The purpose of this site is for information and a record of Gerry McCann's Blog Archives. As most people will appreciate GM deleted all past blogs from the official website. Hopefully this Archive will be helpful to anyone who is interested in Justice for Madeleine Beth McCann. Many Thanks, Pamalam

Note: This site does not belong to the McCanns. It belongs to Pamalam. If you wish to contact the McCanns directly, please use the contact/email details campaign@findmadeleine.com    

Met. Police Review - June/July 2013*

MCCANN FILES HOME BACK TO GERRY MCCANNS BLOGS HOME PAGE PHOTOGRAPHS
NEWS REPORTS INDEX MCCANN PJ FILES NEWS MAY 2007
 

Det Ch Insp Andy Redwood press conference, 04 July 2013
Det Ch Insp Andy Redwood press conference, 04 July 2013

 

The Met. Police review continues with news that London's chief crown prosecutor Alison Saunders and her deputy Jenny Hopkins flew to Portugal in April to meet their counterparts to discuss leads identified in the Met's review.

On 04 July, the MPS release an update on their latest progress and claim to have identified 38 persons of interest, from a number of European countries. However, Det Ch Insp Andy Redwood tells a press conference that he would not class these people as 'suspects'.

When, questioned on the suggestion of the McCanns involvement in Madeleine's disappearance, Mr Redwood states that: "Neither her parents or any of the member of the group that were with her are either persons of interest or suspects."

British holidaymakers can help in the hunt for Madeleine, says Kate McCann, 02 June 2013
British holidaymakers can help in the hunt for Madeleine, says Kate McCann Sunday Express

KATE MCCANN has begged holidaymakers "Please don't forget Madeleine" as she urges them to take posters of her missing daughter with them.

By: Tracey Kandohla
Published: Sun, June 2, 2013

Kate and Gerry McCann want people to take posters of Madeleine when they go on holiday

She wants tourists to put up "present-day" pictures of Madeleine, who vanished in 2007, in resorts across the world.

"Please take posters of her when you go on holiday," she said.

"We haven't lost hope."

As Scotland Yard revealed it had a list of new potential suspects, Kate said: "There is a real chance Madeleine is alive and is out there."

Last month Kate, 45, returned to Praia da Luz, Portugal, to mark the sixth anniversary of her daughter's disappearance from the resort.

Sadly the resort has been stripped of all reminders of her.

A British visitor said yesterday: "There are no posters and photos anywhere of Madeleine. There is nothing in shop and restaurant windows or even in the little church. It's as if people here want to forget her."

In a recent TV appeal, Kate, of Rothley, Leicestershire, asked people everywhere to help find her daughter, who would now be 10 years old.

The resort where Madeleine went missing has been stripped of all reminders of her

The couple's spokesman Clarence Mitchell said yesterday: "Age progression pictures of Madeleine, updated and released a year ago by Scotland Yard, are available worldwide on the official Find Madeleine website. The idea is to keep her face in the public eye, particularly in Portugal where she was last seen."

Heart specialist Gerry, 44, has publicly praised Scotland Yard officers for their "brilliant job" in reviewing his daughter's case.

How can you help?

The holiday packs are available for £1.75 from the findmadeleine.com website.

They contain 10 posters showing Madeleine as she would look today with the message "Have you seen me?" in English, two luggage tags, two wallet cards and a car sticker.

Anyone with information about Madeleine can contact Scotland Yard at Operation.Grange@met.pnn.police.uk or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

Scotland Yard takes over the inquiry into Maddie's disappearance from Portuguese police after they fail to make a breakthrough in six years, 15 June 2013
Scotland Yard takes over the inquiry into Maddie's disappearance from Portuguese police after they fail to make a breakthrough in six years Daily Mail
  • Home Secretary Theresa May has agreed to fund full-scale Met inquiry
  • Review identified 20 potential suspects and dozens of new leads
  • Portuguese authorities have refused to reopen the investigation
By Stephen Wright and James Slack
PUBLISHED: 00:59, 15 June 2013 | UPDATED: 01:10, 15 June 2013

Madeleine: She was abducted six years ago in Portugal

Scotland Yard is to take control of the Madeleine McCann case from the Portuguese authorities, the Daily Mail can reveal.

In a significant development, Home Secretary Theresa May has agreed to fund a full-scale Metropolitan Police investigation into Madeleine's disappearance in Portugal six years ago.

It follows a two-year, £5million Met review of her disappearance.

This has identified more than 20 potential suspects and dozens of new leads – but despite the progress made by the review team, the Portuguese authorities have refused to reopen their inquiry. Officials in Portugal say that under the country's laws they can only reopen the case if there is new evidence, and the new leads do not provide sufficient grounds.

But Met detectives insist their leads could, if properly investigated, result in new evidence and perhaps the case being solved.

With no sign of the deadlock being broken, the Met asked Mrs May to provide Home Office funding for a Scotland Yard investigation into Maddie's disappearance.

It is understood she has approved the request. It is not known how much additional funding was sought but it is believed it could run into millions of pounds. A statement announcing the Met-led investigation is expected in the next few weeks.

It will endeavour not to upset the Portuguese authorities, who – privately at least – are likely to be unhappy about playing second fiddle to British police.

Under the plan, Yard detectives will seek the assistance of the Portuguese to carry out some inquiries on their behalf. British police do not have jurisdiction in Portugal but they have the right to investigate and prosecute any British suspects who might be linked to Madeleine's disappearance.

Taking over: Scotland Yard is to take control of the Madeleine McCann case from the Portuguese authorities

Taking over: Scotland Yard is to take control of the Madeleine McCann case from the Portuguese authorities

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Partnership: It is understood that Scotland Yard would ask Portuguese authorities to put any suspect on trial

 

Partnership: It is understood that Scotland Yard would ask Portuguese authorities to put any suspect on trial

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Sources said that should Scotland Yard gather sufficient evidence to prosecute a foreign national who lives overseas, they will ask the Portuguese authorities to put the suspect on trial. Madeleine was nearly four when she went missing from her family's holiday apartment in Praia da Luz on the Algarve in 2007 as her parents dined with friends nearby.

The shambolic Portuguese inquiry was shelved in 2008 but Scotland Yard began a Home Office-funded review in 2011 following the intervention of David Cameron.

He had been lobbied by Madeleine's parents, Kate and Gerry McCann – who were falsely accused by Portuguese police of being behind her disappearance.

Officials said the progress made by the Yard review vindicated Mr Cameron's decision to intervene.

A review by the Met police identified 20 potential suspects and dozens of new leads into the disappearance of Maddy McCann

Last year the officer in day-to-day charge of the review, Detective Chief Inspector Andy Redwood, said his team had identified 195 potential leads.

It emerged last month that the review had identified more than 20 people 'of interest', including Britons, who have not been eliminated from  the case.

Detective Chief Superintendent Hamish Campbell, who supervised the Met's review said there were a 'good number' of individuals who should be questioned.

Well-placed sources said at least 20 potential suspects – including a number of Britons who were in the Algarve at the time of Madeleine's disappearance – had not been properly eliminated. One authoritative source said last night: 'These people include a couple of known child sex offenders who are thought may have been in the Algarve when Madeleine disappeared. More work needs to be done on establishing their movements around the time she vanished. It cannot be disputed that the Portuguese police investigation was very poor.

'They put all their eggs in one basket in terms of the McCanns being responsible for Madeleine's disappearance. When they were rightly eliminated, they simply closed the inquiry rather than starting again.'

It is understood that, contrary to some media reports, the Portuguese inquiry did identify everyone who was staying at the Ocean Club when she vanished. Most were British tourists.

The Yard is 'tidying' up this aspect of the initial inquiry, trying to nail down people's movements there.

The fact that so many investigative opportunities were missed has galvanised British detectives who believe there is a real possibility they could unravel the mystery.

Last month, the Mail revealed how as part of the review, Yard detectives had flown to Switzerland to probe the movements of one of the country’s most notorious child snatchers, Urs Hans von Aesch.

The 67-year-old was one of many potential suspects dismissed prematurely by Portuguese police.

Von Aesch kidnapped and murdered a five-year-old girl in his native Switzerland less than three months after Madeleine was abducted. He took his own life after killing his victim, who looked remarkably like Maddie.

Theresa May will fund new Met operation into Madeleine McCann search disappearance, 15 June 2013
Theresa May will fund new Met operation into Madeleine McCann search disappearance The Independent

Scotland Yard says it is 'reviewing a significant number of documents'

HEATHER SAUL | SATURDAY 15 JUNE 2013

Madeleine McCann and age progressed image

Home Secretary Theresa May has agreed to fund an operation by Metropolitan Police to continue the search for Madeleine McCann.

Madeleine, from Leicestershire, disappeared during a family holiday with her parents in Praia da Luz in 2007, nine days before her fourth birthday.

Scotland Yard could not comment directly on this new development, but did say: "We are reviewing a significant number of documents and continue to identify potential lines of inquiry.

"We are in regular contact with [her parents] Kate and Gerry McCann and they are kept fully updated on the progress of our work. We also continue to work closely with the Portuguese police and are actively considering our next steps."

Portuguese police officially closed the investigation into her disappearance in 2008. It is understood that the Metropolitan Police would be expected to co-operate with the Portuguese authorities.

Prime Minister David Cameron agreed to review the case in 2012 and a computer generated image of what Madeline may look like six years after her disappearance was subsequently released. On 12 May this year Madeleine would be celebrating her tenth birthday.

Madeleine McCann: Met police 'to take on' investigation, 15 June 2013
Madeleine McCann: Met police 'to take on' investigation BBC News

15 June 2013 Last updated at 15:25

Madeleine was almost four years old when she disappeared from her parent's holiday apartment

The investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann is to be taken on by the Metropolitan Police, according to reports.

An announcement is expected in the next few weeks following a two-year Scotland Yard review of the stalled Portuguese inquiry, says the Daily Mail.

Madeleine was almost four when she went missing on holiday in Praia da Luz in 2007.

The Met says her parents are being kept fully updated on its work.

Home Secretary Theresa May has agreed to provide funding for a full investigation by UK detectives, according to the Mail.

The Home Office has not confirmed the report, but said in a statement: "The Home Office remains committed to supporting the search for Madeleine McCann and we have always said we would provide the Metropolitan Police with the resources they need to investigate her disappearance."

In an earlier statement a spokesman had said: "We have agreed to provide the Metropolitan Police with the resources they need to investigate her disappearance."

Documents reviewed

A review into the case by police in the UK discovered new potential leads but the police in Portugal have not reopened the case.

The BBC understands any investigation by Scotland Yard would need the co-operation of the Portuguese authorities.

Scotland Yard would not comment on the latest development but released a statement saying they are encouraged by the progress they are making.

It said: "Detectives remain in regular contact with Kate and Gerry McCann and are working closely with the Portuguese police in an attempt to make further progress."

The Metropolitan Police issued a computer-generated image (r) of how Madeleine might have looked aged nine

The UK review into Madeleine's case began in May 2011, after Prime Minister David Cameron responded to a plea from her parents.

Its objective was for a team of officers to work with the Portuguese authorities with a view to reopening the case, which has been closed since 2008.

As part of the review, a computer-generated image of how Madeleine might look at the age of nine was created with the help of her family. They marked her 10th birthday on May 12th.

The team has been compiling and reviewing material from three separate strands - the Portuguese investigation, inquiries by the UK law enforcement agencies and the work of private investigators or agencies.

There are believed to be around 40,000 pieces of information equating to about 100,000 pages.

In May, detectives from Scotland Yard said they had identified "a number of persons of interest" but they denied asking Portuguese police to make any arrests in connection with the inquiry.

Will Madeleine McCann's parents become suspects once more?, 15 June 2013
Will Madeleine McCann's parents become suspects once more? allvoices.com

By Chelsea Hoffman
Jun 15, 2013 at 6:49 PM PDT

Does Kate McCann know what happened?

Do parents know what happened to Maddie McCann?

The search for Madeleine McCann continues with Scotland Yard taking over the entire case -- meaning that officials in Portugal have long since abandoned hopes of justice for the little girl. Since the UK is pouring millions of pounds into this "revamping" of the search, are they going to do this from a completely fair and sensible standpoint or are Kate and Gerry McCann going to continue to get away with disregarding the importance of the investigation?

Keep in mind that Kate McCann famously refused to cooperate with the investigation before by refusing to answer at least 48 different questions that were of great importance to the search. Among some of those questions that she refused to answer were the following:
  1. Did you ever medicate your children?

  2. Did you have any responsibility or intervention in your daughter's disappearance?

  3. Is it true that you considered handing custody of Madeleine over to a relative?
These are just a few of the many incriminating questions that Kate refused to answer, but she did answer one. When she was asked if she understood that her failure to answer the questions would jeopardize the investigation she simply stated:

"yes, if that's what the investigation thinks."

Kate and Gerry McCann also famously refused to take polygraph tests in regards to their daughter's investigation, and to this day they refuse to discuss the damning evidence found by cadaver dogs both in their rental apartment and in the car they rented a whole month after the disappearance of little Maddie.

So since Scotland Yard has restarted this investigation, it would be interesting to find out if there will actually be justice for Madeleine McCann. Will officials in the UK finally look at the behavior of this girl's parents and take action, or will this continue to be a complete and total mockery of justice and all that is decent?

If this disappearance had taken place in the United States, Kate and Gerry McCann's behavior would be scrutinized far more intensely, and they would likely be charged and arrested -- if not at least declared suspects indefinitely. That is what happened to Casey Anthony and she behaved far less wonky than Maddie McCann's parents -- so what on earth is going on in the UK right now?

Madeleine McCann search taken over by Scotland Yard, 15 June 2013
Madeleine McCann search taken over by Scotland Yard Daily Mirror

By Justin Penrose | 15 Jun 2013 23:12

It is the most significant development for her parents since their little girl went missing in Praia da Luz, Portugal

Missing: Madeleine McCann

Scotland Yard is launching a new investigation into the case of missing Madeleine ­McCann.

The announcement yesterday offered fresh hope to her parents, Kate and Gerry, as Home Office officials confirmed they would be funding a multi-million-pound probe into her disappearance six years ago.

It is the most significant development for the McCanns since their little girl went missing in Praia da Luz, Portugal, days before her fourth birthday.

It is the first time UK police will actively investigate the case. A source close to the family said: "Clearly this is a major development and Kate and Gerry welcome it. It's a big step forward in finding Madeleine and bringing those responsible to justice. The Met have gone from reviewing the case to fully investigating it which makes it much more likely that this will be solved."

Scotland Yard has identified more than 20 potential suspects after a two-year review.

Despite the progress, Portuguese officials have refused to reopen the case, claiming there is insufficient evidence.

Frustrated UK detectives asked Home Secretary Theresa May to fund their own investigation and she agreed.

It is expected to at least double the £5million that has already been spent on the review.

The move means detectives will actively investigate and question the suspects drawn up during the review for the first time.

If they find that the alleged abductor is British it could lead to a prosecution in a UK court.

Under the plan officers will seek the assistance of the Portuguese to carry out some inquiries on their behalf as they do not have jurisdiction overseas.

It is believed that a large number of the 20 suspects identified are British, including at least two known sex offenders.

Madeleine went missing from her family's holiday apartment in Praia da Luz on the Algarve in 2007 as her parents ate with friends in a restaurant nearby.

A Scotland Yard spokesman said: "We are encouraged by the progress we are making. We continue to identify potential lines of inquiry."

Clarence Mitchell, spokesman for the McCanns, said: "We do not comment on operational police matters."

Police hint at new Madeleine McCann breakthrough, 16 June 2013
Police hint at new Madeleine McCann breakthrough Sunday Express

HOME SECRETARY Theresa May has agreed extra funding for police to pursue a full-scale investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann, effectively taking over the case from the Portuguese authorities.

By: James Murray
Published: Sun, June 16, 2013

Parents Kate and Gerry McCann are working tirelessly to keep missing Madeleine in the public eye

The astonishing development signals that the Operation Grange squad believes it could at last solve the six-year mystery with the right financial backing and effective co-operation with the Portuguese.

It is claimed Metropolitan Police detectives want to focus on 20 potential suspects in the coming months.

Yesterday Scotland Yard issued its strongest statement so far on the two-year, £5million review of evidence, saying: "Our investigative review is ongoing and we are encouraged by the progress we are making.

"We are reviewing a significant number of documents and continue to identify potential lines of inquiry.

"We are in regular contact with Kate and Gerry McCann and they are kept fully updated on the progress of our work.

"We also continue to work closely with the Portuguese police and are actively considering our next steps."

Operation Grange officers have not denied claims that if they get enough evidence to prosecute a foreign national living overseas they would ask the Portuguese authorities to put the suspect on trial.

It is understood the Yard would ask Portuguese officers to conduct inquiries there while working with the Operation Grange squad on the understanding that all information would be assessed by the London-based team inputting vast amounts of data into their Holmes computer system.

More than 30 officers and support staff are based at Belgravia police ­station under the guidance of Detective Chief Inspector Andy Redwood.

Madeleine was three years old when she vanished

As we revealed earlier this year, statements were not taken from some key witnesses in the original Portuguese investigation.

Yard officers have spoken at length to those witnesses who have given new information, helping them piece together some of the missing pieces of the jigsaw.

