleine was still
alive, Mr Marco said: "When we were investigating we were always trying to find a living child. I'm not going to
answer your question because I don't want to offend the parents. Hopefully for the parents she will be found alive."
Metodo 3 were hired by the McCanns to look for their daughter in September 2007, four months after the then three-year-old
vanished from the couple's holiday apartment in the Portuguese resort of Praia da Luz.
They sent a team to
Morocco to chase up leads that she might have been smuggled out of Portugal to north Africa.
Included in the files
are investigations into Raymond Hewlett, a convicted British paedophile who was in Portugal when Madeleine went missing and
left for Morocco three weeks later.
A Scotland Yard spokesman said: "We are not prepared to comment at this
stage on the work being carried out by the review team but we can confirm some of our officers met with Spanish private detectives
Meanwhile, a newspaper legal expert told the Leveson Inquiry he believed the McCann family gave
his paper permission to publish part of Kate McCann's diary.
Tom Crone, The News Of The World's former
legal manager, told the inquiry into press ethics that a representative for Madeleine's family "had given the OK".
Maddie Tec: Cops ignored 8 leads Daily Star (paper edition headline)
Front page leader:
Cops' 8 new tips
POLICE searching for missing Madeleine McCann have up to eight "very important"
Detectives from London's Met police are examining the clues, which were previously ignored by bungling
officers in Portugal.
Full story: Page 7
[article same as online]
Hope for McCanns Daily Star says...
15th December 2011
IT'S hard to believe that it is more
than four years since Madeleine McCann's disappearance.
But the news that there are now up to eight
new leads to investigate is the biggest breakthrough for a long time.
It also confirms what many suspected all
along – that the Portuguese police were more interested in protecting their own reputations than finding Madeleine.
Thankfully, Madeleine's parents have never given up hope and have continued the search for her.
with the help of investigators they have lots of fresh new evidence to examine.
Kate and Gerry McCann deserve to
know what exactly happened to their daughter.
Let's hope these new leads come to something, for their sakes.
Madeleine: Secret files reveal four 'sightings'
in Morocco, 18 December 2011
Madeleine: Secret files reveal four 'sightings' in
Morocco Sunday Express
By EXCLUSIVE from James Murray
Sunday December 18,2011
SCOTLAND YARD detectives have been given a vast dossier of unpublished details about possible sightings of Madeleine
McCann that might provide a breakthrough in the four-year hunt.
Today the Sunday Express can reveal that
among the Spanish private detective agency's secret files are key "sightings" of Madeleine in Morocco.
Metodo 3 director general Francisco Marco Fernandez last week gave 30 boxes of documents to four Yard detectives at his
office in Barcelona.
Speaking exclusively to the Sunday Express, the private eye said: "I think this could
be a significant moment in the effort to discoverwhat happened to the child. I am very glad all our leads will now be looked
at by the Yard because they are important.
"There were about eight interesting leads which they will examine
but I cannot say any more because I have agreed total secrecy with Scotland Yard."
He reluctantly spoke of
four "interesting" sightings in Morocco after Madeleine, then aged four, disappeared from her holiday apartment
in Praia da Luz, Portugal, on May 3, 2007.
It is known there were two possible sightings in Marrakech: one
was at a petrol station when a child strongly resembling her was seen going into a shop three months after she was snatched.
A witness told Metodo 3 she had the same unusual eye feature as Madeleine.
There was another sighting
of a child resembling Madeleine at an adjacent hotel on the same day at around the same time.
In a third sighting,
a Moroccan-looking woman was seen carrying a blonde-haired, white-skinned girl.
The child was eventually identified
as the five-year-old daughter of an olive farmer.
Mr Fernandez would not say if any of the four sightings in the
secret dossier were already known but said: "It is very intriguing information.
"We took inquiries as
far as we could and then handed it over to the Portuguese police. We did it all in the proper way, wrote a report then gave
it to Spanish police and they would pass it on to the Portuguese police for us.
"We never really heard back
from the Portuguese so I can't say what they did."
Asked if he ever spoke to the former Portuguese detective
in charge of the hunt, Goncalo Amaral, he frowned and shook his head. "Don't talk to me about that man," he
said. "I can't believe the things he said in his book. He got it so wrong."
However, Mr Amaral told
the Sunday Express that Metodo 3 never provided a strong lead. "They gave information about sightings but it was not
enough and you could not prove it was Madeleine," he said.
A source close to Metodo 3 said: "Officially
or unofficially Metodo 3 have never stopped looking for Madeleine. It was the biggest job they were ever given. People literally
went all over the world and it has become very personal for many of them."
When Mr Fernandez was asked if
Madeleine's parents, Gerry and Kate McCann, had requested him to hand over his files to the Yard, said: "Of course,
I would need their permission but I am not going to say any more. All our dealings with the McCanns are confidential
In November the Scotland Yard detectives hunting for Madeleine spent two days talking to high-ranking
Spanish detectives with expertise in organised crime syndicates in Spain and Portugal. Among theories being examined was that
she was smuggled out of Portugal on a yacht which sailed to Barcelona.
At the city's marina on May 7,
2007, a British holidaymaker told private investigators about a bizarre encounter.
In the early hours a woman asked
him if he was about to deliver her "new" daughter.
