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 - 2013 (continued)*

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

The Metropolitan Police

 

Scotland Yard's 'investigative review' continues...

News/opinions from 08 July 2013 onwards.

Portuguese cops block new Brit probe for Madeleine McCann, 08 July 2013
Portuguese cops block new Brit probe for Madeleine McCann Daily Star

A NEW police hunt for Madeleine McCann has has been snubbed by the Portuguese.

By Jerry Lawton / Published 8th July 2013

The snub is one of three blows to the Scotland Yard inquiry to search for more evidence about the child's disappearance

The country's Attorney General has warned that UK detectives had no right to question, arrest or interview anyone there.

Joana Marques Vidal's spokesman said Brit police could only monitor the work of Portuguese officers acting on their behalf.

Pedro do Carmo, deputy national director of Portugal's detective unit, said its officers would assist the Brit inquiry but would only carry out their duties to the strict letter of the law.

The snub is one of three blows to the Scotland Yard inquiry.

It was also revealed the UK Government plans to stop co-operating with Europe's cross-border policing body Europol.

Thirdly, it was reported yesterday that Portuguese authorities had denied Brit police access to forensic evidence. It was gathered from the holiday apartment in Praia da Luz from where Madeleine disappeared in 2007.

Scotland Yard officers believe samples from clothing, windows, bed linen and furniture could still hold DNA traces.

But it was claimed Crown Prosecution Service lawyers are being forced to submit a formal request for the evidence which will delay the investigation.

Det Chief Insp Andy Redwood, leading the operation, said: "We, and the Portuguese authorities, remain committed to finding out what happened to Madeleine and everything we do is utterly focused on her best interests."

Yesterday a Swiss newspaper reported police in St Gallen had told Brit detectives they could find no link between paedophile killer Urs Hans von Aesch, 67, and Madeleine's disappearance.

Two months after Madeleine vanished he shot himself dead after he had abused and poisoned to death five-year-old Ylenia Lenhard.

Freind: New questions arise about Madeleine McCann case, 09 July 2013
Freind: New questions arise about Madeleine McCann case Delaware County Daily Times

Published: Tuesday, July 09, 2013 [July 10, 2013 approx 08:00 AM BST]

By CHRIS FREIND
Times Columnist

In past columns, I have championed Don Imus keeping his job, defended Barry Bonds' achievements and stood up for the falsely accused Duke lacrosse players long before it was "fashionable" for the media to do so. I even opined that Paris Hilton was wrongly jailed, receiving unfair treatment because she was a celebrity.

But no matter how much I try, I simply cannot find anything worth defending about British couple Gerry and Kate McCann.

The McCanns, for a reason that wholly escapes me, have been worldwide media darlings since their then-3-year-old daughter, Madeleine, disappeared from a Portuguese resort in 2007. A disappearance, mind you, that was 100 percent preventable had Maddy's parents — both well-to-do physicians — not left her alone, along with her twin 2-year-old siblings, in a ground-floor unlocked apartment not once, but repeatedly, while they sampled the local paella far from their children.

Such gross negligence should have made them pariahs, but instead, their vaunted PR machine fashioned them into something akin to "heroic victims."

Over the years, they have raised millions, engendered the support of (misguided) icons such David Beckham and J.K. Rowling, had a private audience with the Pope, met with high-ranking staff of then-First Lady Laura Bush, wrote a book, and otherwise lavished in the limelight as globetrotting celebrities.

Along the way, lawsuits have been threatened against anyone who dared question the McCanns' complicity in their daughter's fate, despite significant inconsistencies in their stories. Quite sickeningly, their actual search for Maddy all too often seemed like an afterthought, as it was much cooler to hang with stars and dignitaries than do the grunt work.

Yet for all the baggage that should accompany them, their star power still shines bright, as the Scotland Yard, upon the direction of Prime Minister David Cameron himself, just re-opened the investigation, citing new leads and "persons of interest."

Really? After six years and millions of British taxpayers' money later, they finally have persons of interest?

Aren't there laws on the books in Britain against child endangerment? Reckless behavior? Negligence? And to those who say Britain can't prosecute for a crime committed overseas, you can't have it both ways, as British investigators are reaching out across Europe in a (likely ill-fated) attempt to interrogate and possibly have suspects arrested in other countries.

The headlines all read that Maddy was kidnapped, yet there is no evidence — none — of that.

 

It seems increasingly clear that McCann case is no longer about what happened to a little girl, but an attempt — some say cover-up — to absolve "upstanding Brits" of any responsibility, conveniently blaming Portugal, the poor man of Europe, for a botched investigation and overall ineptness.

Looking past the gushing pro-McCann headlines, many the world over believe the parents, accidentally or otherwise, were directly responsible for Maddy's fate. I certainly cannot make that claim, though Gerry and Kate would seem to be guilty of child endangerment. That said, there remain inconsistencies which, to this day, remain unanswered.

Therefore, if Scotland Yard wishes to retain its legendary reputation, it needs to investigate the case from Square One, objectively, free from outside influence. No sacred cows, and no one off the table. And the only way to do that is to start with Gerry and Kate, (and their friends who accompanied them that fateful night), forcing the parents to answer tough questions. The taxpayers, and those who have so faithfully followed this saga for so long, deserve no less.

You don't need to be Sherlock Holmes to ask the following:

1.) Will the McCanns and their friends take lie-detectors tests? While not guaranteed, they're a good barometer. If there is nothing to hide, releasing the results would be a public relations boon, and the investigation could center on Madeleine — for a change.

2.) What time was Madeleine discovered missing? Was it 9 o'clock, as Kate states, or 10 o'clock as others report, and why the discrepancy? How long did it take for anyone to initially call the police, as there are reports of a significant delay. Kate stated that the shutters were forced open, but the police and hotel staff said there was no evidence of tampering. And Kate, why, upon discovering that your daughter was missing, did you return to the restaurant, leaving the 2-year-old twins alone (again!), while a predator could still have been lurking nearby?

3.) Kate yelled, "They've taken her", but how did she know Madeleine was abducted? After all, the doors were unlocked, and Madeleine was known to sleepwalk.

Or perhaps this little girl just happened to awaken, scared, in a dark, unfamiliar place, and looked for the comfort of her parents. Not seeing them, might she have walked out the unlocked door to find them? And when Kate initially yelled "they" took her, to whom was she referring?

4.) The resort was extremely child-friendly. Why not use its inexpensive baby-sitting services? Some reports state that the McCanns did not want the children to be around people with whom they were unfamiliar. Yet, the same people who ran the day camp the children attended were also the baby sitters. And how could "strangers" be any worse than leaving three young children (with a combined age of 7) alone in an unlocked apartment?

5.) How often did the parents check the children before Madeleine went missing? Every hour, half-hour, or not at all? (The statements of the resort staff differ markedly from the McCanns). Since the room was a considerable distance away from the restaurant, and its view blocked, how could the McCanns compare that "secure arrangement" to eating in their backyard garden?

6.) During a BBC interview, Kate was adamant that the children would not awaken while she and Gerry were dining. Yet, since Madeleine reportedly had a history of sleepwalking, how could Kate be so sure of this?

7.) How many nights did the McCanns dine out while leaving the children alone? What were the distances of those restaurants from their room? Were any away from the hotel?

8.) How much money raised has actually has been allocated to the physical search for Madeleine? A thorough and independent forensic audit should be conducted.

9.) In an earlier interview, the McCanns stated, "Looking at it from where we are now, I don’t feel we were irresponsible, I feel we are very responsible parents." Do they still feel that way?

10.) Assume that the police dog was accurate in its detection of death in the room, and the death was that of Madeleine. Why then would the perpetrator take away a dead child?

At a minimum, these questions are a logical starting point to get to the bottom of Madeleine's disappearance.

As a wise man once said, lies reveal more than they conceal. If Scotland Yard does its job, perhaps we shall put that saying to the test.

Chris Freind is an independent commentator who operates FreindlyFireZone.com. He can be reached at CF@FreindlyFireZone.com. His column appears every Wednesday.

Childless couple in link to Maddie mystery, 10 July 2013
Childless couple in link to Maddie mystery Sunday World

By Donal MacIntyre
Wednesday 10th July 2013

 
Maddie before she was abducted
Maddie before she was abducted

POLICE are investigating a childless couple who they suspect could have abducted missing Madeleine McCann.

The pair, who had told friends they would kidnap a child after becoming frustrated with adoption red tape, are among the list of 38 new suspects drawn up by British cops.

A review by London's Metropolitan police led them to the couple and detectives are now investigating the theory that they smuggled the missing toddler out of Portugal aboard a boat.

The man had inherited a large amount of money around the time Maddie disappeared on May 3, 2007, from her family's holiday apartment in Praia da Luz, and it’s believed he could have used the money to set up a new life.

And it's the childless couple theory that is fuelling the last remaining hope that Maddie could still be alive.

This week cops said there is still no proof she is dead.

Other theories centered around paedophile gangs and lone sex offenders, but the investigation is now focusing on one individual who, having struggled with adoption procedures in Portugal, threatened to kidnap a child.

The individual is believed to have told friends that he was so frustrated with adoption procedures in a number of countries that "he would take his own child" if necessary.

The Metropolitan Police have been aware of this line of inquiry for the past two years, but it's only since British PM David Cameron ordered a fresh review that they had the resources to follow it up independently of the Portuguese authorities.

Sources close to the new investigation have told the Sunday World that they believe Madeleine was stalked and targeted for abduction in the days before she disappeared.

The English suspect, who has never been interviewed by UK or Portuguese Police officers, is understood to have been driving a four-wheel drive car at the time of the kidnapping.

The theory suggests that the planned abduction of Maddie involved at least two people and it is claimed that the suspect used a newly-purchased yacht, which was moored about an hour away from Praia da Luz, to leave the country.

Scotland Yard officers involved in the new probe also believe that it is likely the suspect had somehow accessed a key to apartment 5A, where the McCanns stayed with their three children.

The new review – launched in 2011 amid frustration with the bungling of the original investigation, which saw the McCanns wrongly identified as suspects in their daughter's disappearance – has discovered 195 new leads and 38 persons of interest, including known sex offenders who were in the country at the time.

The Scotland Yard team of up to 37 detectives have re-interviewed the McCanns and their friends who holidayed together and who were eating at the tapas bar in the resort when Maddie went missing. None of them are among the list of 38 individuals police confirmed.

Police also reviewed over 30,000 documents from the Portuguese authorities and material gained from the private investigators hired by the McCanns over the last six years.

The Metropolitan Police team has declared that the "new witnesses and new evidence" points to a likelihood that Maddie is alive and is being held captive in a similar vein to the spate of recovered childhood kidnap victims that have been discovered in Austria and in the US.

The McCanns and the Met officers have taken hope from these horrific cases and point most recently to the case of Cleveland monster Ariel Castro (52), who kept three young girls captive for a decade until cries for help from one of his victims, Amanda Berry, revealed their existence to the world.

Operation Grange's Detective Chief Inspector Andy Redwood, who is leading the new inquiry, says: "The review has given us new thinking, new theories, new evidence and new witnesses."

The force is understood to have reviewed material from top-secret US spy satellites, which were recording material near the resort where Madeleine McCann disappeared five years ago.

The spy cameras, which can detect the number plate of a car from five miles up, had been denied to the Portuguese authorities, but details of it have been confidentially released to the UK review team to help them with the latest enquiry.

The satellite information – which will be used to help identify cars around the Mark Warner complex – was used to check out a red car which was spotted by witnesses on the night and has now been used to review movement related to the 4x4 vehicle.

Clarence Mitchell, the former BBC reporter and spokesperson for parents Kate and Gerry McCann said: "It was a big step forward in establishing what happened and, hopefully, in bringing to justice whoever is responsible for Madeleine’s abduction."

Scotland Yard statements on Madeleine McCann fail to erase the question marks, 10 July 2013
Scotland Yard statements on Madeleine McCann fail to erase the question marks Allvoices

BY NIGEL MOORE
Jul 09, 2013 at 6:11 PM PDT [Jul 10, 2013 at 02:11 AM BST]

Parents of missing British child Madeleine McCann, Gerry McCann (L) and his wife Kate McCann

Parents of missing British child Madeleine McCann, Gerry McCann (L) and his wife Kate McCann

Last week, as part of Scotland Yard's decision to update the public on the progress of their 'investigative review' into the Madeleine McCann case, Detective Chief Inspector Andy Redwood stated: "Neither her parents or any of the member (sic) of the group that were with her are either persons of interest or suspects."

There will be many who will be greatly surprised at those words. Not least the Assistant Chief Constable of Leicestershire Police, who stated in July 2008 that "While one or both of them [the McCanns] may be innocent, there is no clear evidence that eliminates them from involvement in Madeleine's disappearance." At that time the McCanns were attempting to gain access to all the documents held by Leicester Police regarding the disappearance of their daughter. The request was denied.

But that wasn't the first or last time that British authorities had placed a question mark against the parents insistence that Madeleine was abducted.

Less than a month after Madeleine's reported disappearance, Lee Rainbow, who was at that time Senior Behavioural Investigation Consultant for the NPIA (National Policing Improvement Agency), wrote a report in which he stated: "The potential involvement of the family in the disappearance of Madeleine McCann cannot be discarded, and it can be considered that, when pondering the basis for research, this hypothesis deserves as much attention as the criminal with sexual motivations that has been previously prioritised.

"It should be stressed that there is no evidence to directly support an involvement of the family, yet given the absence of decisive evidence to prove the contrary, such a scenario has to be explored." That report led directly to the arrival of the two operational specialist search dogs which indicated at a number of locations, as well as items, connected to the McCanns. As a result of that intervention, and what the Portuguese police believed to be conclusive DNA evidence, the McCanns were made arguidos (suspects).

The British government's Foreign & Commonwealth Office also made their view clear, post-arguido, in December 2009, when responding to a Freedom of Information request about the missing child, Ben Needham. They wrote: 'You will also be aware of the Madeleine McCann case. Both this and the Needham case are categorised as a missing persons, rather than child abduction cases, as there is no evidence in either case to support whether the children were or were not abducted.'

It could not be clearer. There is 'no evidence' to support the claim that Madeleine McCann was abducted.

So, are Scotland Yard playing an elaborate game of cat and mouse or are they looking to blindly stick the abduction tail on some unsuspecting donkey? Or are they simply running around like headless chickens in the last throes of their 'investigative review'? Only time will tell. However, it is worth remembering that the words of Chief Inspector Andy Redwood are far from unique.

Countering increased press speculation, in August 2007, about the possible involvement of Madeleine's parents in her disappearance, Portuguese Chief Inspector Olegario Sousa stepped in to clarify the situation. Speaking to the BBC, his words of support mirrored those of Mr Redwood last week. The McCanns, he assured, were "victims of this crime because they have lost their little child" and were not being considered as "suspects in the case". But, as we now know, they were.

New Madeleine inquiry delayed by formal appeal to Portuguese, 11 July 2013
New Madeleine inquiry delayed by formal appeal to Portuguese The Times
Kate and Gerry McCann with an age-processed image of Madeleine on the fifth anniversary of her disappearance in 2012 Facundo Arrizabalaga/EPA
Kate and Gerry McCann with an age-processed image of Madeleine on the fifth anniversary of her disappearance in 2012 Facundo Arrizabalaga/EPA

Sean O'Neill
Crime Editor
Published at 12:01AM, July 11 2013

Britain has not yet requested Portuguese help in its new inquiry into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann.