Now the squad wants the authority to take full control of the investigation so that all its leads can be thoroughly examined. Last month witness Mario Fernando, 47, urged Yard officers to speak to him about a man he saw lurking near Kate and Gerry's holiday apartment in Praia da Luz on the Algarve.

Laundryman Mr Fernando said he saw the suspicious, nervous-looking man with big sunglasses on May 2, 2007, the night before their three-year-old daughter Madeleine vanished.

He said last month: "I was at my last collection point near the girl's flat. It was 7.30pm to 8pm.

"When cleaners cleared sheets they dropped them down the hole in the stairs to be collected by me at the bottom. When I walked down and turned into the hole to get the laundry, I saw the weird guy and we nearly bumped into each other.

"He had a really fat face and had two-tone sunglasses on. They got lighter at the bottom and were big.

"He did not walk away but watched what I did. He stayed there watching me. My theory is that the guy must have been involved."

Retiring Detective Chief Superintendent Hamish Campbell, head of Scotland Yard's Homicide and Serious Crime Command, revealed the team's inquiries had unearthed "a lot of ­people who could be explored further if only to be eliminated".

'I Know Who Took Her': Serial Pedophile's Deathbed Confession, As Madeleine McCann Case Reopens, 18 June 2013
'I Know Who Took Her': Serial Pedophile's Deathbed Confession, As Madeleine McCann Case Reopens Radar online

Posted on Jun 18, 2013 @ 4:08AM | By radarstaff

McCanns/Maddie age-progressed image

As Scotland Yard finally reopens the investigation into Madeleine McCann's disappearance, long-abandoned clues are coming back to light. Among them, the shocking deathbed confession of a serial pedophile who claimed to know who was behind her kidnapping.

Wayne Hewlett, the son of recorded pedophile Raymond Hewlett, told The Sun in 2010 that he had received an "unnerving" letter regarding the case from his father a week before he died.

"He said a very good gypsy friend he knew in Portugal had got drunk and let it out that he had stolen Maddie to order as part of a gang," Wayne explained. "My dad said this gang had been operating a long time and had snatched children before for couples who couldn't have children of their own. Maddie had been targeted. They took photos of children and sent them to the people they were acting for. And they said yes or no."

At the time, Raymond Hewlett was living at a campsite just one hour's drive away from the luxe Praia da Luz hotel in the Portuguese Algarve region, where Madeleine vanished in 2007.

When this information first surfaced, the investigation into Madeleine's death had been closed for two years. But now, it's among the many leads that British investigators could pursue as they attempt to solve the mystery of Madeleine’s disappearance once and for all.

Did Pedophile Know Where Madeleine McCann Was? Son Makes Claim for Dead Father, 18 June 2013
Did Pedophile Know Where Madeleine McCann Was? Son Makes Claim for Dead Father Christian Post

By Sami K. Martin , Christian Post Contributor
June 18, 2013|11:20 am

Madeleine McCann disappeared from a hotel in Praia da Luz in 2007, and Scotland Yard recently announced that they would be reopening the case after receiving money to fund the investigation for two years. The son of a serial pedophile also came forward with the news that he received a letter from his father stating that he knew who took McCann.

 
Madeleine age-progressed 9

The U.K. Metropolitan Police Service released April 24, 2012, an age progression image of Madeleine McCann showing how she would look at nine years old. (Photo: Metropolitan Police Service)

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"He said a very good gypsy friend he knew in Portugal had got drunk and let it out that he had stolen Maddie as part of a gang," Wayne Hewlett, the son of known pedophile Raymond Hewlett, told The Sun. "My dad said this gang had been operating a long time and had snatched children before for couples who couldn't have children of their own."

"Maddie had been targeted," Hewlett added. "They took photos of children and sent them to the people they were acting for. And they said yes or no."

Records show that Hewlett was living near the hotel the McCanns were staying in at the time of Madeleine's disappearance. Up until his death, Hewlett maintained that he had not taken the little girl or had anything to do with her kidnapping.

"I've done nothing wrong, nothing nothing," Raymond Hewlett told the Daily Mail from his deathbed.

Madeleine's parents never gave up hope that they would find their daughter and pressured Scotland Yard to keep searching for the little girl even as time has passed.

Now, Scotland Yard has announced that they will take control of the Portuguese investigation into her disappearance. Home Secretary Theresa May has agreed to fund the full-scale investigation, which is a critical resource for the organization.

"The Home Office remains committed to supporting the search for Madeleine McCann and we have always said that we would provide the Metropolitan Police with the resources they need to investigate her disappearance," a Scotland Yard spokesman told the Huffington Post.

Detective Chief Superintendent Hamish Campbell told the Evening Standard that Madeleine could still be alive, even after all this time.

Madeleine, the media and the Met, 18 June 2013
Madeleine, the media and the Met Algarve Newswatch

Len Port
Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Recent reports in the mainstream British press about London's Metropolitan Police delving into Madeleine McCann's disappearance raise more questions than they begin to answer.

Under a review codenamed Operation Grange, the Met has been examining material collected by the Portuguese police, UK law enforcement agencies and various private investigators.

A rash of stories around the sixth anniversary of Madeleine's disappearance and what might have been her 10th birthday last month were based on yet more speculation and largely devoid of hard news content. But the appetite among British readers is such that anything about the McCanns is good for circulation figures.

Several papers reported the Met's discovery of a number of "potential new leads" and "people of interest."

The Sunday Express, for example, was able to reveal 'exclusively' that "Scotland Yard detectives are trying to find a middle-aged couple said to have entered Madeleine McCann's holiday apartment to comfort her because she was crying."

According to The Mail on Sunday, "Police are said to be keen to trace six British cleaners who were working in Praia da Luz when Madeleine vanished and who didn't appear in the Portuguese files. They are said to have used a white van and went from apartment to apartment offering their services, chiefly concentrating on expats."

Met logo

Detective Chief Superintendent Hamish Campbell, head of Scotland Yard's Homicide and Serious Crime Command, was quoted as saying, "There are a lot of people who could be explored further, if only to be eliminated."

To some unbiased observers, vague talk of "potential new leads" and "people of interest" did not seem very impressive considering that a team of 30 Scotland Yard detectives have been on the job for two years at a reported cost of £5 million.

Even so, The Daily Telegraph noted: "Det Chief Supt Campbell praised their progress and said they had done a 'fantastic' job."

Now we learn that the Operation Grange review is to be upgraded to a full-scale investigation backed by more resources from the British Home Office. The new investigation will replace the Polícia Judiciária inquiry, which was officially closed in 2008. Widely reported in the British press, the proposed UK inquiry has received little and only belated coverage in Portuguese newspapers.

Ever ready to get in a dig at how the Portuguese "bungled" it and are "STILL dragging heels," the Daily Mail revealed it had "learned that behind the scenes a major diplomatic row is brewing because the Portuguese authorities are adamant they will not reopen the inquiry. Officials in Lisbon have told their British counterparts that under Portuguese laws, they can reopen the case only if there is new evidence."

Indeed. So why is the Met launching an investigation apparently without any new evidence? So far it has said nothing directly on the subject. "Detectives remain in regular contact with Kate and Gerry McCann and are working closely with the Portuguese police in an attempt to make further progress," is as far as the Met will go for now. An official statement is expected only "in the next few weeks."

Confirmation of regular contact with Kate and Gerry McCann begs the question as to whether the Met is focusing solely on the theory that Madeleine was abducted?

Has the Met completely ruled out the more widely held theory in Portugal that something else probably happened to the little girl?

It would seem so from a report in the Sunday Mirror that claimed, "British police probing Madeleine McCann's disappearance now believe her kidnapper was staying in a holiday flat near the family."

This is an example of how the British media in general seem to accept that Madeleine was abducted as if it were an established fact.

From the Portugal perspective, plenty of other questions come to mind, if only to put to rest lingering doubts about Kate and Gerry McCann and the Tapas Seven.

Will the Met confront the McCanns and their holidaying friends about inconsistencies and contradictions in their accounts to the PJ of what took place in Praia da Luz that fateful night?

Will it insist on a reconstruction of events, and an explanation of why such a reconstruction was denied to the PJ?

Will the Met team be permitted to conduct joint investigations and interviews on Portuguese soil, or will it delegate to the PJ?

"Home Secretary Theresa May has agreed to fund an operation by the Metropolitan Police to continue the search for Madeleine McCann," according to The Independent, but who will be funding any further work on the case by the PJ?

We may not get answers to such questions in the next few weeks, but let's hope any new investigation finally solves the mystery and brings those responsible to justice before the seventh anniversary of Madeleine's disappearance.

New hope in Madeleine McCann inquiry as CPS lawyers travel to Portugal, 21 June 2013
New hope in Madeleine McCann inquiry as CPS lawyers travel to Portugal Evening Standard

Case review: Madeleine McCann went missing in the Algarve in May 2007
Case review: Madeleine McCann went missing in the Algarve in May 2007

Justin Davenport, Crime Editor
21 June 2013

Government lawyers have travelled to Portugal to meet police and prosecution officials to discuss new leads in the Madeleine McCann inquiry.

The trip is the first time that lawyers from the Crown Prosecution Service have visited Portugal in connection with Scotland Yard's £5 million review of the case.

Home Secretary Theresa May is now expected to announce a full-scale Yard investigation into the disappearance of three-year-old Madeleine in May 2007.

London's chief crown prosecutor Alison Saunders and her deputy Jenny Hopkins flew to Portugal in April to meet counterparts to discuss leads identified in the Met's review.

Last month the Standard revealed that detectives had identified a list of potential suspects. Detective Chief Superintendent Hamish Campbell, who supervised the review, said there were a "good number" of people who should be questioned as well as "further forensic opportunities".

The list is thought to number around 20, including Britons. The potential suspects are thought to include a handful of known child-sex offenders who are believed to have been in the Algarve when Madeleine disappeared.

The visit by senior CPS lawyers underlines the belief among senior detectives that the case could be solved.

Portuguese police led the search for Madeleine after she went missing from a holiday apartment in Praia da Luz while her parents dined nearby.

The investigation was shelved in 2008 but the Yard launched a Home Office-funded review in 2011 after David Cameron intervened at the request of Madeleine's parents, Kate and Gerry McCann. The review team examined hundreds of thousands of documents from the Portuguese investigation and enquiries by a private detective agency employed by Madeleine’s family and identified 195 potential leads.

A full Yard investigation would allow police to interview suspects in Britain though they would seek the assistance of the Portuguese to carry out any enquiries there.

A CPS spokesman said: "We continue to work with the police on this case."

A Home Office spokesman said it had agreed to "provide the Metropolitan Police with the resources they need".

Madeleine McCann likely won't be found alive, 21 June 2013
Madeleine McCann likely won't be found alive allvoices.com

By Chelsea Hoffman
Jun 21, 2013 at 4:20 AM PDT

Madeleine Mccann

CPS officials go to Portugal in Madeleine McCann case

By now it's common knowledge that the Madeleine McCann investigation has been taken over by Scotland Yard, but now there are reports claiming "new hope" in the investigation. The UK has reportedly sent Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) lawyers to Portugal — where the child vanished more than six years ago — to discuss potential leads in the case. But what are these so-called leads? Whatever the CPS finds in Portugal, it will likely lead to grim discoveries. You see, this is the first time the UK-dispatched officials have gone to Portugal during the course of this mystery.

A list of potential suspects has been discussed in recent reports, but it doesn't seem that any of the UK news sources are touching on the fact that there are numerous pieces of evidence that implicate little Maddie's parents in her disappearance. Throughout the course of the case the UK government has systematically ignored and undermined the findings of officials in Portugal, creating a very intense divide between people who support the family and people who do not. This unneeded animosity has done nothing in helping locate the missing child — or her remains.

Hopefully CPS officials don't ignore the fact that nobody has ever died (allegedly) in the apartment where the McCanns had been staying when Maddie vanished. Yet cadaver dogs did in fact pick up the scent of human decomposition not only in the home but in the rental car the McCanns had leased a month after Maddie's disappearance. Maybe the CPS officials will finally pay attention to the fact that no fingerprints conclusively proved that someone broke into the apartment. Instead, Kate McCann's fingerprints were all over the outside of it. Why would that be?

Maybe CPS officials will take note of the actual distance between the rental apartment and the tapas bar. Even though the actual distance is known, it would be refreshing for these officials to put a physical and real aspect to this high profile case. Maybe then they will realize just how dangerous and reckless it was for Kate and Gerry McCann to lave Madeleine alone with her siblings the night she allegedly vanished.

Officials in Portugal once deemed the McCanns suspects in the disappearance of McCann, but the couple went back to the UK and after obvious pressure and lack of more evidence they were "cleared." Will this change after CPS officials investigate the actual area for a while?

UK lawyers went to Portugal to discuss Madeleine leads, 21 June 2013
UK lawyers went to Portugal to discuss Madeleine leads ITV News

CPS in Portugal over Madeleine

5:06PM, FRI 21 JUN 2013

UK Government lawyers travelled to Portugal to discuss new leads in the case of missing Madeleine McCann with their Portuguese counterparts, it has been confirmed.

London's chief crown prosecutor Alison Saunders and her deputy Jenny Hopkins flew to Portugal with Scotland Yard detectives in connection with the police force's review of the case.

Madeleine McCann was nearly four years old when she disappeared in May 2007.
Madeleine McCann was nearly four years old when she disappeared in May 2007.

Madeleine was nearly four years old when disappeared from her family's holiday apartment in Praia da Luz in Portugal's Algarve on 3 May, 2007, as her parents Kate and Gerry dined at a nearby tapas restaurant with friends.

A Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) spokesman said: "Prosecutors from CPS London, and investigators from the MPS [Metropolitan Police Service], visited their Portuguese counterparts on April 17-18 to discuss possible next steps in relation to the disappearance of Madeleine McCann.

"We continue to work with the police on this case."

Madeleine McCann: UK prosecutors visit Portugal to discuss new leads, 21 June 2013
Madeleine McCann: UK prosecutors visit Portugal to discuss new leads The Guardian

Review of case by Met police has uncovered a number of potential suspects who have not been interviewed

Sandra Laville, crime correspondent
Friday 21 June 2013 18.14 BST

Madeleine McCann went missing from her parents holiday apartment in Praia da Luz in 2007. Photograph: PA

Senior prosecutors have travelled to Portugal in a move that could pave the way for the Metropolitan police to begin a new investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann.

Alison Saunders, the senior crown prosecutor for London, and her colleague Jenny Hopkins, head of the complex casework unit, discussed new leads in the inquiry with their Portuguese counterparts.

A £5m Met review of the case, which began in 2011, has uncovered a number of potential suspects who have not been interviewed. Detectives have said they need to be questioned in order for them to be eliminated or pursued further.

The visit of Saunders and Hopkins, accompanied by Met investigators, is a significant development – and adds to speculation that the Met are about to begin a new investigation into the disappearance of the three-year-old in May 2007.

A spokeswoman for the CPS confirmed that prosecutors from CPS London and investigators from the MPS had visited their Portuguese counterparts to discuss the disappearance.

Detective Chief Superintendent Hamish Campbell, who supervised the Met review, said recently that there were a number of individuals who needed to be questioned in relation to the investigation as well as further forensic opportunities to examine.

It is understood that up to 20 individuals need to be questioned. These include some known child offenders who were in the Algarve at the time Madeleine disappeared.

The Met began a review into the case – funded by the Home Office – after Madeleine's parents, Kate and Gerry McCann, appealed to the prime minister, David Cameron, for help.

The Portuguese investigation was closed in 2008 and there have been repeated discussions between the British and Portuguese authorities with a view to reopening the inquiry. So far the Portuguese have refused to do so, saying concrete new evidence would be required.

An investigation led by the Metropolitan police would allow detectives in the UK to interview suspects.

The Metropolitan police is understood to have asked the Home Office to fund a full investigation. A development is likely within the next few weeks.

Madeleine went missing from her parents' apartment in Praia da Luz in 2007 as her mother and father dined with friends at a nearby restaurant.

Detective Chief Inspector Andy Redwood, who is leading the Met police review, said last year his team had identified 195 potential leads.

Scotland Yard also published an age-enhanced image of what Madeleine might look like today, aged nine, saying they had uncovered new information to suggest she could still be alive and living with her abductor.

Trolls target Kate McCann over missing Maddie, 22 June 2013
Trolls target Kate McCann over missing Maddie Daily Star

ABOVE: Friends of the McCanns called on Facebook to remove the offensive messages and shut down the group

 

By Jerry Lawton
22nd June 2013

TWISTED trolls have sent death threats to Kate McCann over the disappearance of her daughter Maddie.

As police raised new hopes of solving the mystery, one sicko posted a vile message calling for the 45-year-old former GP to be shot.

It appeared on a Facebook page devoted to the youngster, who vanished from a holiday apartment in Praia da Luz, Portugal, in May 2007.

The fiend wrote: "Just shoot the f***ers. World's bad enough with wars now we have these mind games.

"Stick a gun to Kate's head and she will tell ya they were bulls**tting all along."

Others left similar messages abusing Kate and her 45-year-old heart consultant husband Gerry.

Friends of the McCanns called on Facebook to remove the offensive messages and shut down the group.

One said: "It's disgusting anyone could write anything like that. Hasn't Kate suffered enough? Whoever has done this should be in a police cell."