That woman has never been traced.
activities have given new hope to doctors Kate and Gerry McCann, both 43, of Rothley, Leicestershire. Yesterday their spokesman
Clarence Mitchell said: "They are very pleased that police are continuing to work and review the case and that progress
is being made.
"They welcome this and hope the team will bring a new perspective to the case. For operational
reasons we cannot comment on details of the review but it is a step in the right direction."
Kate has criticised
officers in the botched Portuguese investigation for not bothering to follow up leads in North Africa, particularly the
sighting in Marrakesh.
In her book, Madeleine, she tells of her anger that little was done about the sighting at
a petrol station near Marrakesh.
A month later police were told the witness had still not been interviewed.
She writes: "It was intolerable. This was our daughter's life they were dealing with, not a stolen car radio."
Cops rule Maddie abducted, 18 December 2011
By Sunday Star Reporter
18th December 2011
POLICE have finally admitted Madeleine McCann was abducted four years ago.
Her parents Kate
and Gerry had fought authorities to accept she was snatched from their holiday apartment in Portugal.
But only now have detectives put in writing that her case is one of abduction.
The Met at first refused
to release paperwork under the Freedom of Information Act on the grounds it would "adversely harm the investigation".
But, after an appeal, police finally handed over details to the Daily Star Sunday last week after a wait of nearly
A source close to the McCanns, both 43, said: "Kate and Gerry are pleased the police are treating
it as an abduction because that's what they have said was the case since Madeleine went missing."
Yard review of Madeleine's case began in May after pressure from the Prime Minister and Home Secretary Theresa May.
Met police spokesman Simon Fisher told the Daily Star Sunday the terms allowed for "investigating any
sort of lead" from studying the files.
A spokesman for the McCanns said: "We are pleased the
review is making progress."
Investigations into missing people never
expire, 02 January 2012
Investigations into missing people never expire Diário de Notícias (paper edition)
PRIORITIES Cases involving children are considered
urgent. Very often a disappearance turns out to be a crime of homicide.
2 January 2012
With thanks to Joana Morais for translation
92 missing people appear in the Polícia Judiciária's
database, including adults and children. The inspector Ramos Caniço points out a fundamental difference between homicide
cases and investigations into missing people: "Missing people cases never expire. Homicide cases lapse 15 years after
the crime, if an arguido isn't constituted."
In investigations into the missing there is
also a principle investigators have already in mind. "Most adults disappear on their own free will." This means
investigations into missing children are always a priority. And then there are cases that are kept in the missing persons
database even though they are classed with a different category. "Madeleine McCann is a case registered as an abduction,
even though there isn't any evidence that she was kidnapped."
In the cases of the missing found dead,
the cause of death is, usually, an accident. Ramos Caniço gives the the example of an elderly man who was found dead
by the police section that investigates missing people cases in Lisbon, just six days after being reported missing. "He
fell down in a ditch close to a river three kilometres away from his house. He died of cold."
In 2010, the
missing people section of Lisbon started investigating a case that turned out to be an homicide. "The corpse of a man
was found floating in a dam in Alentejo. The man was reported as missing, however, it was a homicide case. We found the suspect
in Lisbon withdrawing money with the victim's credit card and the case was transferred to the Homicide unit."
In cases of missing children, the missing people section of Lisbon guarantees that "at present, there is no child
aged up to ten years old missing in the Lisbon area." The exception to this being the very old cold cases.
"Processes: In 2011 the PJ had almost 60 homicide cases to solve.(...) This year alone the Homicide
section of the Polícia Judiciária had to investigate 56 homicide cases carried over from last year. In 2010,
the PJ initiated 187 inquests for homicide, of which 131 were verified as such, clarified and concluded. In addition to the
homicides there are 92 people still to be found. That is, over 150 ongoing investigations remain open in two areas alone:
homicides and missing people. (....)" (Note: extract from the article "More than 150 crimes waiting for a solution",
page 18, paper edition of Diário de Notícias)
"Solution to the Maddie Case is in the Process"
3 questions to...
Judiciary Police coordinator of investigations
Do you feel somewhat frustrated because the Madeleine
case wasn't concluded?
Not exactly, in the Madeleine McCann case there was always plenty of evidence and
that is in the process. The solution to the Maddie case is in the process. I never had any doubts whatsoever of what
took place that day of May 3, 2007. I didn't have doubts nor did the British police, the parents of the child were the
ones who had doubts. There are more ideas of what happened in this process than in Rui Pedro's case.
to prove the Judiciary Police thesis?
If a reconstruction of the events of that day had been enacted that would
be enough. However Kate and Gerry McCann refused to participate. It's a shame.
Did you have many unsolved
cases in the 30 years working for the Judiciary Police?
A few, not many. But I've spent most of my time
working in drug trafficking cases. In the Azores, I had two unsolved homicide cases, but they were old cases from
Operation Grange, 04 January 2012
Operation Grange Metropolitan Police
On 12 May 2011 the Metropolitan
Police Service (MPS) announced that, at the request of the Home Secretary, it had agreed to bring its particular expertise
to the Madeleine McCann case.
The then Commissioner, Sir Paul Stephenson, considered the request and took the decision
that on balance it was the right thing to do. This was subject to funding being made available by the Home Office, as this
case is beyond the MPS's jurisdiction.