Scotland Yard said a week ago that it was beginning a ground-breaking investigation and would have a team of detectives based on the Algarve, from where Madeleine went missing while on holiday six years ago.

Senior Metropolitan Police officers said they wanted to trace 38 potential suspects across five countries, had new lines of inquiry to pursue and new witness evidence to develop. Classifying the case as a criminal investigation, the Met said, would give its detectives "teeth" to interview witnesses and suspects, search properties and other locations and, if necessary, make arrests.

But seven days later the international Letter of Request necessary to start the Europe-wide inquiry has not left London and the Portuguese authorities are said to be surprised by the lack of progress. The Crown Prosecution Service, which must deliver the letter to the Portuguese judicial authorities, said its officials were still drawing up the complex legal document.

Prosecutors are understood to have received very little notice of Scotland Yard's decision last week to publicise its shift from a review of the case to a full investigation. International criminal investigations in Europe are governed by two treaties: the 1959 European Convention on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters, and the Convention on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters between EU States of 2000.

The conventions set out the accepted procedures for exchange of legal papers, holding hearings by videolink, the operation of joint investigation teams and the control of undercover officers, phone taps and interception of e-mail and other communications.

Madeleine was almost four when she disappeared from her family's holiday apartment in Praia de Luz in May 2007. She had been asleep in the apartment with her younger twin siblings while her parents, Kate and Gerry McCann, dined with friends nearby.

The original Portuguese police inquiry was inconclusive and was shelved in 2008. It cannot be re-opened unless there is significant new evidence that reaches a threshold set down by Portuguese law.

David Cameron ordered the Met to review the case in 2011 and a team was set up to examine documents gathered by Portuguese police, British agencies and private detectives hired by the McCann family. The discovery of new leads during that review convinced the Met there was a chance of solving the case.

Andy Redwood, the Detective Chief Inspector who is leading the inquiry, Operation Grange, said last week: "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."

Despite 16 visits by British detectives to Portugal in the past two years, Lisbon insisted that "the British authorities cannot act on their own in Portugal".

The Attorney-General's office added that British police "will not be able to direct any interrogation or effect any investigation, on their own account, in Portugal".

A spokesman for the CPS said: "Any legal communication between different jurisdictions requires extremely careful correspondence, including appropriate translations. We are in liaison with the Portuguese authorities, and will send the formal Letter of Request as soon as possible."

Madeleine: Police hunt gives McCanns fresh hope, 12 July 2013
Madeleine: Police hunt gives McCanns fresh hope Daily Express (paper edition)

 
Daily Express, 12 July 2013

 

SEE PAGE 5

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Red tape won't delay hunt for Madeleine say McCanns Daily Express

THE parents of Madeleine McCann say they have “absolute faith” in the new investigation into their missing daughter despite reports the Europe-wide inquiry is already getting bogged down in red tape

By: Mark Reynolds
Published: Fri, July 12, 2013

Polive believe Madeleine may still be alive

 

Eight days after Scotland Yard announced that officers were ­moving from review stage of the case to a full-blown investigation, Kate and Gerry McCann remain hopeful of a breakthrough.

Their declaration came after it was revealed that a vital Letter of Request, which must be sent to the Portuguese authorities, has still not been delivered.

Without it, aspects of the investigation could be delayed due to lack of formal approval from the relevant authorities there.

Last night the Crown Prosecution Service, which is responsible for delivering the letter to the Portuguese judicial bodies, said its officials were still drawing up the complex legal document.

A CPS spokesman said: "Any legal communication between different jurisdictions requires extremely careful correspondence, including appropriate translations.

"We are liaising with the Portuguese authorities and will send the formal Letter of Request as soon as possible."

The spokesman said police had fully consulted with the CPS before Scotland Yard went public with its announcement of a full-blown investigation last week.

Kate & Gerry McCann have expressed total support for the Scotland Yard investigation

A spokesman for the Metropolitan Police declined to comment.

But Clarence Mitchell, spokesman for the McCanns, said: "Kate and Gerry will not be giving a running commentary on every part of this process. But they have absolute faith in the work Scotland Yard are doing."

Senior Met Police officers from Operation Grange, the inquiry into Madeleine’s disappearance, are aware of the technical and bureaucratic complexities which face them. But they also remain optimistic of making progress in the case.

They have told how they believe Madeleine may still be alive and urged the public to continue to help search for her.

Announcing the full-blown investigation, Det Chief Inspector Andy Redwood, head of Operation Grange, said: "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."

He added: "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." Officers need all relevant ­documents correctly in place to ensure full co-operation between officials here and abroad, and to avoid bureaucratic hitches.

International criminal investigations in Europe are governed by two "mutual assistance" treaties, one ­dating back to 1959 and the other from 2000.

An age progressed photo of Maddy, as she is beleived to look on the approach to her ninth birthday

The conventions set out procedures for matters such as the exchange of legal papers, holding hearings by video-link, the control of undercover officers, phone taps and interception of email and other communications.

Police revealed they have identified 38 "persons of interest" so far – 12 of whom are British nationals who were in Portugal at the time Madeleine vanished, and are currently thought to be in Portugal or the UK.

The others on the list are believed to be in Portugal, the UK or three other unnamed European ­countries.

Madeleine – who would now be 10 years old – went missing from a ­holiday apartment in Praia da Luz on the Algarve on May 3, 2007.

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

A team of 37 Met Police officers and staff are working on the case.

So far the team has gathered 30,500 documents and generated 3,800 "actions" they need to tackle.

They are about two-thirds of the way through their review and so far have been to Portugal 16 times.

Operation Grange was launched in May 2011 after the McCanns, both 45, and from Rothley, Leics, appealed directly to Prime Minister David Cameron for help from Scotland Yard.

Portugal will aid Yard case on Madeleine, 13 July 2013
Portugal will aid Yard case on Madeleine The Times

Madeleine was almost 4 when she vanished from her family's apartment in Praia da Luz in May 2007 Madeleine Fund/PA
Madeleine was almost 4 when she vanished from her family's apartment in Praia da Luz in May 2007 Madeleine Fund/PA

Sean O'Neill
Crime Editor
Published at 12:01AM, July 13 2013

Portugal will co-operate with a new British police inquiry into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann, the Attorney-General's office in Lisbon said yesterday.

Scotland Yard said last week that it had identified potential suspects in the case and wanted to open a new international inquiry into Madeleine's abduction from a holiday apartment on the Algarve in 2007. But Britain has yet to deliver its formal request for assistance to the Portuguese authorities.

A spokesman for the Portuguese Attorney-General's office said that the country was a signatory to two European treaties on mutual legal assistance: "[Portugal] has an international obligation to cooperate in what concerns criminal investigations that require international cooperation, according with the conditions established by international instruments."

Madeleine was almost 4 when she vanished from her family's apartment in Praia da Luz in May 2007 while her parents dined with friends nearby.

The original police inquiry was inconclusive but the Metropolitan Police began a review two years ago. It wants to trace 38 "persons of interest" from five countries. Detectives said that neither Kate and Gerry McCann, Madeleine's parents, nor any of their friends, were on their list.

Maddie movie outrage, 14 July 2013
Maddie movie outrage Sunday Express (paper edition)

 
Sunday Express, 14 July 2013

 

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

Maddie movie outrage Sunday Express

A DISTURBING British film about the abduction of a little girl on a family holiday has sparked outrage after its director drew parallels with the Madeleine McCann case.

By: Tracey Kandohla
Published: Sun, July 14, 2013

The film about the abduction of a girl on holiday has sparked outrage

Actor Mark Harris stars in and directs Abducted, an independent 90-minute film which will be released later this year in cinemas.

The 40-year-old father of three has said he tried to emulate the feelings of Gerry McCann during the production.

And he suggests the film may help the search for Madeleine, who was kidnapped from a holiday home in Portugal six years ago.

Mr McCann and his wife Kate declined to comment but a family friend said: "It is outrageous to suggest parallels between what is ­portrayed in this film and what happened to Madeleine.

"Kate and Gerry won't dignify it with a comment. It could even hinder the search for Madeleine."

Mr Harris, a successful amateur boxer with tattoos on his biceps, pulls no punches in showing the dark ­reality of child trafficking.

The film tells the fictional story of a British family who rent a home in Los Angeles for a holiday, not realising ­violent people smugglers have installed hidden cameras to watch their every move.

He plays the father, Matt Hollis, who is out shopping when two abductors snatch his five-year-old daughter Lara and savagely attack his wife Alison.

Mr Harris wrote the script and raised the £750,000 for the project.

The film was shot in south London and Los Angeles, where he investigated child trafficking himself by reading FBI files and meeting officials with the charity Saving Innocence, whose endeavours he supports.

Mr Harris, who recently played a cheeky chappy role in the horse ­racing comedy Outside Bet, starring Bob Hoskins, told the Sunday Express: "I was taken aback by how rife trafficking of kids abroad is today."

As part of his research he studied the McCann case and deliberately cast two of the fictional abductors as they looked like two men featured in artists’ impressions.

Those individuals are still being sought in connection with Madeleine's abduction.

Explaining his thinking, he said: "This was not for dramatic effect. It was because I felt it may bring, in some small way, even more awareness of the case. If the film prompts someone to come forward with information in relation to the case that would be great.

"After interviewing victims, I tried to evoke some of the feelings they and Gerry McCann would have felt.

"However you can never really know what these poor people have had to suffer – you can only give your version and try your best to reflect the breakdowns and pain they must endure every day.

"I wanted to make this film something I could be proud of, to make sure that the plight of these victims and the McCanns was not forgotten."

But people who see the film will find difficulty relating the fictional character Matt Hollis to Gerry McCann, who has won admiration for his dignified determination to find his daughter.

In the film, Hollis takes murderous revenge against those involved in the abduction.

McCanns' fury over kidnap film, 15 July 2013
McCanns' fury over kidnap film Daily Star

A film about a kidnapped girl has sparked outrage amid fears it could hamper the search for missing Madeleine McCann

By Nadeem Akhtar / Published 15th July 2013

Kate & Gerry McCann are still searching for their daughter Maddie

A film about a kidnapped girl has sparked outrage amid fears it could hamper the search for missing Madeleine McCann

Brit flick Abducted is in cinemas later this year.

But it has left friends of the McCanns fuming after director Mark Harris compared it to the case of Madeleine who went missing in Portugal in 2007.

It is about a British family on holiday in Los Angeles whose daughter is taken by human traffickers.

In the film, the dad takes revenge on the kidnappers by killing them.

But a friend of the McCanns said: "It is outrageous to suggest parallels between what is portrayed in this film and what happened to Madeleine. It could even hinder the search for Madeleine."

Harris said: "I tried to evoke some of the feelings Gerry McCann would have felt."

Gerry, 44, and Kate McCann, 45, declined to comment on the independent film.

Director's Guidance on the handling of cases where the jurisdiction to prosecute is shared with prosecuting authorities overseas, 17 July 2013
Director's Guidance on the handling of cases where the jurisdiction to prosecute is shared with prosecuting authorities overseas The Crown Prosecution Service

CPS logo

Published: 17 July 2013

Introduction

1. Investigators and prosecutors in England and Wales are committed to working with investigation and prosecution agencies in other countries to combat crime. Where crime is committed in more than one jurisdiction, different offences may be committed in different locations. This document provides guidance for CPS prosecutors in cases where criminal investigations have been commenced in more than one jurisdiction and involve suspected criminal conduct that crosses international boundaries. In this document such cases are referred to as cases of concurrent jurisdiction. These guidelines, which embrace the main principles of the Eurojust Guidelines issued in 2003, have immediate effect. Prosecutors are also reminded of the guidance issued in 2009 on the handling of terrorist cases where the jurisdiction to prosecute is shared by prosecuting authorities within the UK.

2. The guidelines follow a step-by-step approach to determining issues arising in cases with concurrent jurisdiction. Firstly, as far as the law permits, there should be early sharing of information between prosecutors with an interest in the case. Secondly, prosecutors should consult on cases and the issues arising from concurrent jurisdiction, recognising that agencies in different jurisdictions operate within procedures established by their own domestic laws. Thirdly, in reaching a decision on whether a prosecution should take place in England and Wales, CPS prosecutors should apply the principles set out in these guidelines. As a matter of principle any decision on questions arising from concurrent jurisdiction should be, and should be seen to be, fair and objective. Each case should be considered on its own facts and merits.

Sharing information in cases of concurrent jurisdiction

3. Where issues of concurrent jurisdiction arise, investigators and prosecutors in England and Wales should consult closely from the outset of investigations, consistent with the procedures established by the agencies. They should also, where possible and appropriate to do so, consult closely with investigators and prosecutors in such other countries which have an interest in prosecuting the conduct. The aim of a co-operative approach is to agree a co-ordinated strategy in relation to the particular case that respects the independence of the individual jurisdictions but recognises the benefits of co-operation in achieving effective law enforcement.

4. Where it is possible and appropriate to share information, the information shared between investigators and prosecutors in England and Wales and the investigators and prosecutors in such other countries as have an interest in prosecuting the case should include the facts of the case, key evidence, representations on jurisdictional issues and, as appropriate, any other consideration which will enable the prosecutors to develop a case strategy and resolve issues arising from concurrent jurisdiction. Prosecutors must have regard to the desirability of not exposing to disclosure within this jurisdiction material which is subject to restrictions on disclosure in the jurisdiction supplying it.

5. The information shared in accordance with this guidance is provided in order that prosecutors in England and Wales and in other countries with an interest in prosecuting the case may reach decisions on issues arising from concurrent jurisdiction. The information should not be disclosed to other countries without permission of the originating state.

Consultation

6. The aim of consultation, having shared the information set out at paragraph 4, is to enable each country's prosecutors to decide on the issues arising from concurrent jurisdiction including, but not limited to:
a) Where and how investigations may be most effectively pursued;
b) Where and how prosecutions should be initiated, continued or discontinued; or
c) Whether and how aspects of the case should be pursued in different jurisdictions'.
7. It is for the prosecuting authority, having applied the principles set out in this guidance, to decide whether a case should properly be prosecuted in its country where that is in accordance with the law and the public interest. In England and Wales any decision to prosecute in this jurisdiction must be made in accordance with the Code for Crown Prosecutors (the Code).

Principles to be applied

8. In deciding where a case with concurrent jurisdiction should be prosecuted, CPS prosecutors in England and Wales should apply the following principles:
  1. So long as appropriate charges can properly be brought which reflect the seriousness and extent of the offending supported by admissible evidence, a prosecution should ordinarily be brought in the jurisdiction where most of the criminality or most of the loss or harm occurred.


  2. Where potentially relevant material may be held in another jurisdiction, the prospects of the material being identified and provided to prosecutors in England and Wales for review in accordance with disclosure obligations in this jurisdiction will be an important consideration in deciding whether appropriate charges can properly be brought in England and Wales.