Yesterday it was revealed that lawyers have visited Portugal in connection with Scotland Yard's £5m review of the case, which has unearthed up to 20 suspects.

London's chief crown prosecutor Alison Saunders and her deputy Jenny Hopkins met Portuguese law chiefs to discuss the new leads.

The visit, the first by senior UK prosecutors, underlines the belief among senior British detectives that the case could still be solved.

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Facebook entry:

20 June 2013

 
Facebook comment

Madeleine: Fresh hope as British legal team head to Portugal over new evidence, 22 June 2013
Madeleine: Fresh hope as British legal team head to Portugal over new evidence Daily Express (paper edition)

 
Daily Express, 26 July 2013

 

[picture]

Madeleine McCann who went missing in Portugal six years ago

SEE PAGE 9

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Top prosecutor looks at new leads in Madeleine McCann hunt Daily Express

A FRESH Madeleine McCann inquiry was a step closer yesterday as one of Britain's top prosecutors flew to Portugal for a summit over new leads in the case.

By: John Twomey
Published: Sat, June 22, 2013

A fresh inquiry into Madeleine McCann may shed new light on her disappearance

Alison Saunders, chief crown ­prosecutor for London, discussed crucial developments in the case uncovered by Scotland Yard.

It is the first time such a senior figure from the Crown Prosecution Service has travelled to Portugal in connection with Madeleine's dis­appearance and her presence, along with her deputy, fuelled speculation that a new inquiry is about to be launched.

A fresh probe, probably jointly funded by Britain and Portugal, will look into at least 20 new suspects identified by Scotland Yard's Operation Grange.

Home Secretary Theresa May is shortly expected to announce a new investigation into Madeleine's disappearance six years ago at the age of three.

A CPS spokeswoman said: "Prosecutors from CPS London and ­investigators from the Metropolitan Police Service visited their Portuguese counterparts on April 17-18 to discuss possible next steps in ­relation to the disappearance of Madeleine McCann. We continue to work with the police on this case."

The McCanns' spokesman Clarence Mitchell said they would not comment publicly while Operation Grange continues.

He said: "They remain grateful, however, to the UK authorities for the work being done to establish what happened to Madeleine and to bring those responsible for her abduction to justice."

Mrs Saunders, a possible successor to retiring Director of Public Prosecutions Keir Starmer, QC, was joined by her deputy Jenny Hopkins on the trip to Portugal.

It came after the Yard team identified fresh suspects. The Portuguese authorities say they require new information to justify re-opening the inquiry.

Operation Grange, conducted by Scotland Yard's Homicide and ­Serious Crime Command, was launched in May 2011.

Last month Detective Chief Superintendent Hamish Campbell said the review had identified "both investigative and forensic opportunities" and "more than a handful of people of interest".

As they marked the sixth anniversary of Madeleine's disappearance last month, Mr and Mrs McCann said they were encouraged by ­Operation Grange and added that police seemed "more determined than ever".

The couple's hopes were further reinforced by the recent ­discovery of three women held ­captive in Ohio since being kidnapped as children. Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight went missing 10 years ago in separate incidents.

Kate and Gerry McCann talk to the media in an apartment in Praia Da Luz, Portugal

When the women were found, the McCanns said the rescue "reaffirmed" their hope of finding their daughter, which has never diminished. It has been reported that Home Secretary Theresa May is set to announce a full-scale Scotland Yard investigation into Madeleine’s disappearance.

A full investigation would allow police to interview suspects in Britain, though they would seek the assistance of the Portuguese to carry out their inquiries there. A Home Office spokesman said: "The Home Office remains committed to supporting the search for Madeleine McCann and we have always said we would provide the Metropolitan Police with the resources they need to investigate her disappearance."

Madeleine vanished from her ­family's holiday apartment as her mother Kate, 45, and father Gerry, 44, dined with friends nearby in the Algarve resort of Praia da Luz in May, 2007.

Operation Grange was launched after the couple, both doctors from Rothley, Leicestershire, appealed to David Cameron.

In all, the Grange squad has ­identified around 200 potential leads. Yard officers have travelled to ­Portugal and Spain several times.

Madeleine and the UK prosecutors, 22 June 2013
Madeleine and the UK prosecutors Algarve Newswatch

Len Port
Saturday, June 22, 2013 6:54 PM

Reports that top officials from the Crown Prosecution Service in London have had discussions in Lisbon with their Portuguese counterparts about the Madeleine McCann case have sparked yet more intrigue in a six-year saga brimming over with controversy and mystery.

In breaking the latest story, the London Evening Standard noted it was the first time that CPS lawyers had visited Portugal in connection with the Metropolitan Police's £5 million review of the case and that it brought "new hope."

First reports gave the impression that the CPS visit to Lisbon was very recent. In fact, Alison Saunders, the senior crown prosecutor for London, and her colleague Jenny Hopkins, head of the complex casework unit, visited in April.

"The visit of Saunders and Hopkins, accompanied by Met investigators, is a significant development – and adds to speculation that the Met are about to begin a new investigation into the disappearance of the three-year-old in May 2007," said the Guardian.

Amid conjecture over who might be included in the "people of interest" likely to be questioned in any fresh inquiry, both sides in the heated public debate over what may have happened to Madeleine have taken heart from the CPS involvement.

The Sun declared that "Brit prosecutors have been to Portugal in the hunt for Madeleine McCann's kidnapper — signalling fresh momentum in the bid to solve the mystery."

The Independent said the prosecutors discussed "new leads." The Daily Telegraph reported that the meeting was held to discuss "possible next steps."

CPS logo

In fact, we do not know what was discussed in Lisbon, only that the CPS visit was conducted in total secrecy. And it should be remembered that in English law public prosecutors - the CPS - do not investigate crimes. That is the role of the police. The CPS decides on sufficiency of evidence and then decides whether it is in the public interest to prosecute.

With this in mind, a key question: Were the visitors testing the sufficiency of the Portuguese evidence on various points so as to be able to prosecute in the UK?

Another question: By announcing the visit to the press in recent days was the idea to tempt revealing words or actions by the person or persons responsible for Madeleine's disappearance?

Having held the talks in April, the London prosecutors have perhaps had sufficient time to make a report and forward it for consideration to the British Home Secretary, Theresa May. It is for her to decide what the next step should be.

Speculation among newspaper readers and in online forums has been ratcheted up, but, much more importantly, there is fresh reason to hope that real progress towards justice in this case may now be on the way.

Short Madeleine McCann feature, 28 June 2013
Short Madeleine McCann feature Channel 5 News (no video)

Channel 5 News

Broadcast Friday 28 June 2013

Polly Whitehouse: The disappearance of Madeleine McCann has baffled detectives for six years.

Now, as British detectives prepare to re-start the investigation, 5 News has been to the resort where Madeleine went missing. We've discovered that the police there have little appetite for keeping the search going.

But Robert Murat, a British man who was falsely accused at the time, has told us it's vital they find out what happened to Madeleine.

Leyla Hayes is in Praia da Luz. Leyla, what did he have to say to you?

Leyla Hayes: (live in Praia da Luz, to camera) Well, Robert Murat was cleared of having any involvement in Madeleine's disappearance many years ago but he told me that even today he still feels that he's living under a cloud and, like the McCanns, he wants a new investigation so that he can move forward.

(voice over) Praia da Luz, Portugal. Peaceful and popular with British tourists but six years ago the tranquility of this Algarve resort was shattered.

[Archive footage section]

Gerry McCann: Words cannot describe the anguish and despair that we are feeling as the parents of our beautiful daughter Madeleine.

Leyla Hayes: (voice over) Madeleine McCann disappeared just days before her fourth birthday. The mystery of what happened to her has never been solved.

Thirteen days after Madeleine's disappearance, Robert Murat was named as a suspect. He was later completely cleared but has told 5 News he still feels the case is hanging over him.

[End of archive footage section]

Robert Murat: I've tried to move on and my family's tried to move on but it's always something that, errr... my... I... I'm linked to, errm... whenever there's anything that's new, my name gets mentioned and it... so, yes, I'd like to see it resolved.

Leyla Hayes: (voice over) It's believed the Home Office has now agreed to fund a new investigation into Madeleine's disappearance following a review of the case by the Metropolitan Police.

(to camera) Madeleine disappeared from Apartment 5A, here at the Ocean Club, in Praia da Luz. The Portuguese inquiry was closed in 2008 but the British police have now uncovered more than 20 new suspects including British tourists, people who worked here and known paedophiles who were in the Algarve at the time of Madeleine's disappearance.

(voice over) But this former chief inspector from the Portuguese police says without concrete evidence the authorities in Portugal will never re-open the case.

Carlos Anjos: The new evidence that the British police have presented is meaningless. It's not important to the criminal investigation here.

Leyla Hayes: (voice over) During the Portuguese inquiry both Kate and Gerry McCann were also named as suspects and later completely cleared. Sandra Felgueiras is a journalist who has covered the case from the start.

Sandra Felgueiras: Portuguese people will never forget the impact they've had in the first moment that the Portuguese police admitted the possibility of the McCanns being involved on Madeleine's disappearance. This was a very strong turning point and I don't know if it will be possible to the Portuguese people just forget it.

Leyla Hayes: (voice over) But Robert Murat believes a new inquiry could finally bring closure.

(to Robert Murat) What would it mean to you, if this case could be solved?

Robert Murat: Oh, everything, I think, errr... if it could be solved, I think that's... that... everything, yeah.

Leyla Hayes: Do you mean you could finally move on?

Robert Murat: Yeah, yeah.

Leyla Hayes: (voice over) Six years on, Madeleine McCann is still missing but it's hoped that with a new investigation the mystery of her disappearance can finally be solved.

Leyla Hayes, 5 News, Praia da Luz.

BBC: Madeleine McCann announcement at 14:00, 04 July 2013
BBC: Madeleine McCann announcement at 14:00 BBC News (scrolling text)

 
BBC: Madeleine McCann announcement at 14:00, 04 July 2013

 

[Text version of above]

BBC Local Live

MADELEINE MCCANN

1010: On the Madeleine McCann investigation, Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe told BBC London 94.9's Vanessa Feltz show an announcement was to be made at 1400 today and he did not want to pre-empt that.

Latest update on Madeleine McCann case, 04 July 2013
Latest update on Madeleine McCann case Metropolitan Police

04 July 2013

Incident Date
03/05/2007

Incident Location
Praia da Luz , Portugal

Description
Detectives from the Metropolitan Police Service conducting the investigative review into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann have now moved to an investigative stage of the inquiry.

Over the past two years the review, whilst not complete, has been in a unique position having drawn together material from the UK, Portugal and private investigators from seven different companies.

This process has been complex and issues such as translation of material have presented particular challenges. To date some 30,500 documents have entered into the process which has generated in excess of 3,800 actions. The actions that we have completed have generated new findings and new witness evidence.

Our review has sought to prioritise the material, ensuring we are doing everything possible to understand what happened to Madeleine. In the absence of any clear evidence to the contrary we maintain our belief that Madeleine may still be alive.

The MPS has conducted sixteen visits to Portugal and we have met and shared our findings with key members of both the Policia Judiciaria and Judicial Authorities. Our relationship is positive and we are grateful for the co-operation we have received thus far.

We are satisfied that our review has now progressed to a position where we have identified 38 persons of interest. These individuals are from a number of European countries and we are now at an advanced stage of dialogue with each country.

Over the coming months we will be conducting assertive enquiries, with the assistance of host countries to establish more information about the individuals concerned and any potential involvement.

Twelve of the persons of interest are UK Nationals who we believe were in Portugal at the time Madeleine went missing.

Officers, under Operation Grange, have formally requested the Crown Prosecution Service submit an International Letter of Request to the Portuguese Authorities seeking assistance in obtaining evidence relating to lines of enquiry they wish to pursue. This has been done with the full support of the UK Government.

The MPS has requested, in accordance with accepted Mutual Assistance practice, that a small number of UK officers are present in Portugal whilst the enquiries are undertaken.

The MPS will be as open as our operational priorities allow but in the context of this complex operating environment we appeal for media restraint. There is a real risk that a lack of restraint could serve to seriously undermine our ability to progress.

Detective Chief Inspector Andy Redwood, heading Operation Grange said today:

"We, and the Portuguese authorities, remain completely committed to finding out what happened to Madeleine, and everything we do is utterly focused on her best interests.

"We continue to believe that there is a possibility that Madeleine is alive.

"It is a positive step in our hunt for Madeleine that our understanding of the evidence has enabled us to shift from review to investigation.

"We have identified 38 persons of interest from a number of European countries. Twelve of those people are UK Nationals who we believe were in Portugal at the time Madeleine disappeared.

"Our working relationship with the Portuguese police is positive and now that we have moved to investigation we are requesting further specific assistance through normal judicial routes.

"We remain in close contact with Kate and Gerry McCann and they are updated on our current position.

"We continue to appeal for information. If you were at the resort of Praia da Luz between 28 April and 3 May 2007, either on holiday or in residence in the resort during this period, particularly in the vicinity of the Ocean Club, and you have not been spoken to by police either here or in Portugal then please call us on 0800 0961011 if you are within the UK.

"The number for non-UK residents is +44 2071580 126. Alternatively if you do not want to speak to us directly you can contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111."

Det Ch Insp Andy Redwood press conference, 04 July 2013
Det Ch Insp Andy Redwood press conference

Transcript

By Nigel Moore, with thanks to A Miller

Journalist: What has the Metropolitan Police decided to do in relation to the Madeleine McCann case?

Det Ch Insp Andy Redwood: Well, in relation to the two years work we've undertaken, we have decided to move from review to, errm... investigation.

Journalist: And why have you decided to do that?

Det Ch Insp Andy Redwood: Well, we in consultation with our Portuguese colleagues are absolutely committed... absolutely committed to finding out what happened to Madeleine McCann and we've been in a unique position, over the last two years, in drawing together three strands: Portuguese, UK and private investigators material. From that, a vans... a vast quality [sic: quantity] of material is being analysed and we have identified 38 persons of interest, and, within that, 12 who are UK nationals, and it's from that position that we've been able to move from review to investigation.

Journalist: So what does this mean practically in terms of the search for Madeleine McCann, what happens now?

Det Ch Insp Andy Redwood: Well, what it means practically is that we will be shortly serving to the Portuguese authorities, following a judicial route, errm... formal request for evidence to be gathered.

Journalist: What can you tell us about people that you have found who are of interest; the numbers, where they are from and what you intend to do?

Det Ch Insp Andy Redwood: Yes, well those 38 people in total from... from a number of European countries and obviously the... the inquiries that we seek to undertake will be... will be to understand more about what role, if any, they played in Madeleine's disappearance. What I should say though - over the last two years - the review has told me, is that there is no clear, definitive proof that Madeleine McCann is dead and so on that basis I still genuinely believe that there is a possibility that she is alive, and so I would ask the public to continue to look for her. If you look on the Metropolitan Police website, you'll see the image that we presented last year to the public, and all the contact details, and if the public aren't happy to talk to police then they can call Crimestroppers [sic] on 0800 555 111.

Journalist: You are confident that you can try and find her alive?

Det Ch Insp Andy Redwood: Well, everything we are doing is focused towards trying to finding Madeleine McCann, errm... and there are no guarantees of any outcome but I can assure you of our absolute determination to try and establish what has happened to her.

Journalist: What about the McCann family they've been involved have they, in...?

Det Ch Insp Andy Redwood: Madeleine McCann's parents, Kate and Gerry McCann, have been in close collaboration with us from the beginning and I meet with them regularly and they are fully updated as to where we are in terms of our Review and now investigation.

Journalist: In terms of those suspects who are of interest, errm... some of them are abroad and some of them are in the UK. Can you can just talk to... what… who those suspects are, what... where they are?

Det Ch Insp Andy Redwood: Well, I... I wouldn't use the word 'suspects', they are persons of interest and they are a mixture of people from a number of places in Europe, and what I wouldn’t want to do today is to go into any great detail about that other tha... other than to assure you that we are working diligently to find out more about these individuals.

Journalist: What has changed, errm... Have you had new information, new evidence? What has changed to lead you to open this investigation?

Det Ch Insp Andy Redwood: Well, as we have worked carefully over the last sort of two years, through that review process, we have now processed some 30,000 documents and some of those documents could have, say, one page, some have got hundreds of pages. From that, you will recall last year that I said we had 195 investigative opportunities. We have now generated over 3,800 actions and it is from a careful analysis of that work that we have been able to establish new thinking and we have spoken to witnesses that have provided new evidence for us.

Journalist: And the Portuguese police are being helpful in this investigation being led by the British police?

Det Ch Insp Andy Redwood: Yes, we have visited Portugal on 16 occasions; the Portuguese have worked with us; we have always been welcome guests and we are working carefully and closely together now in order to progress this case.

Journalist: Some people... some people suggested, quite cruelly at the time, that the McCann parents might be in some way involved with the disappearance of Madeleine McCann. What can you say about the involvement of Madeleine McCann's parents in anything to do with her disappearance?

Det Ch Insp Andy Redwood: Neither her parents or any of the member of the group that were with her are either persons of interest or suspects.

Journalist: Because, obviously, there was some rumours at the time, but you are quite categorical in that?