The Portuguese authorities retain the lead.
While the MPS will not provide a running commentary on its involvement, known as Operation Grange, it is felt appropriate
to make the remit available to the public and it is available in the related publications.
Grange - Remit of Investigation Metropolitan Police (Word doc)
The support and expertise proffered by the Commissioner will
be provided by the Homicide & Serious Crime Command - SCD1.
The activity, in the first instance, will be that
of an 'investigative review'. This will entail a review of the whole of the investigation(s)
which have been conducted in to the circumstances of Madeleine McCann's disappearance.
The focus of the review
will be of the material held by three main stakeholders (and in the following order of primacy);
investigative review is intended to collate, record and analyse what has gone before.
- The Portuguese Law
- UK Law Enforcement agencies,
- Other private investigative agencies/staff and organisations.
It is to examine the case
and seek to determine, (as if the abduction occurred in the UK) what additional, new investigative approaches we would take
and which can assist the Portuguese authorities in progressing the matter. Whilst ordinarily a review has no investigative
remit whatsoever- the scale and extent of this enquiry cannot permit for such an approach. It will take too long to progress
to any "action stage" if activity is given wholly and solely to a review process.
review' will be conducted with transparency, openness and thoroughness.
The work will be overseen through the
Gold Group management structure, which will also manage the central relationships with other key stakeholders and provide
continuing oversight and direction to the investigative remit.
UK law enforcement agencies Metropolitan Police (Word doc)
Metropolitan Police Service
Disappearance of Madeleine McCann.
For the information of all UK law enforcement agencies.
The Metropolitan Police Service is conducting an Investigative Review into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann aged
3yrs on the 3rd May 2007 in Praia da Luz Portugal.
At 12.00hrs on Tuesday 14th June 2011 UK primacy for this matter
formally passed from Leicestershire Constabulary to the Metropolitan Police Service under Operation GRANGE.
future communication should be sent to the incident room at:-
Major Investigation Team 5
Homicide and Serious
Belgravia Police station
202-206 Buckingham Palace Rd
London SW1W 9SX
Tel 020 7321
Fax 020 7321 6994
E-mail : Operation.Grange@met.police.uk Operation.Grange@met.pnn.police.uk
Urgent out of hours contact can be made via the Serious Crime Directorate Reserve at New Scotland Yard on 020
Cold case team in Madeleine McCann hunt,
29 January 2012
Cold case team in Madeleine McCann hunt Daily Star Sunday
By Jonathan Corke
THE British police hunt for Madeleine McCann will cost more than £1.3million in its first
Scotland Yard's 37-strong team includes three detective inspectors and five detective sergeants.
There are also 19 detective constables on the case under the lead of Detective Chief Inspector Andy Redwood.
And three of the country's top cold case officers have been brought in.
The three, from the Metropolitan
Police's Murder Review Group, are assisting the main Operation Grange team reviewing the Madeleine case files.
The combined salaries of the team total more than £1.3million with thousands also being spent following
up leads, including at least four trips abroad.
The Met has vowed there will be no limits to the probe, which is
being funded through a grant from the Home Office.
Already this year the cold case squad has seen Gary Dobson,
36, and David Norris, 35, brought to justice over the 1993 murder of black teenager Stephen Lawrence.
Chief Superintendent Hamish Campbell, who led the Jill Dando murder inquiry, is also involved.
refused to say if he was one of the three taking part in the Madeleine case but, we can reveal, he is helping oversee the
Along with Commander Simon Foy, Mr Redwood and Detective Inspector Tim Dobson, Mr Campbell is part
of a "Gold Group" monitoring the review.The group has met eight times since it began last May to discuss progress.
A spokesman for the Met said: "A Major Investigation Team is assigned to Operation Grange. Staff numbers
are open to change depending on the needs of the review."
Three-year-old Madeleine was on holiday
with her parents Kate and Gerry, both 43, when she was snatched from their holiday apartment in Praia da Luz, Portugal,
in May 2007.
At Christmas the McCanns said they remain hopeful of a breakthrough, adding: "Our search for
Madeleine and the Metropolitan Police review of the case are progressing well."
raised through a fund set up by the McCanns, from Rothley, Leics, has been spent on the hunt for the youngster.
Met bill for Maddy soars to £2million,
01 February 2012
Met bill for Maddy soars to £2million Evening Standard
Justin Davenport, Crime Editor
1 Feb 2012
The cost of the Met's review of the Madeleine McCann investigation is set to reach
£2 million less than a year after it was launched, the Evening Standard reveals today.
bill for 30 detectives, translation and travel expenses has soared since David Cameron called in Scotland Yard last May.
Detectives from the homicide squad were asked to examine the case of the missing three-year-old after the Prime Minister
acted on the request of Madeleine's parents. A spokesman for Kate and Gerry McCann said: "They have always been very
appreciative of the time and resources that the British police and Home Office have committed to the search for Madeleine
and they are grateful that the review is ongoing."
Met detectives have made at least four trips to Portugal
and Spain to meet police and private investigators who were engaged in the original investigation.
When the review
was announced it sparked controversy over the use of public funds. Labour peer Lord Harris has said the case raises "very
big questions", adding: "There is clearly an issue about the resources being used."