  3. Provided it is practicable to do so and consistent with principles 1) and 2) above, where crime is committed in more than one jurisdiction, all relevant prosecutions should take place in one jurisdiction.


  4. Other factors relevant to any determination by CPS prosecutors as to where a prosecution should take place include:
    i) the location of the witnesses, their ability to give evidence in another jurisdiction and where appropriate, their right to be protected;
    ii) the location of the accused and his or her connections with the United Kingdom;
    iii) the location of any co-defendants and/or other suspects; and
    iv) the availability or otherwise of extradition or transfer proceedings and the prospect of such proceedings succeeding.
  5. Where all other factors are finely balanced, any delay introduced by proceeding in one jurisdiction rather than another and the cost and resources of prosecuting in one jurisdiction rather than another may be relevant.


  6. Although the relative sentencing powers and/or powers to recover the proceeds of crime should not be a primary factor in determining where a case should be prosecuted, CPS prosecutors should always ensure that there are available potential sentences and powers of recovery to reflect the seriousness and extent of the offending supported by the evidence.
9. Decisions in cases of concurrent jurisdiction may need to be reviewed where circumstances change, but circumstances will rarely change to such an extent that a compelling case could be made for proceedings already underway in one jurisdiction to be discontinued and commenced instead in another jurisdiction.

10. Unless the criminal conduct relied upon in an extradition request is already being investigated with a view to prosecution in England and Wales, the receipt of such a request, and the making of any orders pursuant to such a request, do not, without more, require CPS prosecutors in England and Wales to consider or reconsider whether a prosecution for the conduct in question should be brought in this jurisdiction.

11. A few offences allow the courts of England and Wales to try UK nationals for offences committed wholly abroad, which is known as extraterritorial jurisdiction. Specific public policy considerations apply in these cases which the current Guidelines are not designed to cover. Accordingly prosecutorial decisions in such cases are not bound by these Guidelines.

Madeleine McCann: British detectives to arrive at scene 'within days' to follow up new leads, 20 July 2013
Madeleine McCann: British detectives to arrive at scene 'within days' to follow up new leads Daily Mirror

By Tom Pettifor | 20 Jul 2013 08:19

Officers from Scotland Yard travelling to the scene could interview witnesses and suspects, search properties and even make arrests

Fresh hope: Madeleine McCann on the day she vanished

 

British detectives looking for missing Madeleine McCann could arrive in Portugal within days to follow up a string of new leads.

Officers from Scotland Yard will travel to the scene of the crime, potentially interviewing witnesses and suspects, searching properties and even making arrests.

It comes after the Crown Prosecution Service yesterday confirmed it had written a letter to Portuguese judges on Thursday asking for permission to gather evidence, with the help of the local police.

The letter is believed to name a number of suspects and witnesses living in Portugal who officers want to talk to over the coming months.

It is thought to outline possible offences being probed, including child trafficking, kidnap and murder.

Painful: Parents Kate and Gerry McCann with artist's impression of Maddy

Madeleine went missing while she was on holiday in the Algarve with parents Kate and Gerry and her twin siblings six years ago.

The Met said two weeks ago that it wanted to trace 38 potential suspects across five countries, having reviewed the case for two years.

It announced a full criminal inquiry and Detective Chief Inspector Andy Redwood, who is leading Operation Grange, said: "The review has given us new thinking, new theories, new evidence and new witnesses."

He added: "We remain committed to finding out what happened to Madeleine. Everything we do is utterly focused on her best interests. We continue to believe there is a possibility she is alive. We remain in close contact with Kate and Gerry McCann."

Last night Scotland Yard refused to be drawn on when the team of detectives would fly out but a CPS spokesman confirmed yesterday: "The letter has been sent."

Probe: DCI Andy Redwood of the Metropolitan Police

Alison Saunders, the chief crown prosecutor for London, and her colleague Jenny Hopkins, head of the CPS complex casework unit, have already discussed how to obtain the evidence with Portuguese lawyers.

Launching a full investigation abroad is rare and such probes are tightly governed.

It will be a joint inquiry between the two countries and authorities in capital Lisbon insisted "the British authorities cannot act on their own in Portugal".

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

Scene: The family's apartment in Praia da Luz

She had been asleep in the apartment with the younger twins while her parents dined out with their friends nearby.

The original Portuguese inquiry was shelved in 2008. British detectives have visited the country 16 times in the past two years but the probe could not be re-opened unless there was significant new evidence.

Prime Minister David Cameron ordered the Met to review the case in 2011 and a team examined files from Portuguese police, British agencies and the McCanns' private detectives.

The discovery of new leads convinced the Met there was a chance of solving the case, leading to Thursday's International Letter of Request.

When the probe was confirmed, a spokesman for the McCanns said: "It is a big step forward in establishing what happened and, hopefully, towards bringing whoever is responsible for Madeleine's abduction to justice."

Scotland Yard detectives to return to holiday resort where Madeleine McCann vanished 'within days' to follow up new leads, 20 July 2013
Scotland Yard detectives to return to holiday resort where Madeleine McCann vanished 'within days' to follow up new leads Daily Mail
  • Detectives said earlier this month that they have 38 suspects across Europe
  • Officers will work with their Portuguese counterparts on fresh leads
  • Scotland Yard began a review of the case in 2011 on David Cameron's orders
  • Madeleine went missing from a resort in the Algarve back in 2007
By STEVE NOLAN
PUBLISHED: 12:14, 20 July 2013 | UPDATED: 12:15, 20 July 2013

New leads: Scotland Yard detectives could travel to Portugal in the coming days to follow up on new leads in the case of missing Madeleine McCann (pictured)

Detectives searching for Madeleine McCann could fly to the Portuguese holiday resort where the youngster went missing within days to follow up on new leads.

Metropolitan Police officers could potentially interview suspects, search properties and even make arrests in the Algarve where Madeleine disappeared while on a family holiday in 2007.

The Crown Prosecution Service has written a Letter of Request to Portuguese judges this week asking for permission to work in the country to gather evidence alongside local police.

According to the Daily Mirror, the letter included the names of some of the suspects that police wish to speak to regarding the case and an outline of a number of offences being investigated.

Madeleine went missing from an apartment in Praia da Luz on May 3, 2007, as her parents dined with friends at a nearby tapas restaurant.

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

The Met said earlier this month that it was preparing to swoop on 38 suspects 'scattered across Europe' after announcing a full criminal investigation.

Among them are a dozen British nationals who were visiting or living in the Algarve at the time the then three-year-old went missing.

Investigators said that they have no prime suspects but said that they had found no evidence that the youngster had been murdered.

Detective Chief Inspector Andy Redwood, who is leading the inquiry, said: 'We continue to believe that there is a possibility that Madeleine is alive.'

Crime scene: The Ocean Club Resort in Praia da Luz where Madeleine went missing in 2007

Crime scene: The Ocean Club Resort in Praia da Luz where Madeleine went missing in 2007

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

New hope: Madeleine's parents Kate and Gerry McCann welcomed the Met's announcement that it had new leads earlier this month

New hope: Madeleine's parents Kate and Gerry McCann welcomed the Met's announcement that it had new leads earlier this month

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

The Met's announcement came toward the end of a two year £5million review of the case which officers said has created a 'unique picture' of what happened in the Algarve.

Hopeful: Detective Chief Inspector Andy Redwood said that police have no evidence that Madeleine was murdered

Mr Redwood said the painstaking review has brought together all the information about Madeleine for the first time.

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.

'I'm hopeful that when we pursue those lines of inquiry, 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 we will be able to have the ability to move the investigation on.

'I believe that this is an important moment for Madeleine. It is a great opportunity which we intend to exploit to the full.'

A Met Police spokesman refused to comment on when detectives will be sent to Portugal as part of the investigation and the CPS was unavailable for comment.

Prime Minister David Cameron had ordered the review of the case back in 2011.

Portuguese official is investigated over Ellie 'kidnap plot', 21 July 2013
Portuguese official is investigated over Ellie 'kidnap plot' Sunday Express

A PROSECUTOR in Portugal is being investigated for allegedly assisting the tug-of-love kidnap of a British girl.

By: James Murray
Published: Sun, July 21, 2013

Algarve where Ellie was taken on holiday by her father and didn't return

Ellie Gannon was seven when she was taken by her Portuguese businessman father Filipe Silva last July. He failed to return her after a two-week break on the Algarve.

Now tapped phone calls are said to reveal the prosecutor was "colluding" with Silva's mother.

The revelations have scandalised Portugal and come at a sensitive time when Scotland Yard officers are seeking to expand their investigation into Madeleine McCann's disappearance.

An arrest warrant was issued after Silva breached a court order to return Ellie to her British mother Candice Gannon, 28, who lives on Madeira with new husband Philip Gannon.

In February Silva was arrested near the capital Lisbon. Ellie was later found living with his friends. During the investigation Silva was astonishingly allowed to visit Ellie on Madeira.

The twist in the saga happened with the announcement in a Portuguese newspaper that the legal ­official in Faro on the Algarve had been involved. Speaking from Madeira, Mr Gannon said yesterday: "A Faro criminal prosecutor is being treated as an accessory to kidnap. We always suspected there was corruption involved."

Candice was outraged when a civil court decided that Silva had the right to visit his daughter, despite the fact that he was being accused of her kidnap.

Silva insists Ellie wants to be with him and said he did it because he was stopped from seeing his daughter.

Madeleine McCann: Swiss watches a waste of time, 21 July 2013
Madeleine McCann: Swiss watches a waste of time Allvoices

BY NIGEL MOORE
Jul 21, 2013 at 11:44 AM PDT [Jul 21, 2013 at 19:44 PM BST]

"Freedom of speech should not include distortion of the truth," said Kate McCann

"Freedom of speech should not include distortion of the truth," said Kate McCann

Scotland Yard officers currently undertaking an 'investigative review' of the Madeleine McCann case could be about to arrive in Portugal to 'interview witnesses and suspects, search properties and even make arrests,' reports the Daily Mirror, 20 July 2013.

They 'could arrive in Portugal within days', we are told. Indeed, they could. In fact, they 'could' be about to do any one of a number of things but does the British press really know what?

In October 2011, the Metropolitan Police Service stated the following in response to a Freedom of Information request:

'High profile reviews, such as this one, are highly emotive and the manner in which they are conducted are usually kept in strict secrecy so that the tactics and lines of enquiry that are followed do not become public knowledge thereby rendering them useless.'

Yet, on 26 May 2013, the Daily Mirror reported the following, in connection with Urs Hans Von Aesch, who abducted and murdered 5 year old Ylenia Lenhard, in Switzerland, on 31 July 2007:

'Officers from Scotland Yard's Operation Grange, who are investigating Madeleine's disappearance, say von Aesch is one of 20 "persons of interest".'

Really? Even allowing for the fact that von Aesch is dead, can we really believe that Scotland Yard openly released his name to the press as a 'person of interest'?

If they did - to tweak a famous quote of Eric Cantona - it would appear they are throwing red herrings to the journalists who follow their trawler.

But the Mirror wasn't alone. Just two days previously a Daily Mail headline had screamed: 'Was Maddie snatched by monster [von Aesch] who killed this little lookalike? That's the dramatic new lead uncovered by British detectives so why are the Portuguese refusing to investigate?'

That 'dramatic new lead uncovered by British detectives'? That would be the one that was plastered all over British newspapers throughout August and September 2007. The truth is, there never has been any connection between the abduction of Ylenia Lenhard and the reported disappearance of Madeleine McCann.

Interpol confirmed as much on 17 August 2007, when they informed the Portuguese police (PJ) that Swiss police had not managed to 'establish any link to the case of the disappearance of the British girl Madeleine McCann.'

Is it any wonder then that the PJ decided instead to concentrate their efforts on the 'real' indications of the two operational specialist search dogs - which indicated at a number of locations, as well as items, connected to the McCanns - as opposed to some spurious connection to von Aesch, that even the Swiss police said didn't exist.

Despite various newspaper reports, there is no evidence that von Aesch was in the Algarve at the time or that he was in Praia da Luz on May 3rd. It was an unsubstantiated rumour which the press were happy to utilise to add credibility to their wafer thin 'account of the truth'.

This is confirmed by Vreni Von Aesch, Aesch's widow, who has categorically denied that her husband was in Praia da Luz on the day of Madeleine's disappearance. No doubt there will be those who think, 'she would say that, wouldn't she?' But is her word any less than Jenny Murat, who says her son Robert was with her all evening of May 3rd, or that of Kate McCann, who 'just knows' that Madeleine was abducted.

The truth of the matter is that Scotland Yard officers travelled to Switzerland in September last year to investigate von Aesch. The greeting they received from the Swiss police was unequivocal. "Based on the previous findings that can be made between the cases of Ylenia Lenhard and Madeleine McCann there is no connection," said Hanspeter Krüsi of the St. Gallen District Police.

So why did the UK press make a big splash on von Aesch in May and July this year, when any link between the two cases was already dead in the water? Were they really tossed a fishy line by Scotland Yard?

If not, it would seem that the reports were based on pure speculation, thus revealing they have no more idea what, or who, Scotland Yard are really investigating than Patrick Starfish.

Madeleine: New hope as British police get go-ahead to start search in Portugal, 22 July 2013
Madeleine: New hope as British police get go-ahead to start search in Portugal Daily Express (paper edition)

 
Daily Express, 22 July 2013

 

[Text to photo: Madeleine vanished on holiday in Portugal six years ago]

SEE PAGE SIX

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

Madeleine McCann: New hope as British police go-ahead to start search in Portugal Daily Express

SCOTLAND Yard detectives could begin work in Portugal within weeks as they step up the hunt for Madeleine McCann.

By: Mark Reynolds
Published: Mon, July 22, 2013

Scotland Yard detectives believe Madeleine McCann may still be alive

 

The Crown Prosecution Service has written to Portuguese judges asking for permission for a team to gather evidence, with the help of local police.

A CPS spokesman said: "We can confirm that a Letter of Request has now been sent to the Portuguese authorities."

It is hoped this will ease the way for officers from the UK to be based in Portugal to interview witnesses and suspects, search properties and be present should any arrests need to be made.

Portugal will now have to reply to the UK authorities and agree to the request to gather evidence over there. However there is no reason to suggest they will refuse. The Metropolitan Police has identified 38 "persons of interest" – 12 of them UK citizens.

Senior Metropolitan Police officers from Operation Grange, the inquiry into Madeleine's disappearance, remain optimistic of making progress in the case. Announcing the full-blown investigation, Detective Chief Inspector Andy Redwood said: "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, 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."

International criminal investigations in Europe are governed by two treaties – the 1959 European Convention on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters, and the Convention on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters between EU States of 2000.

Madeleine – who would now be 10 – went missing from her holiday apartment in Praia da Luz in the Algarve on May 3, 2007, as her parents dined with friends.

Kate and Gerry McCan have 'absolute faith' in Scotland Yard

Neither Kate nor Gerry McCann, both 45, nor the friends who were eating with them that night are among the 38 people identified, police said. None of the 38 is known to the McCanns. But Kate and Gerry have said they "have absolute faith in the work Scotland Yard are doing".