Det Ch Insp Andy Redwood: They are not persons of interest or suspects, they are parents who have lost their daughter and we are doing all that we can to bring resolution for them to find out what has happened to Madeleine.

Journalist: How... how big is the team that is involved in this and where do you go from here?

Det Ch Insp Andy Redwood: My team consists of 37 staff; that's a mixture, predominantly of police officers but also police staff as well. The size of my team will stay largely the same, errm... and moving forward from here we will hopefully have a position where - whilst the legal inquiries are being conducted, errm... by the Portuguese - that we have the ability to be present while those inquiries are taking place. So I envisage a situation where a small number of officers will be present in Portugal.

Journalist: And obviously there has been many years since this case - are you still confident you can discover what happened to Madeleine?

Det Ch Insp Andy Redwood: We have been in a unique position, in drawing those three key strands together. That has given us the ability to see this case with fresh eyes and through that bring out new... genuinely new lines of inquiry and I'm hopeful that when we pursue those lines of inquiry that we'll be able to bring some sort of resolution. Whether we'll be able to solve it is a different issue but I hope that we'll be able to make... have the ability to move the investigation on.

Journalist: And is this really the last chance for the investigation? Where would you see this fitting into the years that we've had so far?

Det Ch Insp Andy Redwood: Well, I believe critically that this is an important moment for Madeleine. Errm... It is... it is the culmination, as I say, of that unique piece of work and it is, errr... and it is a great opportunity which we intend to exploit to the full.

-------------------------

[Note: The final question/answer does not appear on this video but was broadcast by ITV News (see below)]

ITV News videos, 04 July 2013
ITV News videos ITV News

04 July 2013

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Police identify 38 people of interest in Madeleine case ITV News

1:01 pm, Thu 04 Jul 2013

 
Det Ch Insp Andy Redwood

 

Detective Chief Inspector Andy Redwood, head of the investigation into Madeleine McCann's disappearance, has said that they want to talk to 38 people from across Europe - including 12 UK nationals - in connection with they inquiry.

The missing girl's parents Gerry and Kate are not among the people of interest.

Transcript

By Nigel Moore

Journalist: What has the Metropolitan Police decided to do in relation to the Madeleine McCann case?

Det Ch Insp Andy Redwood: Well, in relation to the two years work we've undertaken, we have decided to move from review to, errm... investigation.

Journalist: And why have you decided to do that?

Det Ch Insp Andy Redwood: Well, we in consultation with our Portuguese colleagues are absolutely committed... absolutely committed to finding out what happened to Madeleine McCann and we've been in a unique position, over the last two years, in drawing together three strands: Portuguese, UK and private investigators material. From that, a vans... a vast quality [sic: quantity] of material is being analysed and we have identified 38 persons of interest, and, within that, 12 who are UK nationals, and it's from that position that we've been able to move from review to investigation.

---------------------


'No clear definitive proof Madeleine McCann is dead' ITV News

1:01 pm, Thu 04 Jul 2013

 
Det Ch Insp Andy Redwood

 

Metropolitan Police Detective Chief Inspector Andy Redwood has said there was "no clear definitive proof Madeleine McCann is dead" and urged the public to continue looking for the missing girl.

Transcript

By Nigel Moore

Journalist: What can you tell us about people you have found who are of interest; the numbers, where they are from and what you intend to do?

Det Ch Insp Andy Redwood: Yes, well those 38 people in total from... from a number of European countries and obviously the... the inquiries that we seek to undertake will be... will be to understand more about what role, if any, they played in Madeleine's disappearance. What I should say though - over the last two years - the review has told me, is that there is no clear, definitive proof that Madeleine McCann is dead and so on that basis I still genuinely believe that there is a possibility that she is alive, and so I would ask the public to continue to look for her. If you look on the Metropolitan Police website, you'll see the image that we presented last year to the public, and all the contact details, and if the public aren't happy to talk to police then they can call Crimestroppers [sic] on 0800 555 111.

Journalist: You are confident that you can try and find her alive?

Det Ch Insp Andy Redwood:
Well, everything we are doing is focused towards trying to finding Madeleine McCann, errm... and there are no guarantees of any outcome but I can assure you of our absolute determination to try and establish what has happened to her.

-----------------------

'This is an important moment for Madeleine' ITV News

1:01 pm, Thu 04 Jul 2013

 
Det Ch Insp Andy Redwood

 

Metropolitan Police Detective Chief Inspector Andy Redwood has said told ITV News that moving from a review to an investigation in the Madeleine McCann case was "an important moment" for the missing girl.

He said drawing together the material obtained by Scotland Yard, Portuguese authorities and private investigators had increased their investigative leads from 195 to over 3,800.

Transcript

By Nigel Moore

Journalist: And obviously there has been many years since this case - are you still confident you can discover what happened to Madeleine?

Det Ch Insp Andy Redwood: We have been in a unique position, in drawing those three key strands together. That has given us the ability to see this case with fresh eyes and through that bring out new... genuinely new lines of inquiry and I'm hopeful that when we pursue those lines of inquiry that we'll be able to bring some sort of resolution. Whether we'll be able to solve it is a different issue but I hope that we'll be able to make... have the ability to move the investigation on.

Journalist: And is this really the last chance for the investigation? Where would you see this fitting into the years that we've had so far?

Det Ch Insp Andy Redwood: Well, I believe critically that this is an important moment for Madeleine. Errm... It is... it is the culmination, as I say, of that unique piece of work and it is, errr... and it is a great opportunity which we intend to exploit to the full.

------------------


Robert Murat: I've tried to move on but I'm linked ITV News

2:00 pm, Thu 04 Jul 2013

In an interview with Channel 5 News, former Madeleine McCann suspect Robert Murat has spoken about the difficulty he faced in moving on from the accusations.

The Algarve-based businessman was named as a suspect in the disappearance of Madeleine from Rothley in Leicestershire in 2007, and was cleared in July 2008.

 
Robert Murat

 

In the interview he said: "I've tried to move on, my family's tried to move on but it's always something I'm linked to.

"Whenever there's anything that's new my name gets mentioned it it so yes, I'd like to see it resolved."

Transcript

By Nigel Moore

Robert Murat: I've tried to move on and my family's tried to move on but it's always something that, errr... my... I... I'm linked to. Errm... whenever there's anything that's new, my name gets mentioned and it... so yes, I'd like to see it resolved. 

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Parish Clerk: Any news must be good news ITV News

2:00 pm, Thu 04 Jul 2013

 
Robin Dent

 

A Scotland Yard detective has revealed that they are investigating 38 people in connection with the disappearance of Madeleine McCann.

Robin Dent, Rothley Parish Council clerk said: "Any news on it must be good news, we just hope that this time something will come of it, obviously everybody thinks of the family around here, we just hope something good comes out."

Transcript

By Nigel Moore

Robin Dent: Any news on... on it must be good news, just hope that this time something will come of it, errm... obviously the... the family... everybody thinks for the family round here and just hope... hope things... something good comes out.

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Scotland Yard needed from 'the outset' for Madeleine ITV News

2:24 pm, Thu 04 Jul 2013

A former chief superintendent at Scotland Yard said the force should have been "brought in from the outset" to deal with the Madeleine McCann disappearance.

It comes as the head of the new full-scale Metropolitan Police inquiry into the Leicestershire child's disappearance has said there are 38 persons of interest, including 12 British nationals, that they want to speak to.

 
Dai Davies

 

Mr Davies said: "The lesson surely has to be that you involve professional police forces who have the experience and ability in a global scenario in terms of kinap and ransom.

"Scotland Yard are arguably one of the best in the world, they should have been brought in from the outset as I did call for."

Transcript

By Nigel Moore

Dai Davies: Well, the lesson surely has to be that you involve professional police forces who have the experience and ability, in a global scenario, in terms of kidnap and ransing [sic: ransom]. Scotland Yard are arguably one of the best in the world - they should have been brought in from the outset, as I did call for.

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British police investigate 38 suspects over Madeleine disappearance ITV News

8:09 pm, Thu 04 Jul 2013

British detectives who've reopened the case of Madeleine McCann say they're investigating 38 people in connection with her disappearance.

Madeleine, then aged three, went missing while on holiday in Portugal in 2007.

Keith Wilkinson reports on the new lines of inquiry.
 

 
Det Ch Insp Andy Redwood: Neither her parents or any of the member of the group that were with her are either persons of interest or suspects.


 

Transcript

By Nigel Moore

Keith Wilkinson: (voice over) For two years Scotland Yard have been looking into the mystery: 'Whatever happened to Madeleine McCann?' They haven't yet answered that question but they have reached one significant conclusion:

Det Ch Insp Andy Redwood: There is no clear, definitive proof that Madeleine McCann is dead and so on that basis I still genuinely believe that there is a possibility that she is alive, and so I would ask the public to continue to look for her.

Keith Wilkinson: (voice over) Aged three, Madeleine from Rothley, in Leicestershire, vanished from the apartment where she was staying with her parents on the Algarve.

The Metropolitan Police team are now investigating several people, although they are not describing them as suspects.

Det Ch Insp Andy Redwood: We have identified 38 persons of interest, and, within that, 12 who are UK nationals, and it's from that position that we've been able to move from review to investigation.

Keith Wilkinson: (voice over) The 38 are from a number of European countries and the police have made it clear they do not include Madeleine's parents, Kate and Gerry McCann.

Det Ch Insp Andy Redwood: Neither her parents or any of the member of the group that were with her are either persons of interest or suspects.

Keith Wilkinson: (voice over) The Met say the Portuguese police have been helpful and are committed to solving the case but one former senior officer at Scotland Yard has spoken of the lost opportunities in the early days.

Dai Davies: Well, the foundations as laid by the Portuguese left a huge amount to be desired. In... in essence it was a... a bosched [sic: botched] investigation from the outset. They simply failed to do what a competent police force should have done, in my opinion.

Keith Wilkinson: (voice over) Robert Murat was originally named as a suspect but was completely cleared. He says he welcomes the new attempts to find the real culprits.

Robert Murat: I've tried to move on and my family's tried to move on but it's always something that, errr... my... I... I'm linked to. Errm... whenever there's anything that's new, my name gets mentioned and it... so yes, I'd like to see it resolved.

Det Ch Insp Andy Redwood: I'm hopeful that when we pursue those lines of inquiry that we'll be able to bring some sort of resolution. Whether we'll be able to solve it is a different issue but I hope that we'll be able to make... have the ability to move the investigation on.

Kate and Gerry McCann the driving force behind Madeleine investigation, 04 July 2013
Kate and Gerry McCann the driving force behind Madeleine investigation The Guardian

After years of relentless searching for clues to their daughter's disappearance, the McCanns now have full police support

Sandra Laville, crime correspondent
Thursday 4 July 2013 14.01 BST

Kate and Gerry McCann launch their book, Madeleine, about their daughter's disappearance. Photograph: Anthony Devlin/PA

Kate and Gerry McCann were absent when the detective who represents probably the last hope of finding their daughter Madeleine, calmly outlined the new evidence he had unearthed about her disappearance.

They were not in the room, but they were the driving force behind what is the most significant development in the hunt for Madeleine since the inconclusive Portuguese investigation was shelved in 2008.

After many years in which they have pursued a relentless and at times lonely search without police guidance for any clues about what happened to their daughter, the McCanns are now being supported throughout by a family liaison officer from the Metropolitan police.

"They are being kept up to date with every development," said Deputy Assistant Commissioner Martin Hewitt.

That support will continue in the weeks and months ahead as the complex police inquiry, which is being run from the UK with the help of the Portuguese and other European police forces, develops.

It was the McCanns' dogged determination that led to the creation of the Met police review of all the evidence and information in the case in 2011.

Gerry and Kate McCann walk past a poster about Madeleine in Praia da Luz days after she disappeared. Photograph: Manuel Barros/AFP/Getty Images

After years of using private detectives to pursue fleeting sightings and clues which dissolved into nothing, Kate and Gerry McCann turned in desperation to David Cameron for help. His request to the Metropolitan police to review the case was embraced by the senior investigating officer, Detective Chief Inspector Andy Redwood.

While some questioned the scale of the task the Met was taking on, Redwood and his team set out to first collect the tens of thousands of documents from the various authorities and private detective agencies involved, then to have them translated and later put into the police system using the latest computer software to sift and cross-check information.

It is an ongoing task which Redwood admits has been an enormous challenge. But the careful and forensic nature of the process has cleared a path through the mountains of documents and identified the leads and potential suspects for which Madeleine's parents have longed.

In the background, the negotiations with the Portuguese prosecutors and police have been continuous. This investigation, the Met says, is being done hand in hand with their Portuguese colleagues in a determined effort to move the inquiry forward.

As the police team move into the phase of a full-blown criminal investigation, Scotland Yard is asking for media restraint. If and when arrests take place that call will no doubt be severely tested, but the police hope that this time round there is enough support in place to help the McCann family through the developments as they unfold.

The McCanns give evidence to the Leveson inquiry about media scrutiny over the disappearance of Madeleine.

Whatever happens next with the inquiry, it is the tenacity of Kate and Gerry McCann which has created what amounts to the best opportunity yet of finally finding the truth about the disappearance of Madeleine.

Madeleine McCann: New leads spark Met formal inquiry, 04 July 2013
Madeleine McCann: New leads spark Met formal inquiry BBC News

4 July 2013 Last updated at 18:09

Madeleine was almost four years old when she disappeared

Scotland Yard says it has "new evidence and new witnesses" in the Madeleine McCann case and has opened a formal investigation into her disappearance.

The Met Police said it still believed there was a chance Madeleine was alive and it was investigating 38 "persons of interest" after reviewing the evidence.

Madeleine's parents, Gerry and Kate McCann, said the shift from review to investigation was "a big step forward".

Madeleine was almost four when she disappeared in Portugal in May 2007.

She went missing from her family's holiday flat in the Algarve resort of Praia da Luz, as her parents dined out with friends at a nearby restaurant.

Portuguese authorities dropped their investigation into her disappearance in 2008, but Scotland Yard started a review in May 2011, after Prime Minister David Cameron had responded to a plea from the McCanns, of Rothley, Leicestershire.

New theories

Det Ch Insp Andy Redwood, who is heading what has been called Operation Grange, said: "The review has given us new thinking, new theories, new evidence and new witnesses."

His 37-strong police team is two-thirds of the way through examining 30,500 documents from files held by the Portuguese, private investigators and British police. Some fresh interviews have also taken place.

"Over the last two years what the review has told me is that there is no clear, definitive proof that Madeleine McCann is dead," Det Ch Insp Redwood said.

"So on that basis, I still genuinely believe that there is a possibility that she is alive."

He added: "It is a positive step in our hunt for Madeleine that our understanding of the evidence has enabled us to shift from review to investigation."

Scotland Yard's decision to formally open its own investigation - which, like the review, will be funded by the Home Office - follows extensive discussions with UK prosecutors and the Portuguese.

BBC home affairs correspondent Danny Shaw said: "It's highly unusual - although not unprecedented - for a British police force to launch its own inquiry into an incident abroad."

In a statement, the McCanns said: "Kate and Gerry warmly welcome the shift in the Met's emphasis from review to investigation.

"It is clearly a big step forward in establishing what happened and, hopefully, towards bringing whoever is responsible for Madeleine's abduction to justice."

The Met said the 38 "persons of interest," who include 12 British nationals, are from five European countries - Portugal, the UK and three unnamed others.

Detectives say they need to find out more information and collect evidence on them and are not anticipating any immediate arrests.

The 12 UK nationals, who are not all currently in the UK, are believed to have been in Portugal at the time of Madeleine's disappearance.

Portuguese assistance

The Met said it was "at an advanced stage of dialogue" with the other countries involved, and enquiries would be continuing with their assistance in the months ahead "to establish more information about the individuals concerned and any potential involvement".

A foreign national resident abroad could not be prosecuted in the UK for any possible crime that may be linked to Madeleine's disappearance.

The Metropolitan Police issued a computer-generated image (r) of how Madeleine might have looked aged nine

 

Detectives say Madeleine's parents, the friends the McCanns were with in Portugal and people known to the family before they went away are not suspects or people they need to investigate.

The investigation is currently closed in Portugal and as part of the country's criminal justice system it cannot be reopened unless judges are convinced there are solid grounds to do so.

British police have formally asked the Crown Prosecution Service to submit an international letter of request to Portuguese authorities for assistance in obtaining evidence relating to their inquiries.

The Met has asked for a small number of its officers to be present in Portugal for the inquiries there.

As part of the review, a computer-generated image of how Madeleine might have looked at the age of nine was created with the help of her family. They marked her 10th birthday on 12 May.

By May 2012 - one year into the review - the Home Office's costs had reached £1.9m. The Met Police said a more up-to-date figure for the cost of the review would be released in due course.

The former head of the National Police Improvement Agency Peter Neyroud said it was a difficult investigation because it involved two countries, possibly more.

"It was always going to be an expensive inquiry and it is a fine judgement as to how far you go on but if, as appears, there are fresh lines of inquiry and a case worth pursuing, there is a young lady out there who deserves to be reunited with her parents - or a murder case that deserves to be pursued."

---------------------------

Analysis

Danny Shaw

Danny Shaw
Home affairs correspondent, BBC News

-------------------------

A team of Scotland Yard's best detectives, assisted by police overseas, in an inquiry paid for by the Home Office, offers the best opportunity to find out what happened to Madeleine McCann. It may also be the last chance to do so.