The cost is
disclosed in a document to the Mayor's Office for Policing and Crime. Sources say the Met has already sent the Home Office
a bill for £800,000 but the figure is expected to reach £1.9 million by the end of the financial year next
The bill includes the costs of the detectives' salaries, translation and interpretation fees and travel
expenses. Madeleine disappeared from her parents' holiday apartment in Praia da Luz on the Algarve in Portugal on May
She vanished days before her fourth birthday as her parents dined with friends yards away. Since then there
have been hundreds of "sightings" of Madeleine around the world but none confirmed.
The official police
inquiry into her disappearance was shelved in July 2008 but private detectives employed by the McCanns continued the search.
Scotland Yard says the trips to Portugal, and now Spain, are part of "laying the groundwork" for future
co-operation between the police forces.
Officers are examining all the evidence connected to the case, including
material gathered by private investigators.
Detectives have spent months reading a huge file of case material that
had to be translated from Portuguese to English at a considerable cost. In December detectives met Spanish colleagues in Barcelona
to check on reports that the toddler had been abducted and smuggled across the border.
Private investigators in
Spain also handed the Met police team 30 boxes of evidence which they claimed contained up to eight "important new leads".
However, sources say the inquiry could take years to complete and they have played down hopes of a major breakthrough
in the review so far.
The cost of the inquiry compares with the £80 million spent on the policing
operations to tackle and investigate the summer riots.
Madeleine McCann review soars to £2m,
01 February 2012
|Madeleine McCann review soars to £2m The Independent
Wednesday 01 February 2012
Scotland Yard's review
of the Madeleine McCann case is expected to cost nearly £2 million in its first year.
Detectives from the
Metropolitan Police's Homicide and Serious Crime Command are carrying out a re-examination of the original investigation
into the girl's disappearance in Portugal in May 2007.
Since beginning work last May, the British officers
have travelled to Spain and Portugal to pursue lines of inquiry.
Scotland Yard said it expected to recover £1.9
million from the Home Office for the cost of the Madeleine case review up to the end of March this year, of which it has already
claimed for £800,000.
Madeleine was nearly four when she went missing from her family's holiday flat
in Praia da Luz in the Algarve on May 3 2007 as her parents Kate and Gerry dined with friends nearby.
detectives, helped by officers from Leicestershire Police, carried out a massive investigation into her disappearance.
But the official inquiry was formally shelved in July 2008 and since then no police force has been actively looking
for the missing child.
Scotland Yard's review of the case, called Operation Grange, was launched after a request
from Home Secretary Theresa May supported by Prime Minister David Cameron.
Critics have argued that the decision
to bring in Met detectives to review the evidence about what happened to Madeleine has undermined the force's independence
and diverted resources from other crime victims.
Madeleine McCann detectives to call in Tapas
7, 05 February 2012
Madeleine McCann detectives to call in Tapas 7 Sunday Express
By James Murray
SCOTLAND YARD detectives are poised to interview the so-called Tapas Seven as their inquiry
into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann steps up a gear.
The friends of Kate and Gerry McCann, who
accompanied them on their holiday to Portugal almost five years ago, are expecting interview requests as soon as officers
feel they could assist the investigation.
So far, the Yard's Maddie Squad has been concentrating on analysing
every scrap of evidence in the case from files supplied by Leicestershire police, Portuguese detectives and Metodo 3,
the Barcelona-based private investigators hired by the McCanns.
Officers have flown to Portugal three times
and visited Spain twice.
With much of the analysis over, Detective Chief Inspector Andy Redwood wants to put his
team of three detective chief inspectors, five detective sergeants and 19 detective constables to good use.
are being supported by six civilian staff and three officers from the specialist murder review group, bringing the total number
on the team to 37.
By April the cost of the inquiry will be £1.9million but it is thought that figure could
double with the "investigative review" going into next year.
After nine months of information gathering,
officers are checking statements from key witnesses.
They include the Tapas Seven, so called because they were
eating at a tapas bar with Kate and Gerry at the time Madeleine disappeared.
In some cases the Yard officers have
asked for documents to be retranslated from Portuguese to English so that they are absolutely sure of what was said and
One theory they are examining is that if someone abducted Madeleine they could have had a copy of the key
for the holiday apartment at the Ocean Club in the Algarve resort of Praia da Luz.
The Sunday Express has learned
that the Tapas Seven "fully expect" to be asked to go over the statements they made to Portuguese officers shortly
after Madeleine vanished on May 3, 2007.
They were also interviewed by Leicestershire detectives, with Portuguese
officers in attendance, when they arrived home.
The most significant witness is mother-of-two Jane Tanner, partner
of doctor Russell O'Brien, who said she saw a man carrying a child resembling Madeleine some time after 9pm.
Another key witness is Matthew Oldfield, who went to the apartment to check on Madeleine and twins Sean and Amelie, who
celebrated their seventh birthdays last week.
Mr Oldfield saw the twins in their cot but did not push the door
open wide enough to see Madeleine, although he was happy all was well.
All the Tapas Seven fully support the Yard's
review of the case and hope it will provide a breakthrough.
Other members of the group include Mr Oldfield's
wife Rachael, David and Fiona Payne and her mother Dianne Webster.