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

A team of 37 Met police officers and staff is now working on the case. The 12 British "persons of interest" were in Portugal at the time Madeleine vanished, and are currently thought to be in Portugal or the UK. The other 26 are believed to be in these countries or three other unnamed European nations. So far the inquiry team has gathered 30,500 documents and generated 3,800 actions that they need to tackle.

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

The new full-blown investigation is being funded by the Home Office. The cost of the review so far has been put at around ­£5million.

Scotland Yard's new leads bring fresh hope says Madeleine McCann's father, 25 July 2013
Scotland Yard's new leads bring fresh hope says Madeleine McCann's father Daily Express

Scotland Yard's new probe into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann is a "big step" bringing fresh hope she will be found alive, her father said yesterday.

By: John Twomey
Published: Thu, July 25, 2013

Madeleine McCann as she was aged three, and how she might look now, aged six.

Gerry McCann revealed he and his wife Kate have been on an emotional "rollercoaster" as they await the outcome of fresh leads and the pursuit of 38 potential suspects.

Speaking on ITV's Daybreak, he added: "It's a big step forward. The most important thing is that for the first time the authorities are actively investigating and we've been delighted with the work the Metropolitan Police have been doing over the past couple of years. We knew there were lots of leads that needed to be followed up."

The Yard announced the new inquiry earlier this month. Mr McCann, of Rothley, Leicestershire, said: "Not a day goes by where we don't think about Madeleine. You're not going to accept that your child's dead unless there's conclusive proof.

"We have always lived in the hope that we can find Madeleine, and given the number of cases of children who have been taken and found many years later, there is real hope.

"Unfortunately for us, the biggest problem is that we won't know what's happened to Madeleine until we find who's responsible."

Madeleine was three years old when she went missing from her family's holiday apartment in Portugal in May, 2007. Asked about the support he and his wife have received, Mr McCann, 45, said: "We've very much kept an even keel throughout.

Gerry McCann said that the family continues to live in hope that Madeleine will be found

"It has been a bit of a rollercoaster ride and I think we've conditioned ourselves to staying pretty much on a level. There are ups and downs."

He said the couple were letting detectives "get on with it", adding: "It's taken a tremendous amount of pressure off us as a family to have that support now and to know people are now actively looking."

Following a two-year review of evidence, Yard officers plan to fly to the Algarve shortly.

Detective Chief Inspector Andy Redwood said: "The review has given us new theories, new evidence and new witnesses. We remain committed to finding out what happened to Madeleine. We continue to believe there is a possibility she is alive."

'We can still find missing Maddie', 25 July 2013
'We can still find missing Maddie' Daily Star (paper edition)

 
Daily Star, 25 July 2013

'We can still find missing Maddie' says Gerry McCann Daily Star

MADELEINE McCann's dad told yesterday how he has "real hope" she will be found alive, after British police launched their own inquiry

By Jerry Lawton / Published 25th July 2013

Police and her parents are hopeful that Maddie is still alive

Heart specialist Gerry McCann, 45, said he was "delighted" the Metropolitan Police had opened an investigation into her disappearance.

Officers took the decision after they spent two years reviewing original case files compiled by police in Portugal and Leicestershire plus private detectives.

Gerry and wife Kate, 45, have been buoyed by the public declaration by Det Chief Insp Andy Redwood that he had found no evidence Madeleine was dead.

The McCanns are encouraged by the case review

Her dad said: "It is very important to us, naturally. Not a day goes by when we don't think about Madeleine.

"As Andy Redwood said, and I'm sure every single parent would agree, you're not going to accept your child's dead unless there's absolutely conclusive proof.

"So we have always lived in the hope that we could find Madeleine. Given the number of cases of children who have been taken and found many years later, there is real hope.

"We knew there were lots and lots of leads that needed to be followed up."

Madeleine, then aged three, vanished from the family's holiday apartment in Praia da Luz, Portugal, in May 2007 while her parents dined with pals nearby.

Portuguese police, who were assisted by officers from the McCanns' home force in Leicestershire, archived the case as an unsolved mystery.

But earlier this month the Met, which started reviewing the investigation following a personal plea from the McCanns to the Prime Minister, said the operation had thrown up "new evidence, new witnesses, new thinking and new theories".

Officers have identified 38 potential suspects in five countries, 12 of them Brits.

Gerry is taking part in the London Triathlon on Sunday to raise money for Missing People.

His wife, an ambassador for the charity, raised more than £21,000 with her London Marathon run.

Theresa May asks permission for Met to start Madeleine McCann inquiry in Portugal, 30 July 2013
Theresa May asks permission for Met to start Madeleine McCann inquiry in Portugal Evening Standard
Search: an image of Madeleine McCann as she might look on her ninth birthday and Home Secretary Theresa May
Search: an image of Madeleine McCann as she might look on her ninth birthday and Home Secretary Theresa May

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

MARTIN BENTHAM
Published: 30 July 2013
Updated: 12:26, 30 July 2013


Home Secretary Theresa May has sent an official request to Lisbon for permission for Scotland Yard to begin a new investigation in Portugal into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann.

It follows the disclosure that the Met has identified 38 potential suspects — including 12 Britons — who are "of interest" because of their presence in Portugal when Madeleine vanished.

In the letter, drawn up for Mrs May by the Crown Prosecution Service, she asks the Portuguese authorities for their help in gathering new evidence. But, in a more significant step, she also requests permission for Met detectives to be stationed in the country.

That will effectively allow Scotland Yard to take control of the previously stalled investigation, and raise hopes of a possible breakthrough.

A response from Portugal is expected within two weeks. Last month, after a two-year review of evidence, the Met announced it was launching a full-scale investigation into Madeleine's disappearance. She 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.

A Portuguese probe was shelved in 2008 but the Yard began a review in 2011, following the intervention of David Cameron at the request of the McCann family.

Last month the Met said that the review, which cost £5 million, had identified 38 "persons of interest" from four European countries, including Portugal. They will be the subject of the new probe. Twelve are Britons who were in Portugal at the time.

Scotland Yard has said neither the McCann family nor the friends who were staying with them were among those they have identified for further inquiries.

If Portuguese approval is given, the Met is expected to seek new forensic evidence in the country, and pursue hundreds of possible leads the review is understood to have uncovered. However, sources caution that there remains no prime suspect and the Met's inquiries are still at an early stage.

The new Yard inquiry began partly because Portuguese authorities are unable, under their law, to reopen their probe unless compelling new evidence emerges. Met detectives will hope to uncover this, and believe it could eventually lead to the case being solved. The new investigation also raises the possibility of a trial in the UK, if a British national is identified and arrested.

The Home Office declined to comment on the letter, but confirmed that Mrs May remained determined to offer every assistance to Madeleine's parents Kate and Gerry as they seek to find their daughter.

A spokesman added: "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."

Attorney receives request from British for Maddie McCann help, 30 July 2013
Attorney receives request from British for Maddie McCann help Jornal de Notícias

Published: 30 July 2013

The Attorney General's Office has received a request for assistance from the British authorities, in respect of the investigation opened in London into the disappearance of the British child Madeleine McCann, in 2007, from the Algarve.

Praia da Luz

In a statement sent today to the Lusa agency, the PGR [Attorney General's office] states that they have received "a request for assistance from the British authorities," adding that "there is currently no timetable for when the inquiries will take place."

The PGR add the caveat that "the British authorities cannot perform inquiries on Portuguese territory; their presence can only be allowed in order to assist the Portuguese authorities in the execution of the said application."

It means that the British authorities cannot carry out any interviews or make inquiries unless they are accompanied by the Public Ministry (MP).

London's authorities have confirmed that there are Portuguese among the 38 people of interest that British police want to question - in the investigation that was opened in that country.

The British press had already advanced the hypothesis that Scotland Yard had opened its own investigation into the case, following on from the review which was opened in 2011 as a result of the intervention of the Prime Minister, David Cameron.

At the same time, police have confirmed that a delegation of senior officials from the Crown Prosecution Service, and British detectives, visited Portugal in mid-April to discuss the next steps with the Portuguese authorities.

Parents, Kate and Gerry McCann, and another Briton, Robert Murat, were constituted arguidos by the Portuguese authorities in July 2007, but on July 21, 2008, the MP ordered the archiving of suspicions, which spelled the end of the investigation.

The Portuguese MP has always admitted that the case could be reopened if new information were to be received about the child's disappearance from a holiday village in Praia da Luz.

Theresa May's plea over Madeleine McCann search, 31 July 2013
Theresa May's plea over Madeleine McCann search Daily Star

HOME Secretary Theresa May yesterday sent an official request for Scotland Yard to set up their headquarters in Portugal to help find Madeleine McCann.

By Jerry Lawton / Published 31st July 2013

Home Secretary Theresa May

 

The letter also asks Portuguese police to help UK detectives collect new evidence in the case.

Police chiefs claim it is a significant step in their bid to solve a mystery that has gripped the world for six years.

Madeleine, then three, vanished from her family's holiday apartment in the Algarve resort of Praia La Luz in May 2007 while her doctor parents Kate and Gerry, both 45, dined with pals in a nearby tapas bar.

Portuguese police, who were assisted by officers from the McCanns' home force in Leicestershire, archived the case as an unsolved mystery.

Earlier this month, Met Police said they had "new evidence, new witnesses, new thinking and new theories".

They have identified 38 potential suspects across five countries including Portugal and the UK. Twelve of them are Brits.

The 37-strong team of Operation Grange detectives is now overseeing a Europe-wide probe to find Madeleine's abductor.

Under international law UK detectives cannot arrest or interview witnesses on Portuguese soil.

Madeleine's parents Kate and Gerry

But they can observe as local police carry out inquiries on their behalf.

If approval is given, the Met is expected to seek new forensic evidence and pursue hundreds of possible leads.

Crown Prosecution Service staff drafted the letter requesting the Portuguese authorities’ assistance on behalf of Mrs May.

Whitehall officials hope to receive a reply within the next fortnight.

Home Office spokesman Samuel Jones would not comment yesterday on the letter.

But he 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."

The new Yard inquiry began partly because Portuguese authorities had been unable, under their law, to reopen their inquiries without new evidence.

Scotland Yard said it did not wish to comment.

Madeleine McCann inquiry wins backing from Portugal, 01 August 2013
Madeleine McCann inquiry wins backing from Portugal Daily Express

SCOTLAND Yard detectives searching for Madeleine McCann are set to fly to Portugal as its law chief yesterday confirmed receipt of Britain's request to follow up fresh leads.

By: John Twomey
Published: Thu, August 1, 2013

Kate and Gerry McCann continue to hope that their daughter is still alive

 

The exchange of letters between London and Lisbon means the Portuguese end of the Yard's new inquiry is now on an official footing.

Detectives from Operation Grange are expected in the Algarve in the next few weeks.

But sources stressed the British police officers can do nothing in Portugal without being accompanied by public prosecutors.

Portugal's Attorney General's office confirmed receipt of a letter from Home Secretary Theresa May.

A spokesman said: "A request for judicial assistance has been received from the British authorities.

"There is currently no timetable for when and how we will proceed."

Yesterday's confirmation by the Portuguese is another significant step in the two-year operation which has cost £5million so far.

Last month detectives announced a new investigation after a review identified 38 potential suspects.

The "persons of interest" come from five countries and include 12 Britons.

Madeleine was three when she went missing from the McCann family apartment in the Algarve resort of Praia da Luz in May 2007.

Her parents Kate and Gerry have never given up hope that their daughter is still alive.

Last month detectives announced a new investigation after a review identified 38 potential suspects

The couple, both doctors from Rothley, Leicestershire, welcomed the new Yard inquiry and described it as a "big step forward".

Scotland Yard says there is no firm evidence that Madeleine is dead.

Detective Chief Inspector Andy Redwood said both the British and Portuguese "remain completely committed" to solving the mystery.

Operation Grange was set up to review available evidence in 2011 after the McCanns appealed to Prime Minister David Cameron and Mrs May.

As part of the review, Yard detectives travelled to Portugal 16 times to discuss evidence gathered so far and any possible new leads.

The Home Office says it "remains committed" to providing detectives with the resources they need. Last week Gerry McCann said: "You're not going to accept that your child's dead unless there's conclusive proof."

Police bust-up sparks fear for Madeleine McCann investigation, 01 August 2013
Police bust-up sparks fear for Madeleine McCann investigation Daily Star

THE TV investigator who exposed Jimmy Savile as a paedophile claims UK police face a clash with Portuguese investigators over the Madeleine McCann mystery

By Jerry Lawton / Published 1st August 2013

The Maddie McCann investigation is likely to suffer because of the police dispute

 

Former officer Mark Williams-Thomas, 42, whose ITV documentary lifted the lid on Savile's abuse, said the relationship between British and Portuguese police was "very tense".

He claimed on Twitter it was "far from agreed" that the two forces would cooperate in the search for Madeleine, who vanished aged three while on holiday in Portugal in 2007.

Portugal's law chiefs have received a letter from Home Secretary Theresa May asking for permission to base UK officers there.

But the Portuguese Attorney-General's office said yesterday: "There is currently no timetable for when and how we will proceed."

"The British authorities cannot carry out interviews or make inquiries in Portugual without being accompanied by public prosecutors.

Madeleine disapeared from a holiday apartment in Portugal's Praia da Luz during May of 2007

Mr Williams Thomas tweeted: "Home Sec sends request to Portugal asking if Mets can begin a new investigation into Madeleine McCann's disappearance.

"Relationship btwn UK police & Portuguese over Mets saying they will investigate Madeleine's disappearance is very tense & far from agreed."

Then-three-year-old Madeleine vanished from her family's holiday apartment in the Algarve resort of Praia La Luz in May 2007.

Portuguese police, who were assisted by officers from the McCanns' home force in Leicestershire, archived the case as an unsolved mystery.

Earlier this month Met Police, who started reviewing the investigation two years ago following a personal plea from the McCanns to the Prime Minister, said the operation had thrown up "new evidence, new witnesses, new thinking and new theories".

They launched their own inquiry after identifying 38 potential suspects across five countries including Portugal and the UK.

Twelve of them are Brits.

Under international law UK detectives cannot arrest or interview witnesses on Portuguese soil.

But they can observe as local police carry out inquiries on their behalf.

If approval is given the Met is expected to seek new forensic evidence and pursue hundreds of possible leads its review is understood to have uncovered.

Scotland Yard declined to comment.

Portugal agrees to work with UK on Madeleine McCann case, 01 August 2013
Portugal agrees to work with UK on Madeleine McCann case Fox News

Published August 01, 2013 / AFP

Portuguese authorities on Thursday accepted a request from Britain to work with detectives who have reopened the investigation into the disappearance of the British girl in 2007.

LISBON (AFP) – Portuguese authorities on Thursday accepted a request from Britain to work with detectives who have reopened the investigation into the disappearance of British girl Madeleine McCann in 2007.

"We confirm we have received a request for judiciary assistance from the British authorities... which has been accepted," a Portuguese government spokesman told AFP.

"The judicial authorities or the British police cannot act alone on Portuguese soil. They can only assist the Portuguese authorities in carrying out their request."

British police said last month they were opening their own investigation into Madeleine's disappearance in 2007 while her parents dined with friends at a resort on the Algarve.