Although the Yard can not put right mistakes made during the initial inquiry, when the Portuguese were accused of failing to seal off the area where Madeleine had been staying and gather all available forensic evidence, the new team has had access to all the files.

That has enabled detectives with no prior involvement to look at the case objectively and form fresh views about what may have happened to Madeleine. There is a real determination among officers to solve the mystery - and a quiet optimism that it may be possible.

Madeleine McCann: New UK Police Investigation, 04 July 2013
Madeleine McCann: New UK Police Investigation Sky News

7:10pm UK, Thursday 04 July 2013

UK police say Madeleine McCann may be alive and they have identified 38 potential suspects - six years after she went missing.

Video: Officers identify 38 'persons of interest' including 12 UK nationals

By Michelle Clifford, Senior News Correspondent

Detectives are targeting 12 British potential suspects as they launch a new investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann.

A Metropolitan Police team says they are among 38 "persons of interest" in the case and they are working on the assumption that Madeleine - aged three when she went missing in 2007 - may still be alive.

Officers have completed a two year review of the stalled Portuguese inquiry and say they are moving to an "investigative stage".

They now intend to pursue further information on the dozens of individuals they want to speak to over the suspected abduction of Madeleine from her family's holiday villa in Praia da Luz.

Kate and Gerry McCann said they "warmly welcome" the latest development in the search for their missing daughter.

The Met intends to apply to issue formal requests to Portugal for evidence to be gathered and to allow a team of British officers to be present during the process.

The working relationship between UK and Portuguese police is now said to be "positive and focused" after previous attempts at cooperation faltered amid intense interest in the case.

Detective Chief Inspector Andy Redwood, who is heading up the inquiry, calls this "a critical moment" in the the search for Madeleine.

Madeleine's parents Kate and Gerry say they "warmly welcome" the new probe
Madeleine's parents Kate and Gerry say they "warmly welcome" the new probe

He said: "We have been in a unique position over the last two years in drawing together three strands - Portuguese, UK and private investigators' material.

"From that vast quantity of material analysed we have identified 38 persons of interest and 12 who are UK nationals, and it is from that position that we are able to move from review to investigation."

DCI Redwood added: "There is no clear, definitive proof that Madeleine McCann is dead.

"On that basis I genuinely believe there is a possibility she is still alive. And so I would like to ask the public to continue to look for her."

Madeleine vanished from her bedroom in the Portuguese resort in May 2007 as her parents dined with friends nearby.

The local police investigation was called off a year later, yielding few clues into her disappearance or whereabouts.

In 2011, the Met launched its review of the case and earlier this year it was reported that around 20 "persons of interest" had been identified.

The Home Office said in June that it was prepared to fund any continuing investigation.

Met detectives have made 16 visits to Portugal and officers have met and shared their findings with key members of both the Policia Judiciaria and the judicial authorities.

A spokesman for the McCanns said: "Kate and Gerry warmly welcome the shift in the Met's emphasis from review to investigation.

"It is clearly a big step forward in establishing what happened and, hopefully, towards bringing whoever is responsible for Madeleine's abduction to justice."

-----------------------

Video transcript

By Nigel Moore

Michelle Clifford: (voice over) Six years on from her disappearance, and whilst they don't have a breakthrough, British police say they are making significant progress, calling this a critically important moment in the search for Madeleine McCann.

A two-year review by the Metropolitan force has unearthed important leads into what happened at the Portuguese resort of Praia da Luz in May 2007 and officers are now focusing on dozens of people they want to question - amongst them Britons.

Det Ch Insp Andy Redwood: We've been in a unique position, over the last two years, in drawing together three strands: Portuguese, UK and private investigators material. From that, a vans... a vast quality [sic: quantity] of material is being analysed and we have identified 38 persons of interest, and, within that, 12 who are UK nationals, and it's from that position that we've been able to move from review to investigation.

Michelle Clifford: (voice over) That shift is a significant one prompting the police to serve formal requests with the Portuguese authorities to assist in gathering evidence and to allow a small team of Metropolitan officers to be present in Portugal during that process.

The working relationship between the UK and Portuguese police is now said to be positive and focused and, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, both forces are working on the assumption Madeleine may still be alive.

Det Ch Insp Andy Redwood: There is no clear, definitive proof that Madeleine McCann is dead and so on that basis I still genuinely believe that there is a possibility that she is alive, and so I would ask the public to continue to look for her.

Michelle Clifford: (voice over) That's a belief Madeleine's parents have held onto since the day she vanished while on holiday with her family.

The three-year-old disappeared from her bedroom on the 3rd of May 2007.

That summer, while the police searched for clues, there were numerous false sightings and leads before the shock development in September when her parents were questioned as potential suspects.

Metropolitan detectives stress that Kate and Gerry McCann are not amongst the 12 people from the UK identified as of interest to them but the couple, who recently released this computer generated image of how Madeleine might look now [Teri Blythe image], welcomed the shift in police strategy, just weeks ago telling Sky News they were encouraged by the progress:

Gerry McCann: (archive footage) Because there's so much information, I get the feeling that the... the Met now feel that they're really just getting their teeth into it and they can see all these lines of inquiry that need followed up.

Michelle Clifford: (voice over) In a statement they said this is a big step towards finding out what happened and hopefully bringing whoever was responsible for their daughters abduction to justice. Michelle Clifford, Sky News, Scotland Yard.

Madeleine breakthrough: British police think she is alive, 05 July 2013
Madeleine breakthrough: British police think she is alive Daily Express (paper edition)

 
Daily Express, 05 July 2013

 

Twelve Britons are on new list of suspects

By Mark Reynolds

TWELVE Britons were identified as suspects yesterday as Scotland Yard began a new inquiry into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann.

They are among 38 new names to emerge from a review of the case which has convinced senior detectives that she could still be alive.

They believe Madel­eine, who would now be 10, was abducted by a stranger from her parents' holiday apartment in Portugal six years ago and have found no evidence she has been murdered.

Announcing that it was now moving from a review to a full-blown investigation, the Yard said it had uncovered "new evidence, new witnesses and new theories".

The 38 suspects or "people of interest" come from five countries, including the UK and Portugal.

All 12 Britons are believed to have been in Portugal, and possibly in the Praia da Luz resort area, at the time that Madeleine

TURN TO PAGE 4

---------------------

Madeleine McCann breakthrough: We've got new evidence, witnesses and theories say police Daily Express

TWELVE Britons were identified as suspects yesterday as Scotland Yard began a new inquiry into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann

By: Mark Reynolds
Published: Fri, July 5, 2013

Police have had a breakthrough whilst reviewing Madeleine MacCann's disappearance

 

They are among 38 new names to emerge from a review of the case which has convinced senior detectives that she could still be alive.

They believe Madel­eine, who would now be 10, was abducted by a stranger from her parents' holiday apartment in Portugal six years ago and have found no evidence she has been murdered.

Announcing that it was now moving from a review to a full-blown investigation, the Yard said it had uncovered "new evidence, new witnesses and new theories".

The 38 suspects or "people of interest" come from five countries, including the UK and Portugal.

All 12 Britons are believed to have been in Portugal, and possibly in the Praia da Luz resort area, at the time that Madeleine disappeared. Officers stressed that neither of Madeleine's parents, Gerry and Kate, nor any of the party who accompanied them on holiday, are among the 38.

Clarence Mitchell, spokesman for the McCanns, both 45, said the ­couple were delighted at the news of the new Metropolitan Police inquiry.

"Kate and Gerry warmly welcome the shift in the Met's emphasis from review to investigation," Mr Mitchell said.

"It is clearly a big step forward in establishing what happened and hopefully a step forward in bringing whoever is responsible for Madeleine’s abduction to justice."

The £5million Operation Grange review of the case has allowed police to piece together all relevant inform­ation from the UK and Portugal – and also ­crucially from private invest­igators working for seven different companies.

The 37-strong team of detectives, who say they have enjoyed excellent co-operation from their Portuguese counterparts during 16 visits to the country, now have about 30,500 doc­uments relating to the case and have carried out some 3,800 "actions".

Detective Chief Inspector Andy Redwood, head of Operation Grange, said the Met and the Portuguese authorities remained "completely committed to finding out what happened to Madeleine".

He added: "We continue to believe there is a possibility that Madeleine is alive.

"It is a positive step in our hunt for Madeleine that our understanding of the evidence has enabled us to shift from review to investigation.

"We have identified 38 persons of interest from a number of European countries. Twelve of those people are UK nationals who we believe were in Portugal at the time Madeleine disappeared."

Mr Redwood added: "Our working relationship with the Portuguese police is positive and now that we have moved to investigation we are requesting further specific assistance through normal judicial routes. We remain in close contact with Kate and Gerry McCann and they are updated on our current position."

While the investigation is at a very early stage, Mr Redwood said: "The review has given us new thinking, new theories, new evidence and new witnesses."

A computer generated image of how Madeleine McCann could look as she approaches her ninth birthday

 

He said he "genuinely" believed that Madeleine might still be alive, and appealed to the public to keep looking for her.

"Over the last two years what the review has told me is that there is no clear, definitive proof that Madeleine McCann is dead. So on that basis I still genuinely believe that there is a possibility that she is alive.

"I would ask the public to continue to look for her."

Operation Grange officers have now formally requested that the Crown Prosecution Service submit an International Letter of Request to the Portuguese authorities seeking assistance in obtaining evidence relating to lines of inquiry they wish to pursue.

The new developments give rise to the possibility of future arrests, though officers stressed no such action was imminent.

If a UK national was to be arrested in this country and charged with an offence of abduction or murder they could be tried at the Old Bailey in London even though any offence was likely to have been committed abroad.

If a foreign national was to be arrested abroad, the co-operation of foreign authorities and the laws of that particular country would determine where they would be tried if they were charged.

The McCann's have never given up hope

 

The Met said it had requested that, in accordance with accepted "mutual assistance" practice, a small number of British officers should be present in Portugal when further inquiries are undertaken in the coming months.

Operation Grange was launched in May 2011 after the McCanns, from Rothley, Leics, appealed directly to David Cameron for help from Scotland Yard.

The new investigation will be funded by the Home Office and the bill will come on top of the £5million that the review is estimated to have cost so far.

Madeleine was just three when she went missing shortly before her fourth birthday from a holiday apartment in Praia da Luz in Portugal's Algarve on May 3, 2007.

Her parents Kate and Gerry McCann had been dining at a nearby tapas restaurant with friends when they discovered her missing at about 10pm.

The Portuguese investigation was officially closed some months later but authorities there are backing the new Scotland Yard inquiry and officers from both countries will work together in pursuing new leads.

One British man who was falsely accused of kidnapping Madeleine last night reacted positively to news of the new police investigation. Robert Murat, who lived close to the apartment complex where the family were staying, told Channel 5 News: "It would mean a huge amount.

"It's something that's actually been hanging over my head in a way for the last six years and hasn't gone away, and never will go away because unfortunately you do always have two sides to every situation.

"You will always have people that have the feeling that it was you who was involved and it would be nice to have that put away once and for all."

---------------------------

Landmark moment in the tireless search for Madeleine McCann Daily Express

THE announcement by detectives that they are moving from a review to a full-blown investigation marks a major development in a long and arduous fight by Kate and Gerry McCann to find out what happened to their daughter.

Published: Fri, July 5, 2013

Kate and Gerry McCann with an image of how Madeleine could look now

 

Since Madeleine disappeared from their holiday apartment in Praia da Luz, Portugal, in May 2007, the McCanns have campaigned tirelessly to find their daughter.

When the Portuguese investigation drew a blank, Kate and Gerry later appealed directly to Prime Minister David Cameron for the British authorities to investigate.

The Metropolitan Police's review of Madeleine's disappearance, codenamed Operation Grange, was given the go-ahead by Home Secretary Theresa May two years ago.

A team of 37 officers has trawled through a vast amount of information – from the original Portuguese investigation, inquiries in the UK and also from seven private detective companies.

Detectives have now identified 38 potential suspects from five European countries, including Portugal. Twelve are UK nationals.

Officers have processed about 30,500 documents and have made 3,800 "actions".

They are optimistic they will solve the case. Detective Chief Inspector Andy Redwood, who heads Operation Grange, said: "We continue to believe that there is a possibility that Madeleine is alive."

The full-blown investigation was warmly welcomed by the McCanns, who have never given up hope of finding Madeleine alive, even after the Portuguese authorities formally closed their investigation.

British detectives have been to Portugal 16 times and shared their findings with the police and the judicial authorities.

UK prosecutors have also travelled to Portugal to pave the way for the opening of the British inquiry.

-------------------------------

Express Comment

Don't give up on Maddie
Daily Express

Published: Fri, July 5, 2013

An image of what Maddie is thought to resemble as she approaches her ninth birthday

NEWS that the Metropolitan Police has so many active leads to pursue in its investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann is both dramatic and encouraging.

Investigating officers believe there is a chance that she is still alive and have identified 38 persons of interest to them, including 12 Britons.

Everyone should pray for the breakthrough that would give her family the joy and peace of mind they so deserve after so many years of suffering.

----------------------------

[Note: First paragraph in 'Express Comment' above appears in paper edition but has been missed off the online version]

Maddie is still alive, 05 July 2013
Maddie is still alive Daily Star (paper edition)

 
Daily Star, 05 July 2013

 

UK cops re-open investigation with 12 NEW British suspects

MISSING Madeleine McCann could still be alive, Scotland Yard detectives announced last night.

British police launched their own investigation yesterday into her disappearance.

They already have a hit list of potential suspects and 12 of them are British.

Full story: P4-5

--------------------


Maddie is still alive Daily Star

ABOVE: Police say there is no evidence Madeleine McCann was murdered

By By Jerry Lawton
5th May 2013

TWELVE Brits are being investigated on suspicion of abducting Madeleine McCann, who could still be alive according to police.

They are among 38 potential suspects in five countries across Europe identified by UK detectives following a two-year review of the case.

The list includes a number of known child sex offenders.

Yesterday the Metropolitan Police launched their own investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine, then three, from her parents' holiday apartment in Portugal on May 3, 2007.

They said the move had been prompted by "new evidence, new witnesses, new thinking and new theories".

Detectives are convinced Madeleine was snatched by a stranger.

They have found no evidence she has been murdered and believe the youngster, who would now be 10, is being held in captivity or raised under a new identity.

British officers have cleared her parents of any involvement in her disappearance from the Algarve resort of Praia da Luz.

The so-called Tapas Seven – the holiday pals the couple were dining with in a nearby restaurant when Madeleine vanished – are also innocent, detectives say.

Not all 12 British "persons of interest" are currently in the UK.

The Met launched their probe after studying case files from police in Portugal and Leicestershire, where Madeleine’s doctor parents Kate and Gerry live, and paperwork from seven private detective agencies.

Portuguese police are working with the Met's 37-strong Operation Grange to find Madeleine.

Swiss Urs Hans Von Aesch, 67, who lived in Spain, had previously been named as one of many suspects, though not under the current Scotland Yard investigation.

He killed himself in woodland in Switzerland after he had abducted and killed five-year-old Ylenia Lenhard, just three months after Maddie went missing.

Met officers have already made 16 trips to Portugal.

Det Chief Insp Andy Redwood, who is leading the inquiry, said: "We and the Portuguese authorities remain completely committed to finding out what happened to Madeleine.

"Everything we do is utterly focused on her best interests.

"We continue to believe that there is a possibility that Madeleine is alive.

"It is a positive step in our hunt for Madeleine that our understanding of the evidence has enabled us to shift from review to investigation.

"We have identified 38 persons of interest from a number of European countries.

"Twelve of those people are UK nationals who we believe were in Portugal at the time Madeleine disappeared.

"We remain in close contact with Kate and Gerry McCann and they are updated on our current position."

A Met Police spokesman said its review had put the force in a "unique position having drawn together material from the UK, Portugal and private investigators from seven different companies".

He added: "The actions that we have completed have generated new findings and new witness evidence.

"In the absence of any clear evidence to the contrary we maintain our belief that Madeleine may still be alive.

"Over the coming months we will be conducting assertive inquiries with the assistance of host countries to establish more information about the individuals concerned and any potential involvement."

The McCanns' spokesman Clarence Mitchell said: "Kate and Gerry warmly welcome the shift in the Met's emphasis from review to investigation.

"It is clearly a big step forward in establishing what happened and hopefully a step forward in bringing whoever is responsible for Madeleine's abduction to justice."

The McCanns, both 45, have been supported by their seven pals on the holiday – GPs David and Fiona Payne, Dianne Webster, Dr Matthew Oldfield and his lawyer wife Rachael, and medic Russell O'Brien and his partner Jane Tanner.

Last night the mother of missing Ben Needham demanded British police launch a similar probe into her son's disappearance.

Ben, then 21 months old, was snatched on the Greek island of Kos in 1991.

Kerry, 41, from Sheffield, has financed searches.

She said: "I'm very happy that the McCanns are getting all the help but I want the same."