A Yard spokesman declined to say who would be
interviewed and when. "We are not going into that level of details," he said. "We are not at the stage of speaking
to individuals yet. We are laying the groundwork."
The McCanns' spokesman Clarence Mitchell said they
and their friends would do everything to assist attempts to discover what happened to Madeleine.
MacIntyre Investigates: Irish witness
key to Maddie case review, 05 February 2012
|MacIntyre Investigates: Irish witness key to Maddie
case review Sunday World (article appears in paper edition)
Abductor may have had keys to apartment
UK cops believe snatch sighting's vital to conspiracy
By Donal MacIntrye
Sunday February 5, 2012
A SIGHTING by an Irish holidaymaker has been placed at the centre of the
cold case review into the abduction of Madeleine McCann.
A full re-investigation of the baffling disappearance
is being carried out by London Metropolitan police.
The Sunday World can reveal that as part of the probe,
Irish witness Martin Smith is to be re-interviewed about a man he saw carrying a child away from the Ocean Club complex in
Praia da Luz complex in the Algarve around the time Maddie was snatched.
Investigators had earlier discounted the
possible sighting because of the timing, but now believe it may have been the last time anyone saw the three-year-old who
disappeared almost five years ago.
The Smith sighting is key to a new theory that whoever took Maddie may have
had unauthorised keys to access the apartment where she was sleeping and other properties nearby.
probing whether lax arrangements made it possible for keys to be accessed and copied.
As part of the full review, Kate and Gerry McCann will also be re-interviewed about the details of the night of May 3, 2007,
as will all of their dinner party, the so-called Tapas Seven, who ate with them at the complex restaurant the night of the
It will form a re-examination of the crucial first hour after the vanishing, which was within the time
frame that Martin Smith reported seeing a man heading past him with fair-haired child in his arms.
As well as re-interviewing
all the key witnesses, UK police officers are making new translations of all the previous interviews by the Portuguese
police in an attempt to get to the bottom of the most high-profile missing child cases of recent decades.
source described how the detectives re-investigating the case are now working on the theory that someone with connections
to the resort where the McCanns stayed with their three children, may have had access to keys and may have provided support
to the paedophile gang which abducted the bright-eyed three-year-old.
The review of the case - which initially
was supposed to be a paper exercise - has evolved into a complete fresh investigation by a group of experienced murder detectives
based in New Scotland Yard.
Sources say that officers have made the testimony of Irish witness Martin Smith a central
plank in a new theory to help explain the disappearance. Smith, from Drogheda, who was in the Algarve resort of Praia
da Luz with his family, witnessed a man carrying a sleeping, barefoot child between 9.40pm and 10pm on the night that Maddie
He saw a man hold a small, fair-haired child, close to his chest in similar pink pyjamas to the ones
Maddie was wearing. The sighting took place about a half a mile from the McCanns' Ocean Club apartment. Maddie was put
to bed by the McCanns, wearing Marks & Spencers pyjamas comprising a short-sleeved pink top with an 'EEYORE' inscription
from Pooh Bear.
The man was heading towards the sea front with the child and police now believe that this is the
same man that Jane Tanner, one of the Tapas seven, who were holidaying with the McCanns, saw carrying a child away from the
front entrance of the McCanns' apartment, around 9.15pm that same night.
A source explained that previously
it was thought that these two sightings were incompatible because of the time delay between them. However, now detectives
are investigating the theory that Maddie could have been moved to another nearby apartment in or around the complex in a highly
planned abduction until there was an opportunity to bring her out of the resort.
It transpires that the keys to
the apartments surrounding the complex were not logged or sufficiently secure and multiple copies could have been in use,
allowing the abductor to have access to the McCanns' apartment through the locked front door and giving the possible access
to nearby apartments to hide Maddie until the coast was clear to make a dash out of the resort.
Officers attached to the new investigation, which the McCanns long campaigned for, are hopeful that answers
can be found. They are keen that he fifth anniversary in three months' time will generate more public leads and information
to shed light on the baffling mystery.
The new investigation is born out of the shambles of the first inquiry
which descended into diplomatic warfare between the British and Portuguese authorities after the McCanns were made suspects
in their own daughter's disappearance.
Key forensic failures by the Policia Judiciaria, the local CID
and the first officers on the scene, along with a number of other critical errors by Goncalo Amaral, the lead Portuguese detective
who was eventually sacked from the case, led the British Prime Minister David Cameron to order the current review.
The new investigation has already cost nearly €3million, adding to the €1million that the British Home Office
and the McCanns' local force, Leicestershire Police had, already spent on the case before the current review.
The Scotland Yard team of investigators are understood to be working on eight new leads and have already interview the original
investigating officers and travelled to Spain and Portugal in the hunt for the truth about Maddie's disappearance.
Cold Case Review: In search of Maddie Sunday World
(appears in True Crime magazine)
Donal MacIntyre travels to Praia da Luz, Portugal, to review
the evidence in one of the most baffling abduction cases ever
By Donal MacIntrye
Sunday February 5, 2012
The disappearance of Madeleine McCann, the most controversial missing child case
in recent times continues to intrigue and confound investigators and the public alike.