Her parents mounted a high-profile campaign to keep the case in the public eye after Portuguese police wrapped up their investigation in July 2008. British police say they have no reason to believe Madeleine, who disappeared when she was just three, is not alive.

A spokesman for London's Metropolitan Police, which is leading the new probe, said they were not prepared to provide "a running commentary" on the case.

The forthcoming arrival of the British causes bad feeling in the Judicial Police, 01 August 2013
The forthcoming arrival of the British causes bad feeling in the Judicial Police Jornal de Notícias (paper edition)

 
JN, 01 August 2013

Attorney General's Office has given the OK to Scotland Yard to investigate

Marisa Rodrigues
Published 01 August 2013


IT IS CAUSING BAD FEELING within the Judicial Police (PJ) - the forthcoming arrival in Portugal of British detectives investigating the disappearance of Madeleine McCann, in 2007, from the Algarve. The Attorney General's Office (PGR) has accepted the request for assistance, but the timetable for the Scotland Yard officers has not yet been scheduled. For now, the investigation continues to be archived, since 2008, because "there are no grounds to reopen it," said the PGR, to JN yesterday.

Once on Portuguese territory, the British police cannot carry out the measures they deem necessary. They are only allowed to observe what the Portuguese police do, at their request. And it is precisely this question that is leaving investigators angry. "They want to hear people who have already been heard at the inquiry stage and repeat other steps which were taken by us and were inconclusive. They are passing us a certificate of incompetence," complained an inspector who participated in the investigation, to JN.

Another policeman recalls the "barriers" that were placed when the PJ requested assistance in the initial investigation. "The letter of request to conduct investigations in England had to be changed several times by imposition of the British authorities. We collaborate, but the opposite is not always there," he says. The public prosecutor will now have to assign the execution of the inquiries to a criminal police body. Most likely it's the PJ but, from what JN has found, nothing has yet been reported to the National Office [of the PJ].

PORTUGUESE PAY

38 "persons of interest"

Have been identified by Scotland Yard after reviewing the Portuguese case files, by more than 30 specialized English policemen at a cost of more than five million euros.

Expensive investigation

All inquiries requested by the British authorities to the national authorities will be paid for with Portuguese taxpayers' money. The Maddie case is the most expensive ever in Portugal.

"Base in Portugal"

According to the British press, the letter with the formal request for cooperation was signed by the Home Secretary, Theresa May, who spoke of "setting up a base" in Portugal.

English police and PJ investigate the Maddie McCann case again, 03 August 2013
English police and PJ investigate the Maddie McCann case again Diário de Notícias (paper edition, page 17)

 
Diário de Notícias, 03 August 2013

VALENTINA MARCELINO
03 August 2013
With thanks to
Astro for translation

Inquiry Although in Portugal the inquiry into the little girl's disappearance was archived, the Attorney General has granted a request from the English authorities to investigate new leads and suspects. The situation is unheard of within judiciary cooperation

The Judiciary Police (PJ) will again be requested to hear suspects and to carry out other actions concerning the disappearance of Madeleine McCann, whose investigation inquiry was shelved, without a solution, five years ago by the Public Ministry (MP). The execution of a request for mutual judiciary cooperation made by the British authorities to the Attorney General's Office (PGR), who granted it and forwarded it to the Public Ministry of Portimão, that will be responsible for directing and carrying out the rogatory letter, is at stake.

The situation is unheard of: two countries that opened inquiries into the same case, and after one of them archived it, the other keeps the investigation open and forces the first one to "reopen" the investigation. The Attorney General's Office sustains that "granting the execution of the request is justified by compliance with existing legal norms within the English and the Portuguese legal orders, and it is not impeded by the fact that the criminal case that was opened in Portugal is shelved".

In an interview with DN newspaper, Alípio Ribeiro, who at the time of the disappearance was the PJ's national director, considers it to be "natural and understandable".

As far as DN newspaper was able to establish, the PJ has not received the rogatory letter yet, and only after they know what the English police want to clarify, can the necessary means to support the detectives from the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) be adjusted. According to the MPS, "it has been requested that a small number of British investigators would be present in Portugal to accompany these actions". According to sources that are following this process, the request has not been submitted to the PJ's National Directory, but that could happen at any moment.

This investigation that the English started in 2011 and that also led to the creation of a team with inspectors from the PJ's Oporto Directory, in 2012, has had, according to the Metropolitan Police, "the full support of Great Britain's Government". Prime minister David Cameron, who was on holiday in the Algarve last week, expressed, at the start of the month, his satisfaction at the opening of the inquiry by Scotland Yard. "It is welcome because they say that there is new evidence, new leads to follow, new things to be done", he told The Telegraph.

The Metropolitan's detectives, who can only participate as observers, as any intervention in the questioning that will be carried out is forbidden for them, wish to obtain the "anticipated fulfilment" of the diligences in this manner, obtaining the information right away and thus avoiding it having to be sent through the Portuguese General Attorney's Office.

This request for mutual assistance appears following a revision of the investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann that was carried out by a team of more than thirty MPS detectives.

"It was a complex task" with "true challenges", the Met Police says. The analysis and organisation of "approximately 30,500 documents" resulted in "new leads and new witness evidence". There are 12 English suspects that should be questioned.

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

Leads re-evaluated in different countries produce no results

Investigation The leads that the Scotland Yard is investigating to try to clarify the disappearance of Maddie McCann extend over 12 European countries, with Portugal taking the centre position of the new diligences. Nevertheless, within the British authorities' offensive, leads have been re-evaluated that ended up being unfounded. That is the case of a Swiss suspect who killed a child two months after Maddie disappeared.

Ylenia was five years old when she was abducted in July 2007, in Saint-Gallen, in Switzerland. Her body was found in a forest and the suspect, who committed suicide before the police could get to him, was a Swiss pensioner who at the time was a resident in Spain. The close location to the Algarve and the abduction of a child led the English authorities to search for a connection between both cases.

The Swiss police had already set the possibility aside, but after a request from the Scotland Yard, as it now happens in Portugal, they re-evaluated the case.

"There is nothing to indicate a connection between the situations", Hanspeter Krusi, the spokesman for Saint-Gallen police, stressed earlier this month, further informing that the result of the investigations in Switzerland had already been communicated to the English authorities.

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

3 questions for Alípio Ribeiro, former PJ Director

"Contributions should be seen in a positive manner"

The Portuguese authorities could refuse to cooperate, as the process has been shelved?

Judiciary cooperation is one of the European Union's pillars and it is within that frame that the Portuguese authorities will have to respond to possible solicitations from the British authorities. As the disappearance of an English child is at stake, it is natural and understandable that they continue to work in the sense of finding out what happened.

This situation is unheard of, right?

It should always be stressed that the archiving that took place in Portugal happened due to an insufficiency of evidence and because it was decided that there was no further action to take. Any action or any clarification that the British authorities want must not be seen as a devaluation of what was done in Portugal. On the contrary, all contribution must be seen in a positive manner, as it is the reason why there is cooperation in the first place.

But could it be assumed that the PJ has not done enough?

The Portuguese judiciary authorities cooperate with the judiciary authorities in many other countries, on a daily basis. I do not believe that the cooperation that is requested in this particular case may cause specific difficulties and cannot or should not be carried out within the score of habitual practices.

Gerry McCann Says He's Grateful for Scotland Yard's Work on His Missing Daughter's Case, 08 August 2013
Gerry McCann Says He's Grateful for Scotland Yard's Work on His Missing Daughter's Case People

By NICOLE WEISENSEE EGAN and PHILIP BOUCHER
08/08/2013 at 09:30 AM EDT

Kate and Gerry McCann

As Scotland Yard investigators prepare to head to Portugal to take the next step in their investigation of Madeleine McCann's disappearance, her father says he is grateful for the work they've already done.

"We have been incredibly fortunate in the last two years to have the Metropolitan Police reviewing the case and now actively investigating," McCann told PEOPLE July 28, shortly after finishing the Virgin Active London Triathlon to raise money for the charity Missing People.

"It is very unlikely that someone is just going to walk up and say, 'Here she is,' " he says. "So you have got to chase it."

"That has been important," he says, "and it is important that we are still looking and that there is now an active investigation, which is great."

On July 4, Scotland Yard detectives announced they believe Madeleine, who was three years old when she vanished from a Portuguese resort in May 2007, could still be alive. They said they have 38 possible suspects in five different countries.

In May 2011, after years of pressure from the McCanns, Prime Minister David Cameron ordered London's Metropolitan Police to review the case, which had been closed by Portuguese police in July 2008.

"I think the information that came in early on is probably the most important," says Gerry. "You never know where it will lead."

"All we know is that at the very least they are eliminating things," he says, "and there are some very good lines of inquiry. So you have got to explore them."

Changing faces change missing kid searches, 12 August 2013
Changing faces change missing kid searches HLNtv

By Anna Gonzalez
updated 2:28 PM EDT, Mon August 12, 2013
  • Age progression technology can generate leads in missing person cases
  • Photos of the child's parents help forensic artists compile the image

Madeleine McCann and age progressed image

New clues are giving Madeleine McCann's family hope that the missing girl is still alive, six years after her disappearance.

"It doesn't sound like there is going to be an arrest any moment now – although you never can tell. But they feel there is credible information that Maddie is still alive," People magazine's Steve Helling told HLN. Helling recently spoke to Maddie's parents about new leads in the case.

Madeleine went missing in 2007 while her family was on vacation in Portugal. She was four at the time. The search for the girl now spans five countries, and police are looking at 38 suspects.

Over the years, her parents have used age progression technology to aid in their search. The new hope that Madeleine's still alive means updated images of what she might look today are even more essential to the search.

"The public sees photos very literally. And circulating [old photographs] is not going to help you recover this child," Ernie Allen, former president of the National Center of Missing and Exploited Children, told HLN.

The NCMEC regularly uses age progression technology while searching for missing children.

"What we're trying to do here is keep these cases alive, generate new leads for law enforcement, new hope for searching parents," Allen said.

Each image takes an hour to an hour-and-a-half to complete. Forensic artists do much of the work manually.

"We lean heavily on heredity. We try to get photos of biological parents at the comparable age of what the child would be now, and literally use that as a guide for cranial facial growth. We merge the images, being careful not to lose the unique identity of the child," Allen said. "We use a variety of tools to make them look like a current, modern child."

In some cases, missing children have seen their own age progression photos and discovered their true identities.

Carlina White was abducted when she was just 19 years old. She solved her own kidnapping more than 20 years later when she saw her own age progression. Steven Carter was kidnapped by his mentally ill mother and later placed in an orphanage. He recognized his face, and reconnected with his biological father.

Allen said the technique is "not pure science," and admitted that not all of the age progression photos look enough like missing children to help find them. But such images have helped find more than 900 children, he said.

Carolyn Cremen, Mark Morgenstein contributed to this report.

Nancy Grace Mysteries: Is Madeline McCann still alive?, 13 August 2013
Nancy Grace Mysteries: Is Madeline McCann still alive? HLNtv

Nancy Grace

 

By HLNtv.com Staff
updated 12:33 PM EDT, Tue August 13, 2013
  • Madeline McCann, 3, vanished from Portugal in 2007
  • Scotland Yard Detectives believe she could still be alive
  • Watch "Nancy Grace Mysteries" Friday night for the latest developments in the case

Madeleine McCann

 

Watch "Nancy Grace Mysteries," Friday night at 8 & 11 p.m. ET on HLN for the very latest developments in the search for Madeline McCann.

It was the evening of May 3, 2007, at a luxury resort in Praia da Luz, Portugal, when 3-year-old Madeleine McCann vanished from her parent's apartment while on holiday with her family.

Around 8:30 p.m. that night, Madeleine's parents, Gerry & Kate McCann, left their daughter and her twin siblings alone in a bedroom of their apartment, joining several friends at the resort's tapas restaurant just a two minute walk away.

Fearing their children could be trapped should a fire break-out, the McCann's decided not to lock their doors. Instead, the parents opted to take turns checking on the sleeping children every 30 minutes.

Around 10 p.m. that night, Madeline's mother went to check the apartment and found a shutter ajar and the bedroom window wide open.

The 3-year-old girl was just nine days shy of her 4th birthday when she vanished without a trace.

In 2007, Gerry and Kate McCann were named suspects in their daughter's disappearance, but were cleared of any wrongdoing the following year.

While massive searches for the little girl have turned up few clues, Scotland Yard Detectives announced on July 4 they believe the little girl could still be alive, according to a report from People.com.

Six years later, could Madeline McCann still be alive?

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

Six years later, Madeleine McCann still alive?
HLNtv

By HLNtv.com Staff
updated 5:23 PM EDT, Fri August 16, 2013

  • Madeline McCann, 3, vanished from Portugal in 2007
  • •Six years later, could Madeleine McCann still be alive?
  • •Watch "Nancy Grace Mysteries" Friday night at 8 & 11 p.m. ET for the latest developments in the case

Six years after 3-year-old Madeleine McCann mysteriously vanished, police announce new evidence suggests it's possible the little girl could still be alive. Could one of the 38 new persons of interest in the case know what happened to Madeleine? "Nancy Grace Mysteries" has the latest developments in the case Friday night at 8 & 11 p.m. ET on HLN.

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

Transcript: Nancy Grace Mysteries, Maddie McCann CNN

Aired August 16, 2013 - 20:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

NANCY GRACE, HOST: For many years, the case of missing child Maddie McCann has been considered a cold case -- cold. But in a stunning reversal on our Independence Day, July the 4th, British Scotland Yard makes an official announcement that there is a possibility that Maddie McCann is still alive.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Now to a possible break in a 6-year-old cold case. Maddie McCann -- you remember that name and this face -- was just shy of her 4th birthday when she disappeared on vacation with her family while in Portugal. Now British police say they are targeting 38 people in the case -- 38 -- in the hopes that the little girl could still be alive. It's clearly a bittersweet development for her parents, who have really never given up the search and given up hope that Madeleine could one day return home.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GRACE: For them to go out on a limb and actually make an announcement is incredible. Very often, they conduct operations and investigations without anyone ever knowing it. But to come out and formally announce -- Scotland Yard -- to formally announce that Maddie McCann may very well still be alive was a shocker.

This is what we know. We know that the British PM, the prime minister, ordered the Yard to -- Scotland Yard -- to reopen the case.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Madeleine McCann was 3 years old when she disappeared from a resort in Portugal six years ago. Now British police say they have new leads and are re-opening the investigation, called Operation Grange. They want to question 38 people across Europe, including 12 British nationals who they believe were in Portugal at the time. Madeleine's parents, Kate and Gerry McCann, have campaigned tirelessly to keep her in the public's memory while still raising two other children.

KATE MCCANN, MADELEINE'S MOTHER: I don't want them to go through that emotion. And I don't really want them to have the burden of -- of this, of having to keep looking and looking and looking and not being able to stop, you know? So we need to find her now.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: British police say their help from private investigators has made a difference. And after 16 visits to Portugal and reviewing more than 30,000 documents, police are hopeful.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Police have released this photo of what Madeleine may look like at 9 years of age. She has now turned 10. And authorities are asking the public to help find this little girl, wherever she may be.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GRACE: They called it Operation Grange. We also learn that the Brits now say that they have genuinely new lines of inquiry, that they have new witnesses and they have new evidence. All in all, we have learned they believe that there are 38 -- repeat, 3-8, 38 -- POIs, persons of interest. At least 12 of those POIs are U.K. -- United Kingdom -- U.K. nationals.