Maddy: Scotland Yard probe 12 new Brit suspects, 05 July 2013
Maddy: Scotland Yard probe 12 new Brit suspects Daily Mirror (paper edition)

 
Daily Mirror, 05 July 2013

 

---------------------

Madeleine McCann: No proof she is dead, say detectives Daily Mirror

By: Tom Pettifor
5 July 2013 08:23


The force has found no evidence that Madeleine is dead after detectives sifted through thousands of documents and witness accounts.

Madeleine McCann

 

There is no clear evidence that Madeleine McCann is dead, Scotland Yard said today as it launched a full-blown criminal inquiry into her disappearance.

Detectives revealed they had uncovered a wealth of new witnesses and leads involving 38 suspects.

Twelve of the potential culprits are British nationals who are thought to have been in Portugal when Madeleine went missing from her family’s holiday apartment on the Algarve in 2007.

The girl's parents, Gerry and Kate, are not on the list of suspects.

The decision to launch a full criminal investigation on foreign soil is very rare. British police made the announcement after reviewing the case for two years.

Detective Chief Inspector Andy Redwood, who is spearheading the inquiry, said: "The review has given us new thinking, new theories, new evidence and new witnesses."

His team – the 37-strong Operation Grange – has re-interviewed witnesses, believed to be British holidaymakers, and obtained new information about the night Madeleine went missing.

A small team of officers is expected to head to Portugal within weeks and will be based there for several months.

New probe: DCI Andy Redwood of the Metropolitan Police

 

Mr Redwood said: "We and the Portuguese authorities remain completely committed to finding out what happened to Madeleine.

"Everything we do is utterly focused on her best interests.

"Over the last two years what the review has told me is there is no clear, definitive proof that Madeleine is dead.

"We continue to believe there is a possibility she is alive.

"It is a positive step in our hunt for Madeleine that our understanding of the evidence has enabled us to shift from review to investigation.

"Our working relationship with the Portuguese police is positive and now that we have moved to investigation we are requesting further specific assistance through normal judicial routes.

"We remain in close contact with Kate and Gerry McCann."

Madeleine's parents hailed the police announcement today.

Their spokesman said: "Kate and Gerry warmly welcome the shift in the Met's emphasis from review to investigation.

"It is clearly a big step forward in establishing what happened and, hopefully, towards bringing whoever is responsible for Madeleine's abduction to justice."

Operation Grange officers said the "unique" review process, which is only two-thirds complete, had already resulted in 3,800 leads.

They are sifting through 30,500 documents at their offices in Belgravia police station in Central London.



The suspects are from five countries in total – the UK, Portugal and three places that have not yet been revealed.

Madeleine was nearly four when she went missing from Praia da Luz as her parents dined with seven pals nearby.

The Portuguese inquiry was shelved in 2008 but Scotland Yard began the Home Office funded review in 2011 after David Cameron's intervention.

Portuguese authorities said they can only reopen their probe if there is significant new evidence.

Under the unusual legal arrangement announced today, Scotland Yard has requested that the Crown Prosecution Service submits a "letter of request" to their Portuguese counterparts.

The letter will ask for help in carrying out the probe.

It is understood that local police would arrest suspects in stings using British information and with Scotland Yard detectives present.

If the Met gathers enough evidence to prosecute a foreign national who lives overseas, they will ask Portugal to put the suspect on trial.

The new investigation also raises the possibility of a trial in the UK if a British national was charged.

Operation Grange officers have travelled to Portugal 16 times to share their findings with senior police there.

Yard detectives have also flown to Switzerland to probe the movements of one of the country's most notorious child snatchers, Urs Hans von Aesch.

The 67-year-old killed himself after he kidnapped and murdered a five-year-old girl, Ylenia Lenhard, less than three months after Madeleine was abducted.

Gerry, 44, and Kate, 45, of Rothley, Leicestershire, said Operation Grange, which has so far cost taxpayers around £4.5million, had given them new hope.

The suspect list does not include any of the friends they were with in Praia da Luz.

Irish couple could hold the key to solving Madeleine McCann case, 05 July 2013
Irish couple could hold the key to solving Madeleine McCann case Irish Independent

Madeleine McCann, left aged three, and, above, an age progression image of how she would look now
Madeleine McCann, left aged three, and, above, an age progression image of how she would look now

Luke Byrne – 05 July 2013

AN Irish couple could hold key evidence in a fresh investigation launched into the disappearance of British child Madeleine McCann.

A two-year review of the case documents by British detectives has been upgraded to a full investigation into the youngster's unexplained disappearance.

The review by Scotland Yard, nicknamed 'Operation Grange', was ordered by British Prime Minister David Cameron and funded by the country's Home Office.

It has identified 38 "people of interest" from a number of European countries, including 12 from the UK.

Evidence provided at the time by members of the Smith family, from Maple Drive, Drogheda, Co Louth, was considered credible by the review officers.

Martin Smith and his wife Mary revealed to investigators how they saw a man carrying a young child through the streets of Praia da Luz in Portugal on the night Madeleine went missing.

She disappeared on May 3, 2007, from her family's apartment on the Algarve.

The Smith family told police how they had left Kelly's Bar in the resort at around 10pm.

They then passed a man walking down the middle of the street who was carrying a girl aged about three to four years old.

It was claimed that the child's head was lying against the man's left shoulder and her arms were hanging down alongside her body.

Madeleine was almost four when she was reported missing by parents Gerry and Kate McCann.

The Smiths returned home the day after the incident and it was only after they had seen the media reports of Madeleine's disappearance that they noted the encounter's significance. They later travelled back to Portugal to give police a statement.

So far, the review team has examined more than 30,000 documents generating almost 4,000 fresh lines of inquiry, but still have one-third of the information to examine.

Attorney General's Office received no request for judiciary assistance over Maddie, 05 July 2013
Attorney General's Office received no request for judiciary assistance over Maddie Jornal de Notícias

05 July 2013
With many thanks to Astro for translation

The Attorney General's Office has ascertained, this Thursday, that "no request for mutual judiciary assistance has been received" from the British authorities, within the scope of the investigation that has been opened in London into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann in the Algarve, in 2007.

Madeleine McCann
Madeleine McCann

In a reply to news agency LUSA, the Attorney General's Office clarified that "the obtaining of evidence, in Portugal, presupposes the presentation of a mutual judiciary assistance request, usually known as rogatory letter, whose execution has to be authorized by the Portuguese judiciary authorities".

"The execution of the request has to be integrally assured by the Portuguese authorities, whether the judiciary or the police, as sovereign authorities that they are. The British authorities cannot act, on their own, in Portugal", the Attorney General's Office states.

It is added that if "their traveling to Portugal is allowed in order to assist the Portuguese authorities in the execution of the aforementioned mutual judiciary assistance request, a participation that is carried out in the role of an assistant", the British police "cannot direct any questioning or carry out any diligence, of their own initiative, in Portugal".

Meanwhile, the authorities in London have confirmed that there are Portuguese citizens among the 38 persons of interest that the British police wishes to question within the investigation that was opened in that country into the disappearance of the little British girl Madeleine McCann, which took place in Praia da Luz, in Lagos, Algarve, on the 3rd of May 2007.

Several weeks ago, the British press had already advanced the possibility that Scotland Yard would open its own investigation into the case, following the review that was opened in 2011 after the intervention of prime minister David Cameron.

At that time, the police confirmed that a delegation of high ranking officials from the Crown Prosecution and British detectives visited Portugal in mid-April in order to discuss the next steps to take with the Portuguese authorities.

The parents and another British citizen, Robert Murat, were made arguidos by the Portuguese judiciary authorities in July 2007, but on the 21st of July of 2008, the Attorney General's Office ordered the suspicions to be archived, which ended the investigation.

The Portuguese Public Ministry has always admitted reopening the case if new data about the child's disappearance appears.

Madeleine McCann - will editors show restraint in reporting new inquiry?, 05 July 2013
Madeleine McCann - will editors show restraint in reporting new inquiry? The Guardian

Greenslade blog

Posted by Roy Greenslade
Friday 5 July 2013 09.13 BST

"Scotland Yard asked for media restraint in the coming weeks and months as it began what is being seen as the last chance to learn what happened to Madeleine" - The Guardian, 5 July, 2013
Media restraint and Madeleine McCann? Given the sad history to this sad story, that is surely going to be a big ask.

Daily Star: inaccurate
Daily Star: inaccurate

 

Today's coverage of the announcement that British police are to open a new investigation into the girl's disappearance illustrated yet again the dilemma for her parents, Kate and Gerry.

Naturally enough, they welcomed the news that a two-year review of the case by the Metropolitan police is to become a full-fledged inquiry. It offers them renewed hope.

But they also have to suffer once again the anguish of newspaper headlines and, especially, the re-publication of those poignant pictures of three-year-old Madeleine, who vanished from their holiday apartment in Praia da Luz, Portugal, in May 2007.

Express: measured
Express: measured

 

Her face featured on the front pages of five national titles this morning - the Daily Telegraph, Daily Mirror, Daily Express, Daily Star and Metro. And most of the others gave the story big shows on inside pages.

The headlines ranged from the wholly inaccurate "Maddie is still alive" (Star) through the highly speculative "Maddie: arrests in weeks" (Daily Mail) to the much more accurate, if blindingly obvious, "No proof she's dead" (Mirror).

Most of the coverage was measured, properly reflecting that police led by Detective Chief Inspector Andy Redwood were targeting 38 potential suspects (aka "persons of interest") from five countries, including 12 Britons.

Daily Mirror: accurate
Daily Mirror: accurate

But will the restraint last? Have editors learned the lessons from their former behaviour? They will doubtless recall the libel actions that cost several publishers many thousands of pounds in damages and costs.

They also need to take on board that Kate and Gerry McCann, as leading members of the Hacked Off group, have become much more media-savvy in the last six years. They will not tolerate a re-run of the disgraceful reporting of the past.

PM welcomes new Madeleine probe, 05 July 2013
PM welcomes new Madeleine probe Daily Star

ABOVE: Madeleine McCann went missing from a holiday apartment in Portugal's Algarve in May 2007

5th July 2013

Prime Minister David Cameron has welcomed the decision by British detectives to launch their own investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann.

Mr Cameron said the case of the then three-year-old who went missing from a holiday apartment in Portugal's Algarve in May 2007 was one that continued to shock the nation.

On Thursday, Scotland Yard said it was launching its own investigation into her disappearance, saying it had "genuinely new" lines of inquiry and believed there is a chance she is alive.

Speaking at Evelina Children's Hospital in London during celebrations of the 65th birthday of the National Health Service, Mr Cameron said: "It is welcome because they say that there is new evidence, new leads to follow, new things to be done. It was a case that did shock and still shocks the nation and if an answer can be found we should try and find it."

The Metropolitan Police said that detectives had identified 38 people of interest including 12 UK nationals following a two-year review of evidence in the case. None of the 38 people identified are known to the McCanns.

Clarence Mitchell, the family's spokesman, said: "Kate and Gerry warmly welcome this shift in the Metropolitan Police emphasis. They see it as a huge step forward in establishing what happened and hope that it will lead to bringing to justice whoever was responsible for Madeleine's abduction."

Madeleine went missing from a holiday apartment in Praia da Luz on May 3 2007, as her parents Kate and Gerry dined at a nearby tapas restaurant with friends. Neither her parents nor the McCanns' friends who were having dinner with them that night are among the 38 people identified, police said.

The Portuguese investigation is officially closed but authorities there are backing the Scotland Yard inquiry and officers from both countries will work together in pursuing new leads. A team of 37 Met police officers and staff are working on the case, and they are sending a formal letter of request to Portuguese authorities for help.

Detective Chief Inspector Andy Redwood, who is leading the investigation, said his team has carried out new witness interviews and was in a "unique position" in analysing information from police in Portugal and the UK, as well as seven private detective firms.

He said: "That has given us the ability to see this case with fresh eyes, and through that bring out new, genuinely new, lines of inquiry. And I'm hopeful when we pursue those lines of inquiry that we will be able to bring some sort of resolution. Whether we will be able to solve it is a different issue, but I hope that we will be able to have the ability to move the investigation on."

Kate McCann: Dignified, polite, a fighter – a true marvel of a woman, 05 July 2013
Kate McCann: Dignified, polite, a fighter – a true marvel of a woman The Telegraph

As police ignite fresh hope that Madeleine McCann could still be alive, Katy Brand stops to marvel Kate, the missing girl's mother, who has been tested to the absolute limits of what any of us could endure, but remains a dignified and polite fighting spirit.

Kate McCann: The kind of pressure, torment and double-edged hope she must live with everyday would surely have crippled most of us by now. Photo: JOHN TAYLOR

 

By Katy Brand
1:41PM BST 05 Jul 2013

Who would be Kate McCann? The kind of pressure, torment and double-edged hope she must live with everyday would surely have crippled most of us by now. To lose a child is bad enough, but to then be made a suspect in that child's murder, to be exploited and intruded upon by newspapers as detailed in her evidence to the Leveson Inquiry, to deal with hundreds of supposed sightings of her little girl in the months and years that have followed from that fateful night, endless speculation, hopes raised and dashed, the break up of her marriage and feeling that this will never be resolved.

When Madeleine McCann disappeared from her hotel room in Portugal on that night in 2007 – it seems simultaneously like decades ago and only yesterday – the whole world was wide-eyed with horror. Watching her traumatised parents try to negotiate an increasingly worrying police procedure that led eventually to suspicion hanging over they themselves and accusations that Kate was ‘not emotional enough’ to be truly innocent, was a sickening and sobering experience.

The likelihood that this sweet little girl would ever be found seemed to diminish with every moment that passed, but there has been news this week that the police are pursuing new leads. Fresh hope, but also perhaps, fresh hell – that well known film quote, 'I can take the despair, it's the hope I can't stand' springs to mind, and once again I am in awe of Kate McCann as she lifts her heart and mind to the possibility of being reunited, against all known statistical odds, with her daughter some six years on.

Recent events have shown that it is not an entirely unrealistic hope – the unfolding of the Ohio abduction case that dominated the news in May this year must have had an effect on the McCann family. Abductee Amanda Berry's now famous 911 call, 'Help me. I'm Amanda Berry. I've been on the news for the last 10 years. I'm free,' was an extraordinary reminder that miracles can happen, but whether this is of comfort to the McCanns is another matter. Another high profile alleged case of child abduction has been in the news this week too and is a reminder that it doesn't always turn out that way.

---------------------

Note: Reference to 'the break up of her marriage' was deleted within a few hours of it being published online.

Subsequent tweets from Katy Brand/Clarence Mitchell:

 
Katy Brand twitter entry

Katy Brand

3:03 AM - 6 July 2013

Sincere apologies for the error in my @telegraph #mccann piece yesterday. It has now been rectified.

 
Katy Brand twitter entry

Katy Brand

9:58 AM - 7 July 2013

The brief ref to #mccann's marriage was based on her own book detailing their difficulties. My wording was poor & confusing & so was edited.

 
Katy Brand twitter entry

Clarence Mitchell

12:23 PM - 7 July 2013

it was factually incorrect. Period.

If Maddie McCann is alive, who died in parent's rental apartment?, 05 July 2013
If Maddie McCann is alive, who died in parent's rental apartment? allvoices.com

By Chelsea Hoffman
Jul 05, 2013 at 6:11 PM PDT

Madeleine Mccann

Did Madeleine McCann die in apartment 5A?

Scotland Yard officials are now claiming that they believe Madeleine McCann is still alive. Of course, this completely contradicts all of the evidence gathered in the case thus far, so it would be interesting to know what their theories are. If little Maddie is still alive, then who died in the apartment rented by her parents in Portugal?

Even as recently as three years ago Portuguese police were convinced that little Madeleine died in the rental apartment. There was even mention of disbelief that the McCanns (Kate and Gerry) were never brought up on charges for leaving Maddie and her siblings alone the night she vanished. It was believed (at least as recently as three years ago) that Maddie suffered a fatal accident when left alone that night and that her parents "simulated" the abduction.

As for physical and forensic evidence: Cadaver dogs hit on the scents of blood and human decomposition in more than one part of the rental apartment -- indicating that someone had died in it. Records indicate that there are no known deaths to have occurred in the rental -- but there is one "crime," and that's the so called abduction of Madeleine McCann.

There is also the issue of the post-mortem blood located in the rental apartment and tested to be an 88% match to little Maddie. Even though 88% is too low to be legally useful, it still shows that a female related to Kate and Gerry McCann died in the apartment -- and their other two children are alive. The logical conclusion at this point would be that Madeleine died in apartment 5A while her parents drank with friends several yards away from their unsupervised kids.

So, again, if Maddie McCann is alive, then who died in apartment 5A?

Why SHOULD we help find Maddie, ask Portugal's police chiefs as they ridicule Scotland Yard claims of new leads on missing girl, 05 July 2013
Why SHOULD we help find Maddie, ask Portugal's police chiefs as they ridicule Scotland Yard claims of new leads on missing girl Daily Mail
  • Met Police made upbeat announcement about new leads on Thursday
  • Portugal's Attorney General has since poured scorn on Met investigation
  • David Cameron welcomed the inquiry as the case 'still shocks the nation'
By Nick Fagge In Praia Da Luz
PUBLISHED: 23:36, 5 July 2013 | UPDATED: 12:01, 6 July 2013

Still alive? Madeleine McCann disappeared aged three in Portugal

Portugal's top lawyer yesterday poured scorn on Scotland Yard's investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann.