The London Metropolitan
Police current review of the case has sparked renewed hope that it may yet be solved, and sources close to the investigation
say that they have made significant inroads into piecing together the true story of what happened.
millions of euro spent on the investigation and without a perpetrator in custody, the starting place for review of the case
is where Maddie was last seen - in a holiday apartment in Praia da Luz, on Portugal's glorious sunshine coast.
Since those events of four years ago, a little piece of paradise has become a macabre visitor attraction, where people hold
the hands of their children tighter and look around suspiciously, struggling to separate the guilty from the millions of innocent
tourists who visit the Algarve every year.
The Find Maddie posters are worn and tired and the locals in Praia da
Luz have grown weary of the case and the damage it has done to their business. Here in the cafes and restaurants, it's
only the foreigners that whisper the name of Madeleine McCann and discuss the ins and outs of one of the most complex and
extraordinary child abduction case in recent history. Before the dark events of May 3 2007 this resort was an affordable haven
for family sunseekers shrouded in a blanket of innocence, but now nearly five years later, the ever-present birdsong cannot
hide the sombre air that surrounds the former tourist magnet.
The Madeleine McCann mystery is a case where everyone
has an often heated opinion. Outside the white-washed apartment 5a at the Ocean Club, even in the off season, cars and pedestrians
pull up and share their theories among themselves. Irish voices mix with English accents and other European languages, but
the fingers point to the same windows and pathways, working out the possibilities and all struggling to understand how a child
can simply seemingly vanish into thin air.
Until answers are found, children are not left out of the sight of cautious
parents. There simply is no longer a margin of error accepted here when it comes to the safety of children. Chances were taken
once upon a time with tragic consequences, but not anymore.
Today there is more lighting around the complex but
little else has changed. Until the kidnappers are caught, the unspoken fear will remain that Praia da Luz, in the words of
Somerset Maughan, is a sunny place for shady people.
All that remains visible of the Madeleine McCann campaign
can be found in a touching shrine in the beautiful Our Lady of the Light church on the seafront.
Inside a, heart-shaped
poster pleads 'Pray for me'.
Below it, 10 electric candles flicker in her memory. Many more will be lit
before this mystery is solved.
While I surveyed the scene in a cold case review of the abduction, I was immediately
struck by the vulnerability of the apartment complex to anyone who had evil on their mind.
Holiday resorts and
their transient populations have long been a hiding place for paedophiles and sex offenders. Although there are 20 known offenders
living in the Algarve, it is the visiting paedophile that is most difficult to detect and account for. In a week on site near
the crime scene I conducted a review of most of the available evidence relating to the abduction and had lengthy discussions
with numerous Portuguese sources who cannot be identified.
It is a perplexing case that is difficult to unravel,
but if we take the statements of the McCanns and accept the accuracy of their timings then there remains only a tiny time
frame for Madeleine to have been abducted or disappear by other means. She either made her own way out of the apartment by
herself into oblivion or was abducted from inside the apartment, but whatever happened according to the statements must have
happened in a three-minute window.
This is the gap between Gerry McCann's 9pm-9.10pm check-in on his children
in the apartment and the sighting by Jane Tanner, one of his group, of a man carrying a child in his arms away from the apartment
complex between 9.10 and 9.15pm on May 3 2007. In the McCanns' mind, this is the likely abductor.
around the complex has new footpaths and a freshly tarmaced road, but that wasn't the case at the time of the kidnap. Then
it was a dusty backstreet with little light. Around 10.15pm, Madeleine was discovered missing by Kate McCann. She shouted
down to those at the tapas bar 150 metres away that her fair-haired little girl was gone. Crucial to unravelling the whole
case is clearly establishing what precisely took place from 8pm to 10.15pm on the night Madeleine vanished.
Having settled Madeleine, then three, and their two-year-old twins, Sean and Amelie, Gerry and Kate, from Rothley, Leicestershire,
have a glass of wine before heading of to the tapas bar, a minute's walk away, to join their friends Jane Tanner and her
partner Russell O'Brien, Rachel and Matthew Oldfield, David and Fiona Payne and Diane Webster.
They walk down
a number of steps, open a small wrought-iron gate on a pathway that faces onto the Mark Warner complex. A wall separates the
path from the resort and blocks off the view from the resort to the steps to apartment 5a.
The couple turned
left for 20 metres and then right for another 50 metres onto a busy road before take a left into the enclosed swimming pool,
bar and restaurant complex. While there, various members of the party come and go, following the same path that Gerry and
Kate McCann took to the bar. None sees anything suspicious.
At about 9pm Gerry leaves the table and walks over
to the apartment to check on the twins and Madeleine.
He enters the apartment and then goes to the toilet. He checks
on his children and savours a proud father's moment as he stands by the doorway looking into the back bedroom where they
are all soundly asleep.
The twins are in cots and Madeleine in bed, holding her favourite toy, Cuddle Cat. Gerry
spends up to 10 minutes in the five-room apartment and will only later reflect that he felt there was someone else there at
the same time.
For the kidnap to have taken place, I believe Gerry's gut instinct was sound. It is arguable
that the abductor was in the flat at the time. Fixated preferential paedophiles, the most dangerous kind, spend every waking
hour thinking of their next opportunity to abuse and take pleasure from young children. They put a huge amount of time into
targeting and priming their victims and so it would not be unusual for a serious sex offender to enter the property and prepare
the scene for the snatch and escape.