Now, let me point out that from what we know right now, none of the 38 persons of interest are connected in any way to Maddie's family, to the McCanns.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KATE MCCANN: First of all and crucially, that it's a real possibility that Madeleine could still be found alive. As you know, the Metropolitan Police released a new age progression last week. We believe this is what Madeleine would look like today, as she approaches her 9th birthday next weekend.

If you have seen a little girl who looks like this or if see a little girl who looks like this, please contact the police immediately. Please don't hesitate. Just contact them straight away.

If you were in or around Praia da Luz between the 28th of April, 2007, and the 3rd of May and haven't yet spoken to the police, police do so. Even if you don't think you have any information that might be significant, all information is important. It helps the police to build a picture of who was there, where and when.

GERRY MCCANN, MADELEINE'S FATHER: I can't tell you what a difference it's made to us to know that the authorities in this country are now actively pursuing Madeleine.

KATE MCCANN: I actually felt really encouraged because I could see Madeleine in the image, so it didn't look unusual. It didn't particularly strike me as a child I didn't know at all. Because of that, I feel like this could be a real useful investigative tool.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GRACE: We have also learned in the last weeks that the Brits have formally asked to set up shop as an investigating unit in Portugal and that they are headed to Portugal as we speak.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It seems more like logic than leads that fuels their idea that she could still be alive. But your theory is that this case has never really been closed, right?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's correct. That's my assertion. I believe this case was never closed by the British authorities. I think they were less than impressed by the investigation that was conducted by the Portuguese authorities. And as they've indicated in certain articles and reports, they were reviewing how the investigation was conducted, and now they've opened their own. And as we now know, they have 38 people of interest.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Help me understand that number. It seems so large, 38 persons of interest, as we say in the legal language. How do you get to that number?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: People that know each other, associations. What they may have done, Chris, for example, is conducted their own investigation to determine who may have been in proximity of the McCann family when they were in Portugal and start to track and trace people through cell phone records or relationships.

And that's how it just kind of grows like a tree. It`s kind of like making a watch list, in a sense.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You believe that the suggestion is this wasn't some one random person who was looking to be a predator for a child. You believe this was more organized.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, I believe -- my theory is that this -- this poor little girl was abducted for the purpose of trafficking, which is rather common.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Really?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Now, that's -- we hear about trafficking not so much in this country, though. But how prevalent is it in that part of the world?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's extremely prevalent in many other parts of the world, like South America and Mexico, kidnapping capital of the world right now. Believe it or not, Rome was at one time.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GRACE: The Yard currently has 37 police officers and other personnel assigned to the Maddie McCann reopened case. They've gotten about 37,000 items of evidence, documents that they are wading through. They've got about 3,000 leads that they are sorting through to determine if they`re any good, what to follow up on, what is the greatest priority.

We also know that Scotland Yard has decided to work this in two separate but equal investigations. Two parallel investigations are going down right now with Scotland Yard since they have reopened the case. One is assuming Maddie McCann is dead. One is assuming that the child is still alive.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PHIL BLACK, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): These are among the images the parents of Madeleine McCann say they did not see while Portuguese police were still searching for their daughter, CCTV pictures of girls said to resemble Madeleine taken in Portugal in the days after her disappearance last year. They make up some of the almost 30,000 pages of the police case file that has now been made public.

The file also contains these images compiled from witness descriptions of men said to be acting suspiciously around the place and time of Madeleine's disappearance. They were never released publicly. Madeleine's parents, Kate and Gerry McCann, never saw them.

The girl had dark hair, and Madeleine's parents say their daughter never referred to herself as Maddie. But the McCann`s don't know if the Portuguese police eliminated this possible sighting. It's one more lead their private investigators must now follow up.

From the beginning, the police have received strong criticism for their handling of the investigation, which at one time named Kate and Gerry as suspects. They've since been cleared. Last month, the case was closed without ever forming a strong theory on what happened to Madeleine.

(on camera): The police file includes a report from Portugal's prosecutors giving their assessment of the police investigation. It says the police worked with an enormous margin of error and achieved very little in terms of conclusive results. A McCann spokesman says it's refreshing to finally hear common sense from the Portuguese authorities. Phil Black, CNN, London.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GRACE: Everyone, as we go to break, Labor Day coming up. We celebrate a very special group of workers, working moms. Are you a working mom? Do you know one who deserves recognition for hard work at home and at work? I want to hear from you. Send us a video explaining why you or your loved one is the best working mom in America. Five videos with the most votes win my signature handcuff necklace, earrings, T-shirts, the works.

Details, go to NancyGrace.com. After you go to the Web site, send in those videos!

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

GRACE: Baby Maddie, Madeleine McCann, was 3 years old, just a few days shy of turning 4. Her parents had left Great Britain to go on vacation. They were staying at Praia da Luz resort town in southern Portugal. The evening that Maddie disappeared, the McCanns did not use a baby-sitter. They said they were afraid to leave the children alone with someone they didn't know.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

GARY TUCHMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This is the last place 3-year-old Madeleine McCann was seen alive, the Ocean Club resort in Praia da Luz, Portugal. Madeleine and her family, on vacation from England, spent the afternoon of May 3rd by the hotel pool. Madeleine's mom, Kate, said her little girl told her it was the best day she'd ever had.

(on camera): Much of what the police know is still a mystery to us, in part because of Portuguese law that makes it illegal to talk about a current investigation. But details of that night have emerged and could hold the key to the case.

(voice-over): Through various reports, here`s what we've learned. Around 6:00 o'clock that evening, Kate and Gerry McCann say they took Madeleine and their 2-year-old twins back to this apartment. According to police, what happened to Madeleine after that last sighting is unknown. The McCanns say they put the three kids to bed around 7:30. Close to 8:30, the parents say they left the children alone in the apartment to join a group of friends at a nearby tapas restaurant.

KATE MCCANN: I think it's quite similar to on a summer's evening at home, eating in your garden while the children are in your bed. You know, it's that close.

TUCHMAN: A waiter who served the table that night tells CNN the McCanns and their seven friends were not drinking as heavily as has been reported, but did have some pints of beer, cocktails and a few bottles of wine.

At about 9:00 o'clock, Gerry McCann says he got up to check on the children and then returned to the table. Some time after 9:15, one of the dinner guests who was checking on her own daughter says she saw a man walking away from the resort carrying a small child. The McCanns say it could have been the kidnapper, but police are questioning the woman's account.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

GRACE: The McCanns were having dinner with several friends. The distance away from the bedroom where the children were sleeping, Maddie and her siblings, by all accounts was somewhere around 100 yards or less from where they were eating to the bedroom.

Instead of paying for a baby-sitter, a hotel baby-sitting service, they decided that every 30 minutes, one of the adults would leave the dinner and go check on the children -- every 30 minutes. They left the door unlocked because they were afraid if there was a fire, the children would be trapped inside. So every 30 minutes, one of the adults leaves the meal and goes to check on the children.

Around 10:00 PM that night, Madeleine's mother goes and checks on her children. Maddie's bed is empty except for baby Maddie's favorite toy, a cuddle cat. Ms. McCann screams -- screams -- They've taken her!

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

TUCHMAN (voice-over): Around 9:30, one of the McCann's friends came back to the apartment to check on the children, but apparently just listened at the door. Thirty minutes later, Kate McCann herself went to see how her children were doing. She went inside the apartment and told police that Madeleine was gone, the window to the bedroom open.

This is what Gerry McCann told his sister.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He said that Madeleine had been abducted. She's not the type of wee girl to wander off, and they'd been checking every half an hour on the children.

TUCHMAN: Kate McCann returned to the table screaming that Madeleine had been taken.

KATE MCCANN: From the minute we discovered Madeleine missing, the police were called very early on. We alerted them, you know, almost immediately.

TUCHMAN: Police arrived, and a team of detectives was assembled just before midnight. Along with resort guests, authorities searched throughout the night. At that point, police believed Madeleine had been kidnapped. They did not secure the apartment.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We tried to do a strategic search from the right- hand side of the village across the street to the left.

TUCHMAN: But there was no sign of missing Madeleine.

KATE MCCANN: Please, please do not hurt her. Please don't scare her. Please tell us where to find her, or put her in a place of safety and let somebody know where she is. We beg you to let Madeleine come home.

TUCHMAN: Rumors are rampant, facts scarce. Those final hours of May 3rd remain a mystery except to the person or persons who harmed Madeleine McCann. Gary Tuchman, CNN, Praia da Luz, Portugal.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

GRACE: First, as always, we start with the timeline. Now, the last time baby Maddie was seen by anyone other than the McCanns was around 6:00 PM the night that she ultimately disappeared. She was in the Ocean Club of the hotel, the resort where the McCanns were staying. That is the kid baby-sitting service, where you drop your children off. She was spotted there playing, alive and well at 6:00 PM.

Fast forward. Around 8:00 o'clock, the McCanns leave -- 8:30, 8:00 to 8:30, they leave the apartment, the hotel room, to go to a tapas restaurant, an appetizer restaurant, there within the resort. It is a two- minute walk away from the bedroom where Maddie and her siblings are sleeping.

Basically, there is a big swimming pool, a pool within a hotel resort. There's the hotel where they are, cross across the courtyard, cross away from the pool, and there`s the tapas restaurant.

(BEGIN VIDEO TAPE)

EMILY CHANG, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A family friend taking the twins on a walk is enough to set off a media frenzy.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's ridiculous, isn't it? But this is how media works.

CHANG: Kate McCann left about 15 minutes later to collect the twins and bring them home. Portuguese journalist Sondra Fulgeras (ph) has been covering Madeleine's disappearance since day one, first in Praia da Luz, now here in Rothley.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Everyone want to have the biggest story, wants to have the answer for the question, Where is Madeleine? What happened to Madeleine?

CHANG: There are also teams from Spain, France, Germany, the U.S. and more.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right now, we are working more on suspicions, more on what people say and less on facts. So that's really hard for us. It's really hard for us to get facts right now.

CHANG: Many journalists will admit there's really nothing happening here right now, but that doesn't mean they're going anywhere any time soon. In fact, many say no matter what happens or doesn't happen, they're posted here indefinitely.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's so many things that could happen at the moment, a lot of the journalists are waiting around, so if something does happen, they're the first there. I think as time goes on, it will be less likely there'll be developments in the story, and that's when people start to leave.

CHANG: And so journalists continue to scramble after every car that pulls in and out of the McCann home and wonder who delivered the latest bouquet of flowers, hoping it means something new.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We won't leave the story. Madeleine's case won't stop being a top story in Portugal. Not -- not for now.

CHANG: Emily Chang, CNN, in Rothley, England.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GRACE: Out to a special guest joining us, Clarence Mitchell. This is the McCann family spokesperson. Mr. Mitchell, thank you for being with us. What was the family reaction when they just -- when they first heard about this photo that looks startlingly similar to baby Maddie?

CLARENCE MITCHELL, MCCANN FAMILY SPOKESMAN (via telephone): Nancy, it's good to be with you. Yes, unfortunately, we've been down this road several times before. There have been other sightings of Madeleine in Morocco and indeed in other countries. And every time, Kate and Gerry are obviously extremely interested to get to the bottom of each sighting. They want to know more than anybody else in the world if it's their daughter.

But each time, hopes have been dashed, and you know, they just have to pick themselves up and get on with it again and refocus their efforts into finding Madeleine and urging everybody around the world who's aware of her case to keep their eyes open.

KATE MCCANN: Please, please do not hurt her. Please don't scare her. Please tell us where to find her, put her in a place of safety and let somebody know where she is. We beg you to let Madeleine come home.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GRACE: It's a very interesting timeline because they're going to dinner around 8:30. Now, listen to this. At 9:05, Maddie's father goes and checks on them. Everybody is asleep. Everything`s fine. Maddie is in her bed.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GERRY MCCANN: Kate and I strongly believe that Madeleine was alive when she was taken from the apartment.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GRACE: At 9:15, one of the other friends goes back in that area, and they -- she spots a male with a bundled up child walking in the vicinity of Maddie's hotel room but doesn't put two and two together. I mean, from what she knows, Gerry McCann has just checked on Maddie. Everything is fine.

At 9:30, another one of the dining party goes back to the hotel area. He looks into the apartment but not into the bedrooms. But he looks into the room and everything's fine, say, for instance, the sitting area where there's a table and TV and all that. Doesn't go into the bedroom, doesn't want to wake up the children. Everything seems fine. That's at 9:30.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GERRY MCCANN: We can't comment on any specifics and forensics and we wouldn't do that. We would never, never, ever jeopardize the investigation. And I think it's critical for people to realize that, that we do know some information that one would not like to tell it. And two (ph), we would never, ever put anything into the public domain that might put the investigation of Madeleine at risk.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GRACE: Just after that, 10:00 PM, Ms. McCann, Kate, goes back to check on Maddie. She sees a shutter ajar. Maddie is gone. She begins to scream. She does a quick search. She can't find Maddie. Around 10:15, she calls the police. At 11:00 o'clock, Portuguese police arrive on the scene.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LARRY KING, HOST, "LARRY KING LIVE": The longer this takes, Dr. Wecht, is it going to be harder to find who did it and find her?

DR. CYRIL WECHT (ph), FORENSIC PATHOLOGIST: Yes. Larry, to be realistic, I believe this amount of time having passed, that it is extremely unlikely that the remains will ever be found. And what remains may be found, if they are not out in the ocean, will be skeletonized. You will not likely find a cause of death.

And after this amount of time and assuming that the search has been done with some diligence and thoroughness, it doesn't seem that the body is going to be found.

PIERS MORGAN, HOST, "PIERS MORGAN TONIGHT": Gerry, obviously, that is the crux of this, isn't it.

GERRY MCCANN: Absolutely.

MORGAN: You just don't know. I mean, I'm a father of three children. I cannot imagine -- I can remember my kids disappearing for a minute or two minutes and that awful panic that you feel as a parent when that happens. To be here years later and have no idea where she is or what may have happened, it must be excruciating, isn't it.

GERRY MCCANN: It certainly was. And I think one of the reasons we've had so much public sympathy and empathy is I think every parent does know that feeling when your child is out of sight even for a few seconds and the panic it generates. And obviously, for any family like ourselves, whose child has been abducted, it`s the most terrifying experience.

But you do adapt. And the pain is not as raw, but you know, we do still manage to get some enjoyment in our life and (INAUDIBLE) our two beautiful children who are fantastic. And the support we've had from the public has really helped carry us through. But there's just always something inside, and the pain is never too far away from the surface.

MORGAN: Kate, do you ever have a day where this doesn't consume you?

KATE MCCANN: I don't think it consumes every minute, as it did before. But certainly, you know, Madeleine's absence is there constantly. I mean, as Gerry said, although we do have lovely times with Sean and Amelie, and although I've now reached that point I will allow myself to take time out and just relax or enjoy something, you know, her absence is still tangible. We can have a lovely family day, but as Sean points out, It's not really a family day, Mummy, because Madeleine`s not here, you know? And...