Attorney General Joana Marques Vidal said officers from London had no right to operate in Portugal and cannot question, interview or arrest anyone.

Her comments are in stark contrast to the Metropolitan Police's upbeat announcement on Thursday of 'genuinely new' leads in the six-year-old case and that arrests could be made within weeks.

Detectives say they are preparing to swoop on 38 suspects – including 12 Britons – in Portugal and other parts of Europe.

Scotland Yard says it has asked the Crown Prosecution Service to submit an International Letter of Request to enable a team of officers to pursue inquiries in Portugal.

But Mrs Marques Vidal said she has received no British request for mutual legal assistance in an inquiry into the disappearance of Madeleine – meaning the Met has no right to pursue inquiries.

Her spokesman said: 'We have not received any request for mutual assistance with regard to the Madeleine McCann case.'

He added that even if British police are allowed to travel to Portugal to 'help the sovereign authorities' carry out the 'request for mutual assistance', Met officers 'cannot conduct any interviews or any other action in Portugal'.

Anguish: Kate McCann, Madeleine's mother, holding a picture of her daughter in 2010 in one of her many appeals for information

 

Anguish: Kate McCann, Madeleine's mother, holding a picture of her daughter in 2010 in one of her many appeals for information

------------------

Meanwhile Portugal's detective unit, the Policia Judiciaria, said its officers would assist the British inquiry, but added they would effectively work to rule – only carrying out their duties to the letter of the law.

Pedro do Carmo, deputy national director of the unit, told the Daily Mail: 'We are available to co-operate with the British authorities but only under terms of Portuguese law and within the time period allowed under Portuguese law.'

Portuguese detectives have condemned any deal between London and Lisbon as 'political b*******'.

One said: 'British police may be allowed to sit in on the interviews, with the prosecutor's agreement, but they must not interfere or ask questions themselves. And if this deal does exist politics should not be allowed to interfere with justice. That is b*******.'

Ongoing battle: Kate and Gerry McCann marking the fourth anniversary of Madeleine's disappearance

 

Ongoing battle: Kate and Gerry McCann marking the fourth anniversary of Madeleine's disappearance

------------------

Three-year-old Madeleine vanished from an apartment in the resort of Praia da Luz on May 3, 2007, while her parents, Kate and Gerry, were having dinner at a restaurant nearby with friends.

The shambolic inquiry into her whereabouts was shelved in 2008 and Portuguese authorities have refused to re-open the case, saying there is no new evidence.

Scotland Yard began their own Home Office-funded review in  2011, going over files compiled by the Portuguese authorities and private detectives hired by Mr and Mrs McCann.

Met Police teams have travelled to Portugal 16 times to share their findings with Portuguese detectives, and lawyers from the CPS visited Lisbon last month to discuss the case.

On the case: Scotland Yard has launched its own inquiry

On the case: Scotland Yard has launched its own inquiry

-------------------------

Detective Chief Inspector Andy Redwood, who is leading the inquiry, has said he believes there is a possibility that Madeleine is alive.

David Cameron yesterday welcomed the announcement that the Met had launched their own inquiry. He said: 'It is welcome because they say that there is new evidence, new leads to follow, new things to be done.

'It was a case that did shock and still shocks the nation and if an answer can be found we should try to find it.'

Maddy arrests within weeks, 06 July 2013
Maddy arrests within weeks Daily Express (paper edition)

 
Daily Express, 06 July 2013

 

Cameron backing new investigation

By Mark Reynolds

THE new investigation into Madeleine McCann's disappearance could lead to a string of arrests within weeks, it emerged yesterday.

As police began poring over information on the 38 suspects, Detective Chief Inspector Andy Redwood declared it "an important day for Madeleine".

He promised the Scotland Yard inquiry would have "teeth". And he was backed by David Cameron, who said he welcomed the move from a review of the case to a full-blown police inquiry.

"It is welcome because they say that there is new evidence, new leads to follow, new things to be done," said the Prime Minister.

"It was a case that did shock and still shocks the nation and if an answer can be found we should try and find it." The Yard

TURN TO PAGE 5

--------------------

Madeleine McCann probe will have teeth, vows Scotland Yard chief Daily Express

THE new investigation into Madeleine McCann’s disappearance could lead to a string of arrests within weeks, it emerged yesterday.

By: Mark Reynolds
Published: Sat, July 6, 2013

Neither Kate nor Gerry have been identified by police as suspects

 

As police began poring over information on the 38 suspects, Detective Chief Inspector Andy Redwood declared it "an important day for Madeleine".

He promised the Scotland Yard inquiry would have "teeth". And he was backed by David Cameron, who said he welcomed the move from a review of the case to a full-blown police inquiry.

"It is welcome because they say that there is new evidence, new leads to follow, new things to be done," said the Prime Minister.

"It was a case that did shock and still shocks the nation and if an answer can be found we should try and find it." The Yard review, code-named Operation Grange, was launched two years ago after Madeleine's parents, Gerry and Kate McCann, appealed to Mr Cameron for help.

While detectives would not be drawn yesterday on any potential timetable for possible arrests, it is believed action could be taken before the end of the summer.

Meanwhile, they urged the public to continue to help them search for Madeleine. They believe there is a chance she is still alive.

The investigation will be hugely complex because of the possible involvement of several countries and foreign legal jurisdictions. But Mr Redwood pledged the inquiry would be thorough and have real power to achieve results.

He said: "It's an important day for Madeleine, for us to move from review to investigation, as an investigation has teeth."

Scotland Yard announced this week that it was launching its own probe into the youngster's disappearance after turning up "genuinely new" lines of inquiry.

Metropolitan Police officers have now identified 38 "people of interest" including 12 UK nationals following their review of evidence in the case.

Madeleine, who would now be 10, was just three when she went missing from a holiday apartment in Praia da Luz in the Algarve, Portugal, on May 3, 2007, while her parents dined at a nearby tapas restaurant with friends.

Neither Kate nor Gerry, both 45, of Rothley, Leics, nor the McCanns' friends who were having dinner with them that night, are among the 38 people identified, police said.

None of the 38 is known to the McCanns.

The Portuguese investigation is officially closed but authorities there are backing the Scotland Yard inquiry and officers from both countries will work together in pursuing new leads.

A team of 37 Metropolitan Police officers and staff are working on the case and they are sending a formal letter of request to the Portuguese authorities for help.

The 12 British suspects were in Portugal at the time Madeleine vanished and are currently thought to be in Portugal or the UK. The remainder are believed to be in these countries or three other unnamed European nations.

New investigation will have "teeth"

So far the team have gathered 30,500 documents. They are about two-thirds of the way through their review and have been to Portugal 16 times.

They have interviewed witnesses, found new evidence and are working on new theories about what happened to Madeleine.

Operation Grange officers have formally requested that the Crown Prosecution Service submit an Inter­national Letter of Request to the Portuguese authorities seeking assistance in obtaining evidence relating to lines of inquiry they wish to pursue.

The imminent arrests raise questions over who would have jurisdiction in the case.

If a UK national were to be arrested in this country and charged with an offence of abduction or murder they could be tried at the Old Bailey in London, even though any offence was likely to have been committed abroad.

If a foreign national were to be arrested abroad the co-operation of foreign authorities and the laws of that particular country would determine where they would be tried.

The Met said it had requested that, in accordance with accepted "mutual assistance" practice, a small number of UK officers should be present in Portugal when further inquiries are undertaken in the ­coming months.

The new investigation will be funded by the Home Office. The cost of the review so far has been put at around £5million.

Maddy couple nicked in Portugal, 06 July 2013
Maddy couple nicked in Portugal Daily Mirror (paper edition)

 
Daily Express, 06 July 2013

 

----------------------

Madeleine McCann 'fraud' couple arrested at hideout in Portugal Daily Mirror

By: Tom Pettifor
6 July 2013 00:00


They allegedly tried to swindle Gerry and Kate by attempting to pocket £2.5million reward for information on Madeleine's whereabouts

Arrest: Danilo Chemello in 2007

 

A couple accused of trying to scam Madeleine McCann's parents after she went missing have been arrested at a hideout in Portugal.

Danilo Chemello and Aurora Pereira Vaz were first held in southern Spain in 2007, after they allegedly tried to swindle Gerry and Kate McCann by attempting to pocket a £2.5million reward for information on Madeleine's whereabouts.

They were quizzed two months after she went missing, but the case never went to trial.

They then moved to the Algarve, despite Italian millionaire Chemello being wanted by the authorities in France.

The couple, who have a colourful criminal past including child abuse, have now been tracked down at a rented house in the resort of Estoril near Lisbon.

They have been living there since January under false identities with two teenagers.

It was not clear yesterday what the pair had been held on suspicion of, but police had three ­European arrest warrants.

Quiz: Aurora Pereira Vaz led away by officer in 2007

 

The news came days after Scotland Yard announced it was opening a formal investigation into Madeleine's disappearance.

Portuguese authorities dropped their investigation in 2008, but Scotland Yard started a review in May 2011.

This week officers revealed they had ­uncovered a number of fresh leads involving 38 suspects from five European countries, including 12 Britons.

The Met said it believed there was a chance Madeleine could still be alive.

Detective Chief Inspector Andy Redwood, leading the inquiry, said: "The review has given us new thinking, new theories, new evidence, new witnesses."

The Chemello and Vaz case is not linked to the British investigation. Former construction tycoon Chemello, 67, has been held in jail and is set to be extradited to France shortly. Vaz, who is Portuguese, is expected to be kept where she is.

A French court sentenced the pair to 18 months in jail for making fake birth records when they set up home on the Algarve.

They failed to turn up in court and an arrest warrant was issued.

The teenage children living with Vaz, 60, and Chemello in Portugal were understood to be her two children.

They have been taken to a children's home.

The couple have a string of convictions and were jailed for 10 months for child abuse for feeding Chemello’s stepdaughter dog food and locking her in a bedroom with her hands and legs tied with tape.

Chemello was also wanted for trying to blackmail the judge who jailed them.

Hope: Parents Kate and Gerry McCann

He was sentenced to three years in prison in his absence after reportedly hiring a private detective to investigate the female judge's private life and then using the information to blackmail her.

Italian authorities also accused the couple of kneecapping Vaz's husband Alberto Tana during a bitter custody battle over her daughter in Rome in 1996.

Although they were cleared of ordering the gun attack, both Chemello and Vaz were handed 16-month prison sentences for conspiracy to pervert the course of justice and firearms offences.

Specialist anti-kidnap police stormed the couple's house in Sotogrande, Spain, in June 2007 to arrest them over their alleged bid to cheat the devastated McCanns, of Rothley, Leicestershire.

It was not clear yesterday whether the case against them had been dropped or had been put on hold while the other cases against them were dealt with first.

Madeleine was almost four when she disappeared from her family's holiday apartment in the Algarve resort of Praia da Luz in May 2007.

Five suspects in the frame for Madeleine McCann abduction, 06 July 2013
Five suspects in the frame for Madeleine McCann abduction Daily Star

ABOVE: An artist's impression of one of five Maddie suspects

By Daily Star Reporter
6th July 2013

SCOTLAND Yard detectives who believe Madeleine could still be alive want to trace five mysterious strangers spotted in Praia da Luz around the time of her abduction

The five are among 38 potential new suspects including 12 Brits.

One is "Bundle Man" who was seen by the McCanns' pal Jane Tanner carrying a sleeping girl away from their apartment at around 9.15pm on the night Madeleine disappeared.

He could also be "Rude Man" who ignored an Irish family's attempts to chat as he passed them carrying a pyjama-clad girl towards the beach around 10pm that night.

"The five are among 38 potential new suspects including 12 Brits."

Another is "Creepy Man" who days earlier scared British holidaymaker Gail Cooper when he demanded charity cash for an orphanage that did not exist.

She later saw the Mexican-moustached stranger watching children on the beach.

A fourth was dubbed "Spotty Man" after he was seen five times in the four days before Madeleine disappeared apparently watching their apartment.

A fifth, "Photo Man", was spotted taking pictures of children near the beach in nearby Sagres.

Donal MacIntyre travelled to Praia da Luz to investigate how two kidnappers must have been needed to abduct Madeleine McCann, 06 July 2013
Donal MacIntyre travelled to Praia da Luz to investigate how two kidnappers must have been needed to abduct Madeleine McCann Sunday World

Saturday 6th July 2013

 
Madeleine McCann
Madeleine McCann

Sunday World investigative journalist Donal MacIntyre reports from Praia da Luz where he conducted a cold case review of the disappearance of Madeleine McCann.

The new Police theory for the disappearance of Madeleine McCann corresponds to a review of the case by the Sunday World cold case team based upon the statements of the tapas seven and witnesses talked to on the ground which indicated that at least two people were involved in the abduction who must have carried out several dry runs in inside the McCanns' apartment in the days leading up to her abduction.

Our team concluded that such was the limited time for the kidnapping, that the kidnappers must have entered the apartment to rehearse because they were working to an incredibly tight timetable.

Essentially, they were working on an abduction time frame of some three minutes which left no margin for error. It is clear that the kidnap must also have involved meant that culprits were very close to capture at a number of points but through pannning and luck managed to evade immediate suspicion on the evening of the abduction.

That evening having settled Madeleine, then three, and their then two year old twins, Sean and Amelie, Gerry and Kate McCann had a glass of wine before heading off to the Tapas bar, a minutes walk away, to join their holidaying friends, Jane Tanner and her Partner, Russell O'Brien, Rachel and Mathew Oldfield, David and Fiona Payne and Diane Webster.

At around nine o'clock Gerry McCann left the table and walked over to the apartment to check on the twins and Maddie.

He entered the apartment  and then went to the toilet. He checked on his children and savoured a proud father's moment as he stood by the doorway looking into the back bedroom where they were all soundly asleep. The twins were in cots and Maddie in bed, holding her cuddle cat.

Gerry spends up to ten minutes in the five room apartment  and would only later reflect that he felt there was someone else there at the same time.

For the kidnap to have taken place we must assume that literally a few minutes before Gerry arrived, the abductor walked along the public road by the apartment, opened the gate, walked up ten steps to the patio and then entered via the open patio doors. There is confusion as to whether these were open or not but if they were then this would have been the obvious entry point. The theory that the culprit has a key does not discount this entry because the suspect would take the easy route all the time.

At this stage the kidnapped could only have been a heartbeat away from being caught. But where could he have hidden?

Gerry walked through the front room, used the bathroom and looked in on the kids, but did he check his own bedroom or the kitchen?

The abductor was probably at that time in the children's bedroom, possibly behind the door or crouching behind furniture.

During a dry run he or she would have found somewhere to hide, realizing that there was a strong liklihood of either Kate or Gerry returning to check on the children. The Met believe that he had inside knowledge and they want the ex-employees of the complex and all the transient workers to be inteviewed again.

As Gerry strolled out the patio doors, closing but not locking them, he left through the small vanilla gate facing the road where the adbuctor had entered just minutes before.

Just outside the apartment gate, Gerry meets television producer, Jes Wilkins , on the way back to the Tapas Bar. The streets are silent other than for the murmer of their conversation. There is not another soul to be seen.

Back inside the apartment the abductor must have breathed a sigh of relief as Gerry departed but then realised his expected exit route was blocked.

So at this point the abductor makes contact with an accomplice hiding in the shadows nearby and instructs him or her to open the shutter, so that an escape can be made through the window with Maddie.

The front door was not an option because it could not be opened from the inside without a key unless he had a copy through an insider, also a new police line of inquiry.

Getting Maddie away was the next problem for the perpetrator and in view of the lack of noise it is some substance was used to knock out Maddie probably, chloroform. The simple management of the abductaion and a little child with two other children in the room meant that a second accomplice was essential to the abduction of Maddie.

The abductor inside the apartment passed Maddie through the open window or door into the arms of the accomplice who spirits her away.

In the distance, around the side of the apartment, the voices of Gerry McCann and Jes Wilkins waft through the air. Imagine the fear in the kidnappers as they heard Gerry's voice resonate through the balmy Algarve air as they stole away his precious daughter.

What trauma would Maddie McCann have suffered if, paralyzed by fear, or forcefully kept silent, she heard the garrulous Glaswegian voice of her Dad waft through the air while she was being bundled into the hands of dangerous strangers.

I have walked these streets and conversations down by the gate can be heard by the children's bedroom window on still nights.

Unnoticed by Wilkins and McCann; at the same time ( aprox 9.10pm ) Jane Tanner observes the two men, having a chat on the street outside the apartment. She walks past both men. She sees them but they don't see her.

The kidnapper holding Maddie, retreats away from 5A and into the adjacent car park before heading right 20m away onto the public footpath where a short distance away downhill, McCann and Wilkins are still talking.

The accomplice makes his way out of the window and exits into the darkness.

By now the kidnappers must have thought they had got away with it, but in reality they were on the brink of being caught in the act.

Here the kidnapper holding Maddie was about to make a near fatal mistake. Despite hearing the voices of Madeline's father a short distance away, he plans to cross the road junction just above them.

As he hit the footpath, he would have seen both men chatting; and Jane Tanner heading his way – three potential witnesses to the abduction, including the father of the child.

The smart thing for the kidnapper to do would have been to cautiously look down the road from the corner to check who was on it – before making the crossing.

So why take such a potentially disastrous course of action?