So we may assume that a few minutes before Gerry arrived, the abductor walked
along the public road beside the apartment, opened the gate, walked up 10 steps to the patio and entered through the open
patio doors. These doors could only be locked from inside and for convenience were left open by Gerry and Kate. Previous occupants
used the front door of the apartment, facing onto a car park, to exit and kept the patio door locked permanently.
At this stage, with Gerry McCann in the apartment, the abductor may have been a heartbeat away from being caught. But where
could the abductor have hidden in the tiny apartment? Gerry walked through the front room, used the bathroom and looked in
on the children - but did he check anywhere else? Recollections after traumatic events are often ragged; add in a few drinks
and the emotional distress and guilt and exact details of timings and actions may not be accurate. But McCann is a doctor
used to working under pressure with a huge capacity for observation on his rounds, so we must give more credit to his testimony
than we would give to a normal citizen.
Taking Gerry McCann's intuition and statements on board, it was in
my view highly likely that the abductor was probably in the children's bedroom, possibly behind the door or crouching
behind the furniture.
As Gerry strolls out of the patio doors, closing but not locking them, he leaves through
the same small gate facing the road where the abductor had entered minutes before.
Just outside, he meets television
producer Jes Wilkins on the way back to the tapas bar. There is not another soul on the street. I worked with Wilkins in the
past. Even while on holiday, he is still a trained observer and yet he saw nothing out of the ordinary. He was a holiday
tennis partner for Gerry and it was possibly just after this chat that Maddie was taken into the night.
the apartment the abductor must be breathing a sigh of relief as Gerry leaves, before he realises his exit route is blocked.
It is conceivable that Gerry has an eyeline to the front of the apartment, and, if not, certainly can hear steps coming down
from where he is standing. The kidnapper would then have had to find an alternative exit outside the back window towards the
front door, which we believe was deadlocked without the key at hand. For this, help is essential. This is where an accomplice
to the abductor would prove essential. Grotesquely, paedophiles support each other in their disgusting plans and teams of
two would not be unusual. From Myra Hindley and Ian Brady to Fred and Rosemary West, sex offenders working in pairs are not
The abductor inside the apartment could have passed Madeleine - possibly unconscious or drugged
with chloroform - through the open window into the accomplice's arms.
In the distance, the voices of Gerry
McCann and Jes Wilkins could likely be heard wafting through the air.
What trauma would Madeleine suffer if, terrified
and forcibly kept silent, she hears Dad's voice as she is bundled into the hands of dangerous strangers? At the same time
- about 9.10pm - and unnoticed by Wilkins and Gerry, Jane Tanner observes them chatting.
The kidnapper holding
Madeleine retreats to the adjacent car park before heading on to the same footpath where, a short distance downhill, Gerry
and Wilkins are talking. The accomplice makes his way out of the window and into the darkness.
The kidnappers think
they have got away with it, but they are on the brink of being caught.
Despite hearing the voices of Madeleine's
father a short distance away, the kidnapper holding the girl plans to cross the road junction just above them just a glance
away from McCann and Wilkins.
As he hits the footpath, he would have seen both men chatting and Jane Tanner heading
his way on the opposite side of the street to Wilkins and Gerry McCann - three potential witnesses to the abduction, including
the father of the child. Although not a busy street, Wilkins and McCann did not see Tanner. This misfitting testimony is not
unusual in criminal cases and to my mind is plausible.
But why would the abductors choose such a potentially disastrous
course? Was it to connect with a getaway driver or was it just bad planning?
The seven seconds he took to cross
the road were either well-planned, foolhardy or a sign of breathtaking confidence. In any case, the kidnapper never faltered
and was never seen again.
Jane Tanner says he was carrying a child. She believes it was Madeleine and her theory
is supported by the McCanns' private investigators.
The timing of the statements from the key witnesses suggests
that there was a maximum of three to five minutes for the abduction to be executed.
In such circumstances only
good planning and co-ordination could make this possible. It would be an extraordinary effort, needing an astonishing degree
of luck, if this had been done on an opportunistic basis.
The clean execution of the kidnap, without a hint of
a DNA trace or any usable evidence, means it was highly professional and planned with precision.
is the hallmark of fixated, obsessive sexual predators.
And it's easy to see how the area could be viewed as
a magnet for sex offenders. It has a creche, school and nursery in the nearby Ocean Club complex. Add a transient population
of young holidaymakers and you have a lot of attractions for predators.
With its road access, the McCanns'
apartment was the most vulnerable in the complex and it is easy to see why a paedophile would make it a target.
is, however, another rational alternative to this theory. If perhaps we say that Jane Tanner saw a child but that it wasn't
Maddie, then could it be that the little girl simply woke up and walked out of the apartment to find her parents and got lost
before being snatched by an opportunist sex offender? Young children often wander and while it may have been uncharacteristic,
it is still a possibility.
The McCanns' regrettable decision to leave the kids in the flat was informed by
the apparently secure nature of the holiday complex. The complex had a check-in system for their children rather than babysitters
and this gap in the childcare arrangements may have allowed the abductor to strike.