MORGAN: Have you considered having another baby? Has that even entered your thought process?

KATE MCCANN: No. I mean (INAUDIBLE) obviously, all three children were born with the help of IVF, and so it wouldn't exactly be straightforward anyway. But you know, can't replace Madeleine. And I know you're not suggesting that, but -- and I don't know. I think all the grief that we've been through and the business of everything (INAUDIBLE) And obviously, we've got, you know, Sean and Amelie that we need to concentrate on.

We're doing everything we can, Madeleine, to find you. And there are so many good and very kind people helping us. Be brave, sweetheart. Our only Christmas wish is for you to be back with us again, and we're hoping and praying that that will happen. Love you, Madeleine.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GRACE: Then in the story's timeline, about four months after baby Maddie goes missing on vacation, police tell the parents that they are arguidos, or suspects, in their daughter's disappearance.

Well, they are devastated. They want to know why. Why are we being singled out? Why do you think we had anything to do with Maddie McCann's disappearance? They are told by police that Maddie McCann's DNA was found in the trunk of their rental car and that Maddie McCann's DNA was found behind the sofa in their hotel room, their vacation rental.

Now, here's the kicker. The rental car where the DNA was supposedly found was not rented by the McCanns until 25 days after Maddie goes missing. That is a fact. That has been verified every which way but upside down.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Kate and Gerry McCann were interviewed separately. The result for both was the same. They left the police station as arguidos in Portuguese law, suspects accused of involvement in their daughter's death.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Kate and Gerry McCann have both today been declared arguidos, with no bail conditions, and no charges have been brought against them.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The McCanns say through a spokesperson that police believe they accidentally killed Madeleine, hid her body and then disposed of it using a car they rented 25 days later. Those close to the couple say this is a frightening development.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They are living a nightmare. And then this is just -- I mean, on top of it, it`s a worse hell than you can imagine.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GRACE: That rental car where the DNA was found was not rented by the McCanns until 25 days after Maddie goes missing. Now, what about the DNA behind the sofa in their hotel room? That fails, too. The experts told the police that the DNA in the trunk and behind the sofa was questionable. And as a matter of fact, it was. It could not be linked back to Madeleine McCann.

So the parents were totally suffering after what police told them. They lose their daughter. And yes, you may say that they had dinner and they left her in the hotel room. Yes, I wouldn't have done that. But in their minds, they thought checking on the child really more than every 30 minutes would suffice. It didn't.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Susan Hubbard (ph) was minding the McCanns' 2- year-old twins while their mother was being interviewed.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She`s a beautiful person. And she has the most loving heart.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: For more than four months, the McCanns have shared their lives with the people here. They have prayed with them and received great sympathy from them.

Throughout their stay in Praia da Luz, Kate and Gerry McCann have often thanked the people of this town for their support. Locals say the McCanns' new status as official suspects is beginning to divide opinion in this community, but most people here are still standing by them.

If I saw the parents, I would go up to them and tell them, I'm with you, this woman says. Many of the British tourists who holiday here also believe this is an injustice.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If they were involved in a disappearance, where did they -- where did they put her? Where did they hide her for so long. No, I don't -- I don't think so.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GRACE: And that cloud has been hanging really over their heads ever since. Not only that, it got out to the press that the mother, Kate McCann, had refused to answer 48 questions posed to her by Portuguese police, questions about her daughter, Maddie McCann.

Kate McCann says that that's not exactly what happened, that the Portuguese police tried every way they could to get her and her husband to confess that Maddie had died in an accident and that they had hidden her body to cover it up.

After a 14-month of intense investigation by Portuguese police and others, the parents were cleared. They were exonerated.

Now, thank God in heaven that they were exonerated, but I'm looking at this in a practical trial strategy way. Those 14 months were 14 months that they lost the real perpetrator. Over a year, they could have been focusing on someone other than the parents! But they were dead set that it had to be the parents. They lost over a year of investigation while the case was still fresh in their misguided attempt to frame the parents, Kate and Gerry McCann.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

GRACE: You know, it's so easy for legal eagles like myself and others to Monday morning quarterback, to say, Oh, you did this wrong, you did that wrong. But let me tell you, the Portuguese police really blew this investigation into the disappearance of baby Maddie.

First, you know, right off the bat, they don't seal the crime scene. They did not seal the crime scene. People were going -- all sorts of people, the families, their friends, the this, the that, this cop, that cop, the hotel employees -- everybody was in and out of that hotel room. They did not seal the room, the vacation rental, until 10:00 AM the next day.

The DNA and blood samples that they did get were so degraded that they were completely useless. Even the little cuddle cat -- remember, that's Maddie McCann's favorite toy that she slept with every night -- that wasn't even protected in order for any DNA or blood to be obtained from it. That's just off the bat.

Then there's the fact that they did not alert the border patrol along the Portuguese borders of Maddie's disappearance. And you know, if you look at the topography, if you know geography at all, it would be very easy to get across the border with a child, especially if that child was sleeping or appears to be sleeping.

They did not alert the border patrols for 12 hours. That was plenty of time for someone to drive out of Portugal with Maddie McCann.

There were no effective searches done. It gets worse and worse and worse. Those are just a few of the Portuguese police`s fatal mistakes at the onset of this investigation.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Four months after his daughter, Madeleine's, disappearance, it is Gerry McCann, the girl's father, who points out that until Thursday, his wife had only been interviewed by police once before. It's not that he is questioning his wife. He strongly denies Kate had anything to do with her daughter's disappearance. At issue is why Portuguese police didn't interview Kate McCann more thoroughly earlier on. And U.S. experts agree, saying that would have been standard procedure.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is surprising. And certainly in this country, one of the first things that law enforcement would do is question the parents, question who were those around the children.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Take the case of Polly Klaas, who was abducted from her home in 1993 and was found dead months later. Her father, Marc, said he and other family members were questioned by police and cleared within a week of Polly's disappearance.

MARC KLAAS, KLAAS KIDS FOUNDATION: We took polygraph exams. We answered all their questions until they were satisfied that we had nothing to do with it, and then they moved on.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Critics, including the McCanns, have questioned the way Police in the small resort town of Portugal where Madeleine disappeared have handled the case throughout. The hotel room where the McCanns stayed, for example, was not immediately secured after the McCanns vacated. John Walsh, who's become an advocate for missing children after his own son disappeared, calls the case a nightmare.

JOHN WALSH, "AMERICA`S MOST WANTED": This police agency, this small agency -- and I'm a big supporter of law enforcement -- has made mistake after mistake -- not taking DNA, not securing the crime scene, not asking for international help. When you're in trouble and you're a small agency, you ask for help -- Scotland Yard, other agencies within Portugal.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GRACE: Very disturbing e-mails circulated amongst the London Metropolitan Police -- that is an arm of Scotland Yard -- that child sex trafficking is involved in the Maddie McCann disappearance. By many accounts, based on the e-mails from the Yard, a pedophile ring in Belgium had placed an order for a young white female three days before the McCanns come for vacation.

A tall, thin, Englishman is the description that we've got, was spotted by several witnesses on that same Portuguese beach about three days before the McCanns arrive.

Then there comes the evidence provided by Ernesto Muchado (ph) and his son. Muchado was a restaurant owner there along that Portuguese strip of beach, and he saw the McCanns with all of their children on the beach just before Maddie disappeared.

His son spotted the tall, thin Englishman on the beach taking photos.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

GRACE: There were so many leads that were kept secret. For instance, if you'll recall, a female member of the dinner party that night went back to the hotel, and not realizing baby Maddie had been kidnapped, she observed a man carrying a child in a blanket away from the area. She didn't put two and two together. There was no reason to. She did not know that may have been Maddie.

Shortly after that, there was a composite created of a scruffy man with a heavy mustache. That man may have been the perpetrator. He was spotted, but he was never found.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KATE MCCANN: All I can say is, I mean, if I'd have thought there was any risk at all, you know, it just wouldn't have happened. And that's all I can say, really, you know? And it's hard to, you know, sometimes think at home when I was going to the post office and I had the twins in the double buggy. Because it wouldn't fit through the post office door, I used to get my aunt to come and meet me just down by the door. You know, it's a tiny post office and I can see the buggy (INAUDIBLE)

(INAUDIBLE) how does that equate with sort of how we acted in Portugal. And all I can say is it just felt so safe. You know, it was a family-friendly resort, the first time I had ever been to Portugal, but all the family and friends knew (INAUDIBLE) in there, so I don't -- you know, it's a lovely country and it's really safe and it's for families.

I think I have to assume there haven't been any stranger abductions recently because we haven't heard about them. But certainly (INAUDIBLE) child abductions (INAUDIBLE) The thing about Madeleine's case, there was obviously (INAUDIBLE) you know, a child being abducted in a foreign country. I mean, most people have (INAUDIBLE) taken in Greece, but probably couldn't name any of those.

GERRY MCCANN: I mean, it is an exceptionally rare case. And we felt very safe, is the key thing. And it just (INAUDIBLE) it wouldn't have happened.

(CROSSTALK)

KATE MCCANN: We've been through all these questions, day in, day out, why, how, why? And I can only, you know, say to myself, OK, you felt really safe. And I know how much I love my children, and there's no way I'd have taken a risk.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GRACE: There were other reports that a Victoria Beckham -- Posh of the Spice Girls -- lookalike had information about Maddie's whereabouts. That was not released and disseminated. I don't know if it was ever investigated. There were multiple possible perpetrators that the Portuguese police let slip through their fingers while they tried their best to frame Mr. and Mrs. McCann.

END

Madeleine hunt 'makes progress', 14 August 2013
Madeleine hunt 'makes progress' Daily Express (paper edition)

 
Daily Express, 14 August 2013

 

Elite detective squad ready to fly to Portugal

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

Madeleine McCann hunt 'makes progress' Daily Express

AN elite squad of detectives probing the disappearance of Madeleine McCann will fly to Portugal to pursue new leads "in weeks".

By: John Twomey
Published: Wed, August 14, 2013

Madeleine McCann was three when she went missing

 

The latest development was revealed yesterday by Britain's top policeman following diplomatic moves linked to the inquiry.

Scotland Yard is waiting for the green light after Home Secretary Theresa May sent an official request for British police to carry out investigations in Portugal.

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe said he hoped his officers will fly out in the next few weeks.

He was speaking after the Yard's Operation Grange identified 38 potential suspects from five countries, including 12 Britons.

Sir Bernard said yesterday his ­officers will carry out a joint inquiry with Portuguese police in a bid to get to the truth of what happened to Madeleine.

Her parents Kate and Gerry have never given up hope that she is still alive.

And Sir Bernard stressed yesterday his officers have found no firm ­evidence that the little girl is dead.

Asked when the detectives will fly to Portugal, he said he hoped it would be "in the next few weeks".

Kate and Gerry McCann have never given up hope that Madeleine is still alive

 

Madeleine was three when she went missing from the McCann family apartment in the Algarve resort of Praia da Luz in May 2007.

Her parents, both doctors from Rothley, Leicestershire, are being kept informed about the progress of the new Yard inquiry.

After a painstaking examination of files from Portuguese and British police along with inquiries from seven firms of private investigators, last month the Operation Grange squad came up with the list of 38 "persons of interest".

As part of the review, officers from the 30-strong squad travelled to Portugal 16 times to discuss evidence and the potential for new inquiries.

Crucially, there have been inquiries with several other countries, although the Yard is keeping the details strictly confidential.

Speaking of the investigation, legal sources said last night: "We are on track."

Madeleine vanished from a Portugal holiday apartment

Last month's exchange of diplomatic letters between London and Lisbon was seen as a significant step.

It followed a visit in April by senior Crown lawyer Alison Saunders, who will become Director of Public Prosecutions in November.

Mrs Saunders's visit was seen as paving the way for Operation Grange detectives to start inquiries in Portugal.

Her intervention was described as "crucial" yesterday as police planned for the next stage of the inquiry.

Sir Bernard stressed British police can do nothing in Portugal without official co-operation.

Operation Grange was set up in 2011 by the then Commissioner Sir Paul Stephenson after the McCanns appealed directly to Prime Minister David Cameron and Mrs May.

Last month, Detective Chief Inspector Andy Redwood, the officer in charge, revealed his team has sifted through more than 30,500 documents.

The investigation into Madeleine's disappearance is said to be 'on track'

The process had generated almost 4,000 different lines of inquiry.

The result was the list of 38 potential suspects.

As he launched the new inquiry last month, Mr Redwood said: "The review has given us new thinking, new theories, new evidence and new witnesses. We remain committed to finding out what happened to Madeleine. Everything we do is utterly focused on her best interests."

Portugal's Attorney General's office has confirmed receipt of Mrs May's letter of request.

Sources said a timetable for "when and how" to proceed was being worked out.

The McCanns have welcomed the latest stage of the Operation Grange inquiry as a "big step forward".

Mr McCann said recently: "Not a day goes by where we don't think about Madeleine. You're not going to accept that your child's dead unless there's conclusive proof.

Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe's squad are on standby to fly to Portugal

"We have always lived in the hope that we can find Madeleine, and given the number of cases of children who have been taken and found many years later, there is real hope.

"The biggest problem is that we won't know what's happened to Madeleine until we find who's responsible."

The McCanns have said they have "absolute faith" in the inquiry and dismissed reports it was being "slowed down" by red tape.

International legal experts say diplomatic communications involving police investigations must be precisely worded.

One lawyer remarked: "You have to be extremely careful in any diplomatic communication but especially when there are legal ramifications.

"Communications relating to police investigations must be drafted with great care and precision bearing in mind they have to be translated.

"The meaning of every document must be clear. Each one could be challenged in courts of each country involved."

Madeleine McCann probe in weeks, 14 August 2013
Madeleine McCann probe in weeks Daily Star

POLICE probing the disappearance of Madeleine McCann hope to fly to Portugal in weeks, Britain's top cop revealed yesterday.

By Daily Star Reporter / Published 14th August 2013

Madeleine McCann vanished from the family's Algarve holiday flat in May 2007

Met Police Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe says his elite team is on standby to begin an inquiry with Portuguese police.

Home Secretary Theresa May has made a formal request for co-operation.

Scotland Yard has so far identified 38 potential suspects.

Madeleine vanished from the family's Algarve holiday flat in May 2007, days before her fourth birthday.

Portugal cabbie offers lead to Scotland Yard's Madeleine McCann investigation, 16 August 2013
Portugal cabbie offers lead to Scotland Yard's Madeleine McCann investigation Evening Standard

Hear my story, pleads driver 'haunted' by sighting

New hope: Madeleine McCann went missing in 2007 with her parents
New hope: Madeleine McCann went missing in 2007 with her parents

KIRAN RANDHAWA
Published: 16 August 2013
Updated: 11:16, 16 August 2013


A taxi driver who says he could help solve the mystery of Madeleine McCann's disappearance has urged Scotland Yard to investigate his claims.

Antonio Castela says he picked up three men, a woman and a girl who looked like the missing three-year-old near the Spanish border in the Algarve the night after she vanished.

He has previously claimed he told Portuguese detectives what he saw, but was not questioned, even though a lawyer for Maddy's parents said he could provide vital clues.