Was he desperate to get to the getaway car parked nearby? More likely there could have been people walking around from the left and he did not want to pass them not realizing that by crossing the junction and into the light of a street lamp he was exposing himself to capture.

My belief was that he had to make a rendezvous with the getaway driver in a 4x4 if the latest police theory is true that Maddie was kidnapped by or for a childless couple.

The seven seconds he took to cross the road was either well planed, foolhardy or a sign of breathtaking confidence, in any case, the kidnapper never faltered and was never seen again.

Jane Tanner says that the man was carrying a small child. She now believes upon reflection, that that man was carrying Maddie McCann. This is the theory supported by the Metropolitan Police and the McCann investigators and concurrs with our own cold case review.

It takes about 30 seconds to walk from the back bedroom window to the junction where Jane Tanner saw the kidnapper.

The Tapas seven gave detailed statements on when they check out and looked in on their respective children and these timings indicate that there was a maximum of three to five minutes for the abduction to be executed and Maddie to be whisked away.

In such circumstances only good planning and co-ordination could make this child heist possible without being caught directly in the act.

It would be an extraordinary effort, with an astonishing degree of luck beyond credulity to think that this could be achieved on a completely opportunistic basis.

This is not the work of an opportunistic drifter. This abduction was interrupted by Gerry McCann's visit to check on his children.

Experts point out that the execution of the kidnap, leaving little useable evidence suggests that it was a highly professional operation.

Such precision could either be the hallmark of fixated obsessive sexual predators but also of obsessive childless couples who may be so desperate to have children that they would abduct a child to fill the gap in their lives.

----------------------

[Note: This is essentially a re-publication of an article written by Donal MacIntyre, for the same newspaper, which appeared on Sunday February 5, 2012.]

Madeleine McCann Investigation Launched By Scotland Yard Slammed By Stephen Birch, 06 July 2013
Madeleine McCann Investigation Launched By Scotland Yard Slammed By Stephen Birch The Huffington Post (US)

Michael McLaughlin
Posted: 07/06/2013 9:14 am EDT | Updated: 07/08/2013 8:49 am EDT
Composite photos showing three-year-old Madeine McCann, left, with a computer generated age progression image of the missing child as she might look now, right, issued Thursday July 4, 2013.
Composite photos showing three-year-old Madeine McCann, left, with a computer generated age progression image of the missing child as she might look now, right, issued Thursday July 4, 2013. British police say Thursday July 4, 2013 they have launched a full investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann, and want to trace 38 "persons of interest" in the case.

A real estate developer who's used his own wealth to investigate the disappearance of missing tike Madeleine McCann slammed Scotland Yard for announcing yesterday that she still might be found alive.

The British police identified 38 "persons of interest" in the new search for McCann. She vanished at age three from a Portuguese resort during a family vacation in 2007.

But Stephen Birch, a South African who's spent roughly $100,000 conducting his own probe, criticized the British police for relaunching the case while ignoring his report. Last year, Birch sent documents to Scotland Yard alleging that McCann was buried a few hundred feet from the Praia da Luz apartment her parents rented.

"The question you need to ask is why are they not digging up a gravel driveway," Birch said to HuffPost in an email. "It is my opinion Madeleine McCann will never be allowed to return to her parents – dead or alive."

Ground-penetrating radar scans of the property purportedly show evidence of digging and images that might be human bones, according to Birch.

An online petition he created calls on the Portuguese government to order an excavation of the driveway. On July 5 there were just 383 signatures, but Birch ambitiously predicts it will snowball to more than one million names, because of the international hype around her case.

The property in question is the home of Robert Murat. Murat was officially deemed a suspect early in the case by the Portuguese police.

However, he was later cleared of an involvement. He's won hundreds of thousands of dollars in libel settlements against tabloid newspapers.

Though Birch thinks McCann's body lies underneath the driveway, he's said that he doesn't think Murat or anyone in his family played a role in the girl's disappearance.

"Anyone could have had access to the property," Birch told a Portuguese newspaper Correio da Manha.

The Portuguese prime minister's office informed Birch that they were unmoved by his claim that he'd found McCann's grave. In a letter last year, Portuguese officials said that they found nothing to warrant digging when they checked out the area in 2007.

Sighting of McCann, who would be 10 now, filter in to to police departments around the world. Interpol got a report that she was spotted in Cyprus in March and Scotland Yard requested DNA samples of a lookalike in New Zealand that had the same eye defect as the missing girl.

"She's under the driveway," Birch said to HuffPost. "The U.K. is bullshitting to maintain the cover-up.'

Madeleine McCann: British police denied access to vital DNA clues, 07 July 2013
Madeleine McCann: British police denied access to vital DNA clues Sunday Mirror

By Matthew Drake
7 Jul 2013 00:01

Scotland Yard officers believe samples from clothing, windows, bed linen and furniture at her family's holiday apartment could still hold DNA traces

Missing: Madeleine McCann disappeared in 2007

British police investigating Madeleine McCann's disappearance are being denied access to vital evidence by Portuguese authorities.

Scotland Yard officers believe samples from clothing, windows, bed linen and furniture at her family's holiday apartment could still hold DNA traces.

But Portuguese officials refuse to hand over the evidence gathered after three-year-old Madeleine vanished in the Algarve in 2007.

The deadlock has prevented British officers from ruling out potential suspects and following up nearly 4,000 leads generated after detectives sifted 30,000 documents.

They believe access to the evidence would let them narrow down their list of 38 suspects, including 12 Britons.

Crown Prosecution Service lawyers are being forced to submit a formal request for the evidence. London's chief Crown prosecutor Alison Saunders and her deputy Jenny Hopkins went to Portugal last month in connection with the Met's review of the case.

A source said: "The lawyers were sent to begin negotiations to get access to evidence that police believe is very important and is in storage over there.

"The Metropolitan Police force have now asked the Crown Prosecution Service to apply for international letters of request.

"The fear is the Portuguese were so inept in the early stages that much of the DNA may be lost. But we hope that there will still be traces on some of the items." The Met this week issued an upbeat announcement of "genuinely new" leads and suggested arrests could be made in weeks.

Officers say they are working on the theory that Madeleine, who would now be 10, is alive.

But Portugal's top lawyer has poured scorn on the Yard's investigation insisting it has no right to pursue inquiries into Madeleine's abduction from the Praia da Luz flat.

Yard detectives have also flown to Switzerland to probe the movements of killer Urs Hans von Aesch, who committed suicide after abusing five-year-old Ylenia Lenhard shortly after Madeleine disappeared. She bore a striking resemblance to blonde Madeleine.

Von Aesche, who had been living in Spain, was initially ignored by police in the Algarve who were working on the false theory that Madeleine's parents Kate and Gerry played a part in her disappearance.

Yard face a network of evil, 07 July 2013
Yard face a network of evil Sunday Express (paper edition)

 
Sunday Express, 07 July 2013

 

Former detective suggests Maddie squad are up against a ring of people smugglers

By James Murray

A FORMER top Scotland Yard detective last night suggested the new investigation into the Madeleine McCann mystery is focused on a network of suspects involved in people-trafficking.

Crime author and undercover operations expert Peter Bleksley, 53, says the fact that the Maddie squad has 38 potential suspects in the frame suggests they are closing in on an evil gang.

"I don't think we are looking at 38 people who are all unconnected to each other. Judging by the high number of people on their list of persons

TURN TO PAGE 7

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Yard face a network of evil: Maddie police 'seeking people smuggling ring' Sunday Express

A FORMER top Scotland Yard detective last night suggested the new investigation into the Madeleine McCann mystery is focused on a network of suspects involved in people-trafficking.

By: James Murray
Published: Sun, July 7, 2013

Detectives believe Maddie could be alive

 

Crime author and undercover operations expert Peter Bleksley, 53, says the fact that the Maddie squad has 38 potential suspects in the frame suggests they are closing in on an evil gang.

"I don't think we are looking at 38 people who are all unconnected to each other. Judging by the high number of people on their list of persons of interest, the detectives have a herculean task ahead of them," Mr Bleksley told the Sunday Express.

Calling it a "unique investigation", he said: "In a child abduction case of this nature it is highly unusual to have so many potential suspects

"It suggests to me that the police are trying to work out who the main players are, and who are on the fringes of a possible people-trafficking gang. The detectives sound very bullish. Undoubtedly they are on to something major otherwise they would be setting themselves up for a big fall."

Last week Detective Chief Inspector Andy Redwood, head of the Operation Grange team of 37 officers, said 12 of the 38 are British and were in Portugal when Madeleine was snatched from an apartment at the Ocean Club in Praia da Luz on the Algarve on May 3, 2007.

He added: "We continue to believe there is a possibility that Madeleine is alive." Neither of Madeleine's parents or any of their seven friends who accompanied them on holiday are among the 38 people.

Mr Bleksley, a retired detective constable, was involved in countless murder inquiries and operations against organised crime gangs in his 21 years at the Yard.

He said: "It's very early to say but they appear to be closing in."

He also believes that old-fashioned police work will crack this most baffling of cases.

Detectives believe Maddie could be alive

"The fact that so many are British gives them all the justification they need to take the investigation into foreign countries," he explained.

"They will have to pursue their leads with the utmost care, working with the foreign police forces. If they get one thing wrong on the paperwork it could seriously damage the investigation. In the 21st century, abductions and murders are often solved through CCTV images, forensics, and phone and computer records, but in this case we know there is no CCTV of the abduction taking place and the forensics may have been forever compromised because the crime scene was not properly preserved.

"The detectives will have to change their approach to the way we used to operate 20 years ago when you solved cases with witnesses and confessions."

By now, he added, detectives will be working on a large number of strands.

"The hard work comes by linking people to the various strands you have running and then suddenly it all falls in to place. You have to be very patient".

He said he expects the investigation to gather pace now and believes the Operation Grange team will be better placed to judge which direction to take their inquiries by this autumn.

He said a news blackout could be invoked so sensitive inquiries can be carried out in secrecy.

Senior officers have not imposed a blackout but have appealed to the media to exercise "restraint" in the coming weeks, when some arrests are expected.

Theresa May to pull UK out of Europol despite Madeleine McCann leads, 07 July 2013
Theresa May to pull UK out of Europol despite Madeleine McCann leads The Guardian

Home secretary expected to ignore advice of senior officers and walk away from police agency currently advising government on disappearance of child

Daniel Boffey, policy editor
Sunday 7 July 2013 00.01 BST

Theresa May: determined to quit Europol. Photograph: Steve Parsons/PA

The home secretary, Theresa May, is expected to ignore private warnings from senior police officers and abandon the UK's membership of a European cross-border crime agency which is advising the government on the disappearance of Madeleine McCann.

The Tory cabinet minister plans to announce this week her decision to snub a reformed Europol, to which the UK has belonged since 1999.

The UK will continue to have membership until 2015 but May has decided not to commit to rejoining after this date when Europol will be given greater powers. The decision has been made despite behind the scenes pressure being applied by the Association of Chief Police Officers (Acpo) and Europol's British director, Rob Wainwright, in favour of membership. The Observer understands that Acpo wrote to May last month to ask her to reconsider her decision before the planned announcement.

May's position is regarded by some of those familiar with negotiations as particularly irrational given Europol's role in the case of Madeleine McCann, the child who went missing from her parent's holiday apartment in Portugal six years ago.

It is understood Wainwright has been personally involved in advising ministers on how best to co-operate with the Portuguese authorities, an issue which has previously bedevilled progress on the case.

Last week Scotland Yard announced that it had "new evidence and new witnesses" in the case and had opened a formal investigation. Chief Inspector Andy Redwood said it still believed there was a chance Madeleine was alive and his officers were now investigating 38 "persons of interest", including 12 in the UK, after reviewing the evidence with the assistance of the Portuguese.

Europol was formed to assist in the sharing and pooling of intelligence to prevent and combat serious international organized crime. One of its greatest triumphs was Operation Rescue, launched in 2010, which led to the identification of what is believed to have been the world's largest online child sex abuse network, leading the identification of 240 suspects and 60 victims.

However as major crime has become increasingly cross-border in nature, Europol has sought to enhance its ability to collect data from nation states, among other measures, causing concern in Whitehall.

Thais Portilho-Shrimpton, director of pressure group Justice Across Borders, said by not committing to membership now the UK would not be able to play a role in shaping the organisation when it is relaunched in 2015.

She said "It's hypocritical of Theresa May to ask Europol for support and advice to carry out an investigation, while effectively making a decision to abandon it.

"This decision sends out the wrong message to our EU partners and the rest of the world about our seriousness to co-operate in the fight against international serious and organised crime and terrorism."

Last month the Lords EU committee urged May to opt in to the regulation giving the UK membership of Eurpol in 2015. The committee's chairman, Lord Hannay of Chiswick, said: "While we agree with the government that some areas of the proposed regulation need to be clarified, we consider that the UK's continued participation in Europol is an important part of ensuring the safety and security of British citizens, and that these concerns will best be addressed in the forthcoming negotiations."

It is understood that May will say that the UK could reconsider its position in two years' time and announce its intention to rejoin then but that the government is not willing to commit at this stage. The Liberal Democrats oppose May's decision but the party is unable to push the home secretary into committing to rejoin Europol.

Met's Madeleine McCann hunt 'at risk' if UK opts out of Europol, 07 July 2013
Met's Madeleine McCann hunt 'at risk' if UK opts out of Europol Independent on Sunday

BRIAN BRADY | SUNDAY 07 JULY 2013

Rob Wainwright, Director of Europol

Britain's fight against international crime and terrorism – and even the Met's renewed hunt for Madeleine McCann – have been put at risk by the Government's proposal to stop co-operating with Europe's cross-border policing body, police and politicians have warned.

Ministers are this month expected to withhold support for a revamped Europol, including a merger with the European Police College (Cepol), amid complaints that the shake-up could restrict the independence of British forces. The Government claims the policy is in line with a wider plan to opt out of more than 130 EU law and order measures in an bid to cut EU influence over policing and justice in the UK.

But critics claim the refusal to opt in to the changes to Europol, which supports national police forces by gathering, analysing and sharing information and by co-ordinating operations, would exclude the UK from vital efforts to tackle cross-border crime.

The Association of Chief Police Officers called the move a "massive step back for UK policing". The House of Lords EU Committee urged the Government to remove the Europol regulation from its "block opt-out" plans, and continue participating in the pan-European policing regime. Europol's director, Rob Wainwright, told the committee: "It is undeniable that the demands of fighting international crime and terrorism require an ever-increasing level of co-operation between the member states."

The Home Office minister Lord Taylor said the Government had not yet made a decision.

The McCanns: Innocent until tried by the newspapers, 07 July 2013
The McCanns: Innocent until tried by the newspapers The Independent

Joan Smith
Sunday 7 July 2013

As British police swoop in six years on, Kate and Gerry McCann face weeks of press chatter

Gerry and Kate McCann

There is often a moment in old-fashioned detective fiction when someone decides to "call in the Yard". Bumbling local cops are sidelined as worldly-wise detectives arrive from London, spotting missed clues and identifying suspects. Hence the sense of déjà vu I experienced a couple of days ago when there was a "breakthrough" in the Madeleine McCann case. Scotland Yard has launched a new investigation, detectives are supposedly about to "swoop" and arrests could be made "within weeks".

The popular press has always treated this abduction as a completely irresistible mystery. Since she disappeared in Portugal in 2007, Madeleine has been "spotted" I don't know how many times, while one "suspect" after another has been dismissed from the inquiry. There is a difference this time, which is that Madeleine's parents, Kate and Gerry McCann, are being treated with kid gloves. I suspect this has more to do with their successful libel action against Express newspapers, in which they were awarded damages of £550,000, than a sudden outbreak of compassion and decency.

In other respects, the announcement produced the usual round of febrile speculation, despite an attempt by Scotland Yard to manage expectations. All we know for certain is that detectives have identified 38 "persons of interest", including known sex offenders, during a lengthy review of the case. Twelve are UK nationals whom the police believe were in Portugal when Madeleine went missing.

But a "person of interest" is not the same as a prime suspect. Logic dictates that most, if not all, of the 38 will turn out to have nothing to do with the case, while the police have been careful to talk about no more than the "possibility" that Madeleine is alive. The review which preceded the inquiry involved 30,500 documents, material collected by both British and Portuguese police forces and the findings of seven private-detective agencies. The fact that so much material has been amassed without producing hard evidence shows how difficult this case is; vital leads are usually generated within hours of a crime, and detectives are dealing with events that took place six years ago.

I'm sure Kate and Gerry McCann, whom I've met on several occasions, are desperately hoping they will finally discover what happened to their daughter. No one who heard their testimony to the Leveson inquiry could doubt how much they've suffered because of the loss of their child, but I can't help wondering about the timing of the decision. It comes after a dreadful few weeks for the Metropolitan Police, whose reputation seems to become ever more battered with every news bulletin.

Already the McCann inquiry has produced headlines suggesting that Scotland Yard will succeed where their Portuguese colleagues failed, but it's a risky strategy. Meanwhile, the McCanns will have to brace themselves for weeks of speculation – and what could be a big test of the conduct of the popular press after the drubbing it received in the Leveson report.

Continued news/opinions related to the Met's review, from 08 July 2013 onwards: click here

With thanks to Nigel at McCann Files

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