I walked unchallenged past
a security guard and into the resort with ease. We don't expect holiday resorts to be prison camps, but in the aftermath
of the tragic case I expected a little better. In minutes I was surrounded by children and parents. I had a drink and left.
Two hours later I returned and again was not challenged.
The Metropolitan Police are investigating eight leads
given to them by Spanish Police.
"We are very grateful for the comprehensive review by the Met and clearly
what was supposed to be just a paper exercise has transpired to be something more proactive. Gerry and Kate are hopeful that
answers will come from this investigation and have not given up hope that Maddie is alive and will be found," Clarence
Mitchell, the couple's spokesman, told the Sunday World.
It's understood that the pace of developments
has surprised the investigators, and Scotland Yard and the Met are keen to solve this crime to demonstrate their world-renowned
prowess. The review is a serious insult to the Portuguese authorities, who were suitably embarrassed by their earlier investigations.
For now the assurance is that every clue and lead will be revised in a methodical manner to make sure that nothing
was lost in the initial inquiry, although catching the perpetrator at this stage would require plenty of luck. It will be
ironic after the millions spent on the investigation if the predator is caught by chance. The likely scenario is if the child
snatcher is arrested in connection with the disappearance or even stopped in the process of a similar crime. This could provide
the clue or even provoke a confession and lead to the solving of this extraordinary mystery.
These type of crimes
yield their answers slowly, but ultimately the answers are usually forthcoming. The question is whether Maddie will be alive
if and when this terrible crime is solved.
'Blame the parents' response can give killers
COPS are well used to the window of opportunity that exists in the immediate aftermath of a
But when it's a child that goes missing, that window can be open for a matter of just hours.
It's why questions are increasingly being asked about the gut response of many investigators: blame the parents.
It may be an obvious and easy explanation when a child disappears, but by focussing single-mindedly within the family
in those first vital few hours, police play into the hands of the real culprits if, as in the case of Madeleine McCann, they
The Portuguese police, while focussing so intently on Kate and Gerry McCann as suspects in the disappearance
of their daughter, damaged the investigation, perhaps fatally, by letting the trail go cold on the guilty and by alienating
those who were in the best position to help.
There is a litany of cases involving missing children where the parents
have initially been implicated in their disappearance and the instantaneous suspicions that hung like a cloud over the McCanns
were no different.
People naturally feel that a missing child is a failure of parenting. It is in some way reassuring
to think that family members are responsible, according to experts.
This blame directed at the parents may make
us feel more protected in our homes by diluting the threat of predators to our own lives and to our children. It serves our
basest instincts and is somehow comforting, according to Professor David Protess, from the Chicago Innocence Project, who
has studied cases similar to the McCann case.
"The public wants to believe that a child's bedroom is a
safe haven from predators. It's reassuring to think that family members are responsible when a child vanishes, especially
from her home. And that's often true. The family should be questioned as possible suspects under these circumstances.
"But when the primary focus is on the parents, tunnel vision can take hold and the trail for other suspects can
grow cold. Putting the parents under a cloud of suspicion will also prompt lawyers to insulate even innocent clients, depriving
the authorities of information that might prove useful in their investigation," he said.
It happened in the
case of the murder of six-year-old beauty pageant queen JonBenet Ramsey in Boulder, Colorado, in December 1996.
was case that had as much publicity as the McCann case and it too placed the parents in the spotlight as suspects. It wasn't
until July 2008 - 12 years after JonBenet's murder - that DNA tests finally exonerated the family from any involvement
in the case, which was one of the most high profile in the US in recent decades.
The Ramsey coverage was fuelled
by leaks from the local police and, just like the McCanns, the Ramseys also secured several significant payouts from news
organisations for pushing too hard on accusations that they had involvement in their own child's death.
McCanns have won in excess of a million pounds from legal actions against various newspaper groups over their reporting of
the case, all of which has gone to fund their private and ongoing search for Madeleine.
The McCanns have never
forgiven themselves for leaving their children alone that night - but it didn't turn them into killers, as the Portuguese
police came to believe very early on in their investigation. It is a right and proper investigation technique to put the last
known person who saw Maddie, that being Gerry McCann, into the mix, but to exclude too hastily other lines of enquiry was
poor detective work.
KeirSimmonsITV Twitter, 09 February 2012
Scotland Yard Commissioner says Met Police review of Madeleine McCann evidence may reach a conclusion within
'a few months'
1 hour ago [1:31 PM, 9th
Donal MacIntyre: Twitter comments, 10
|Donal MacIntyre: Twitter comments Twitter
if u guys think McCann's
r guilty u are nuts
6 hours ago via Twittelator
[12:54 PM, Feb 10th]
the question is where is Maddy ? If u know
what happened find her!
3 minutes ago via
Twittelator [7:55 PM, Feb 10th]
-----------------Further related tweets
DonalMacIntyre Donal MacIntyre
If all ur theories are so accurate where is Maddy?
4 hours ago [1:04 PM, Feb 11th]
-------------------DonalMacIntyre Donal MacIntyre
dogs were called in by McCanns - they wanted every assistance - but dogs are notoriously unreliable
4 hours ago [1:06 PM, Feb 11th]
I dred doing McCann stories
- u just get harassed and insulted after - if haters are so informed - Go Solve it!
hours ago [1:15 PM, Feb 11th]