The case was closed five years ago but Home Secretary Theresa May has sent an official request to Lisbon for permission for the Met to station officers in Portugal to begin a fresh investigation there. It is expected they could fly out within weeks.

Mr Castela, 73, said: "I want to tell them what I saw and assist in the investigation. I remember all the details. I would be very happy if the police re-open the investigation and if I could help in this case. This case has haunted me for a long time." Maddy, from Leicestershire, vanished from the holiday flat rented by her doctor parents Kate and Gerry in Praia da Luz on the Algarve in May 2007. Mr Castela said he picked up the men, woman and child at 7.50pm, an hour's drive away.

He took them two miles to the Hotel Apolo in his neighbourhood, Vila Real de Santo António, near Faro, where they got into a blue BMW and drove away. He said: "In 2007 I called police and told them what I had seen. Since then, no one from the police has spoken to me or showed interest in my story. No one came to collect my statement."

He said he recalls Madeleine, in pink pyjamas, sitting on one of the men's laps, and he noticed the "black spot" — a distinctive mark in her right eye. "I think my story may give a clue that has not been followed. I do not know what happened to Maddy, but I know that day, she was still alive in my cab."

The Met has identified 38 potential suspects, including 12 Britons "of interest" who were in Portugal when Maddy vanished.

Maddie: I can give police vital clues says cabbie, 17 August 2013
Maddie: I can give police vital clues says cabbie Daily Express (paper edition)

 
Daily Express, 17 August 2013

 

Breakthrough hope as taxi driver says "I picked up men with Maddie"

SEE PAGE 6

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

Taxi driver tells police: I can help you find Madeleine McCann Daily Express

A PORTUGUESE taxi driver who claims he could help solve the Madeleine McCann mystery has urged British police to contact him.

By: John Twomey
Published: Sat, August 17, 2013

Taxi driver Antonio is eager to help with Maddie's investigation

 

Antonio Castela says he picked up three men, a woman and a girl about 24 hours after the three-year-old vanished.

The 73-year-old cabbie is now convinced the little girl in pink pyjamas was Madeleine.

He even recalls how the child in his cab had the same distinctive mark in her eye as Madeleine.

Mr Castela gave a statement to Portugal's Policia Judiciaria but claims there was no follow-up interview. Now he wants to speak to detectives from Scotland Yard's Operation Grange squad who are set to fly to ­Portugal within weeks.

Mr Castela said: "I want to tell them what I saw and assist in the investigation. I remember all the details.

"I would be very happy if the police re-open the investigation and if I could help. This case has haunted me for a long time."

The cabbie says he picked up the girl and the four adults on the evening of May 4, 2007, in Monte Gordo on the Algarve.

The spot was about an hour's drive from Praia da Luz where Madeleine was snatched the previous night. Mr Castela drove them to the Hotel Apolo in Vila Real de Santo Antonio, near Faro. Once there, they got into a blue 4X4 car and drove off.

He said the little girl did not speak and just "stared ahead" as if she had been doped.

His pink pyjamas description is vital. Madeleine was dressed in a pink T-shirt and white trousers with small floral ­pattern when she vanished.

Parents Kate and Gerry McCann, are familiar with Mr Castela's claims as are the Operation Grange detectives.

Last month, the Yard announced a full-scale investigation into Madeleine's disappearance. The move followed a two-year review of a mass of evidence from police in Portugal and Britain as well as seven different firms of private ­investigators.

The Yard has identified 38 potential suspects or "persons of interests" including 12 ­Britons. The potential suspects came from five countries.

The McCanns have not given up hope over Madeleine

Painstaking investigation by the elite squad has produced "new findings" and "new ­witness evidence." On Tuesday, Metropolitan Police Sir ­Bernard Hogan-Howe said he hoped Operation Grange detectives would fly to ­Portugal within weeks.

The move follows an exchange of official letters between London and Lisbon setting out the perimeters of the new inquiries. Portuguese officials have stressed British police cannot operate independently in their country.

At every stage of the inquiry, they will be accompanied by Portuguese prosecutors.

The presence of Scotland Yard detectives in Portugal will underline a new phase of co-operation between the two countries over the case.

During the review, Operation Grange officers visited Portugal 16 times as well as making inquiries in Spain.

Kate and Gerry McCann, both doctors from Rothley, Leicestershire, have never given up hope that Madeleine will be found alive.

The Yard's view is there is no clear evidence she is dead.

Maddie: The PJ has already received a letter of request and is preparing inquiries, 23 August 2013
Maddie: The PJ has already received a letter of request and is preparing inquiries tvi24

The inspectors will not be the same as those who investigated the disappearance

By: Marisa Rodrigues | 2013-08-23 14:33
With thanks to Ines for translation

Screenshot from tvi24 video: Man climbing from the patio area of an Ocean Club apartment onto steps
Screenshot from tvi24 video: Man climbing from the patio area of an Ocean Club apartment onto steps

The PJ has received a letter of request concerning the case of Madeleine McCann, the girl who disappeared from the Algarve in 2007.

The letter consists of a list of inquiries that will be undertaken upon the request of the British police, which has requested the interviewing of more than 30 witnesses, already questioned by the PJ. However, the English investigators consider that questions remain to be asked, as well as leads that have not been exhaustively followed.

The letter of request is extensive and will be complied with by the Southern Directorate in Faro. Possible deployment of a British police team to the Algarve is not yet confirmed and will be arranged with the Public Ministry, but it is certain that, once on Portuguese soil, it cannot be this team which carries out the inquiries. The team would only be able to assist the Portuguese police’s activities.

The inspectors who will carry out the instructions from the letter of request will not be the same ones who investigated the disappearance. The (Portuguese) team has already been set up, the only thing that is not yet known is when they will begin with the inquiries.

The PGR has already made clear, more than once, that there is no evidence that would justify the re-opening of the case, archived in 2008, one year after the disappearance.

New Portuguese police team in Maddie hunt: Officers to quiz 30 'people of interest' including cab driver who may picked up toddler the night after she vanished, 24 August 2013
New Portuguese police team in Maddie hunt: Officers to quiz 30 'people of interest' including cab driver who may picked up toddler the night after she vanished Daily Mail
  • New Portuguese police team are on the hunt for Madeleine McCann
  • No detectives from initial Portuguese investigation reportedly chosen
By GERARD COUZENS
PUBLISHED: 23:45, 24 August 2013 | UPDATED: 23:45, 24 August 2013

Review: Madeleine McCann vanished in 2007

Police in Portugal have put together a new team of detectives to assist Scotland Yard in the hunt for Madeleine McCann.

They have been told to help officers from the Met and have been given a long list of people British police want them to interview about Madeleine's disappearance in 2007 while on holiday with her parents in the Algarve.

None of the detectives involved in the shambolic initial Portuguese investigation is thought to have been chosen.

The new team is expected to start work in the next few weeks.

It will question more than 30 'people of interest', thought to include a taxi driver who thinks he may have picked up Madeleine, then aged three, the night after she vanished from her hotel while her parents were at a tapas bar 50 yards away.

Cabbie Antonio Castela, 73, said he picked up three men, a woman and a child resembling Madeleine about an hour’s drive from the resort and dropped them off at a hotel.

He gave a statement to Portuguese police but was never questioned afterwards.

British detectives are hoping to be allowed to participate in the interviews, although the Portuguese have made it clear that if they are given permission public prosecutors will be with them at all times.

Disappearance: Gerry McCann, father of Madeleine, in Praia da Luz, Portugal where she was last seen

 

Disappearance: Gerry McCann, father of Madeleine, in Praia da Luz, Portugal where she was last seen

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

The formation of the Portuguese police team will be seen as a major step forward by British authorities pushing for a renewed effort in the investigation.

Home Secretary Theresa May sent an official request for assistance last month to Portugal's attorney general.

The document containing the request is thought to have included the names of the 38 people across Europe identified as 'of interest' by a Home Office-funded Met Police review team.

The vast majority are thought to be in Portugal.

Ongoing investigation: Kate and Gerry McCann hold a news conference to mark the 5th anniversary of the disappearance

Ongoing investigation: Kate and Gerry McCann hold a news conference to mark the 5th anniversary of the disappearance

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

Several witnesses, believed to be British tourists, have already been interviewed again in the UK.

Detective Chief Inspector Andy Redwood, who is leading the Met's review into the case, called Operation Grange, has said he believes Madeleine is still alive.

The initial Portuguese inquiry was shelved in 2008 and the authorities there have insisted that providing assistance to the British review does not equate to a reopening of their own investigation.

Madeleine McCann hunt hopes as new team of Portuguese cops are put together to help Scotland Yard, 25 August 2013
Madeleine McCann hunt hopes as new team of Portuguese cops are put together to help Scotland Yard Sunday Mirror

By Gerard Couzens | 25 Aug 2013 00:00

Met officers have given the ­Algarve-based team a list of 38 "people of interest" to be quizzed

Mystery: Madeleine

A new team of Portuguese detectives has been put together to help Scotland Yard trace missing Madeleine McCann, it emerged yesterday.

Met officers have given the ­Algarve-based team a list of 38 "people of interest" to be quizzed.

They are expected to start work in the next few weeks and it is understood none of the detectives from the original highly criticised Portuguese probe is involved.

The list of interviewees ­includes Antonio Castela, 73, the taxi driver who claims he may have picked Maddie up with two men and a woman the night after she vanished.

He gave a statement to ­Portuguese police at the time but was never quizzed again.

British detectives reviewing the case through Operation Grange are hoping to be allowed to sit in on the ­interviews. The formation of the new team will be seen as a major step forward by authorities pushing for the Portuguese part of the investigation to be reopened.

Maddy was three when she disappeared on ­holiday in Praia Da Luz, on the Algarve, in May 2007.

Madeleine McCann news: Cab driver faces cop quiz, 25 August 2013
Madeleine McCann news: Cab driver faces cop quiz Sunday Mirror

By Nick Dorman | 25 Aug 2013 00:00

Antonio Castela, 73, said he took three men, a woman and a child who resembled missing Maddie to a Portuguese hotel near Faro

Madeleine McCann

The cabbie who picked up a group of passengers including a girl in pink pyjamas is first on the Scotland Yard Madeleine McCann unit's list for questioning by cops in Portugal, the Sunday People reports.

Cabbie Antonio Castela, 73, said he took three men, a woman and a child who resembled the missing three-year-old girl to a Portuguese hotel near Faro.

He gave a statement to police but was never questioned.

The Algarve-based officers have been handed a long wish-list of people British police want them to interview about Maddie's disappearance on May 3, 2007.

None of the detectives involved in the highly criticised initial Portuguese police probe is thought to have been picked for the new operation.

They are expected to start work over the next few weeks by quizzing 38 "people of interest" starting with Castela.The new Portuguese police team will be seen as a major step forward by British authorities.

Home Secretary Theresa May sent an official request for assistance last month.

Detective Chief Inspector Andy Redwood, leading the Met's Operation Grange, has said he believes Madeleine, is still alive.

Madeleine McCann: Police in Portugal asked by Scotland Yard to speak to 38 people, 26 August 2013
Madeleine McCann: Police in Portugal asked by Scotland Yard to speak to 38 people Daily Mirror

By David Collins | 26 Aug 2013 00:00

The Met Police have drawn up a list of "people of interest" thought to include a taxi driver

Search: Madeleine

A new police team has been assembled in Portugal to help Scotland Yard search for Madeleine McCann – and they have already been asked to speak to 38 people.

The Met Police have drawn up a list of "people of interest" thought to include a taxi driver who thinks he may have seen three-year-old Madeleine the night after she vanished in 2007.

Cabbie Antonio Castela, 73, has not spoken to police since he told them he picked up three men, a woman and a child resembling Madeleine.

He said: "I want to tell them what I saw. It has haunted me for a long time."

Met detectives reviewing the case on Operation Grange are hoping to sit in on the interviews.

Portuguese police said the move does not mean their probe, which was shelved in 2008, is being reopened.

No one from that inquiry is thought to be on the new team, which is set to start work within a few weeks.

Maddy police to start interviews, 26 August 2013
Maddy police to start interviews Daily Express (paper edition)

 
Daily Express, 26 August 2013

 

'Persons of interest' to be quizzed by Portuguese squad

TURN TO PAGE 5

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Madeleine McCann police to start interviews Daily Express

DETECTIVES in Portugal have been recruited to help Scotland Yard quiz suspects and witnesses as the hunt for Madeleine McCann gained pace yesterday.

By: Mark Reynolds
Published: Mon, August 26, 201
3

The Portuguese halted their inquiry in 2008. Madeleine would now be 10

 

The Algarve-based officers have already been handed a list of more than 30 people's names by British police who they want to interview over Madeleine's disappearance in May 2007.

It is thought none of the Portuguese team in the original inquiry have been chosen for the new probe.

The "persons of interest" are expected to include a taxi driver who claims he may have picked up Madeleine the night after she vanished.

Driver Antonio Castela, 73, said he took three men, a woman and a child in pink pyjamas who resembled the missing youngster from close to the Spanish border to a hotel near Faro. He gave a statement to the Policia Judiciaria but was never questioned afterwards.

Just weeks after the Metropolitan Police announced it was moving from review stage of the case to a full-blown criminal investigation, authorities in Portugal are thought to have chosen a team of officers from the Policia Judiciaria's Faro-based southern division to aid Scotland Yard.

British detectives hope to be allowed to conduct interviews, although Portuguese law chiefs have already made it clear they will have to be accompanied by public prosecutors at all times if they are given permission.

But the formation of the Portuguese police team will be seen as a major step forward by both the British authorities and officers conducting the new investigation into Madeleine's disappearance.

Home Secretary Theresa May sent an official request for assistance last month to the Portuguese Attorney General's office.

The document containing the request is thought to have included the names of 38 "people of interest" across Europe identified by a Home Office-funded Met review team as well as a petition to set up headquarters in Portugal and allow British police to work alongside local officers on the ground.

While declining to give a "running commentary" on the new inquiry, Kate and Gerry McCann have stressed they have "absolute faith" in the Met's efforts. Announcing the launch of the new investigation, the leader of Operation Grange, the hunt for Madeleine, Detective Chief Inspector Andy Redwood said he continued to believe she may still be alive.

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

Kate and Gerry McCann have 'absolute faith' in the investigation by the Met Police

Det Chief Insp Redwood also revealed that of the "persons of interest", 12 were British nationals. Madeleine – who would now be 10 years old – went missing from a holiday apartment in Praia da Luz in Portugal's Algarve on May 3 2007 as her parents dined at a nearby tapas restaurant with friends.

Neither Kate or Gerry, both 45, 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 12 British "persons of interest" 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.

So far the Met Police team has gathered 30,500 documents from its review of the case. Several witnesses, believed to be British holidaymakers, have already been re-interviewed in the UK as part of Operation Grange.

The co-operation of the Portuguese authorities – who shelved their own inquiry into Madeleine's disappearance in 2008 – is seen as vital for the new inquiry's success.

New Portuguese cop squad hunt Madeleine McCann, 26 August 2013
New Portuguese cop squad hunt Madeleine McCann Daily Star

A PORTUGUESE police team is to help with the Madeleine McCann investigation.

By Jerry Lawton / Published 26th August 2013

A squad will work on the behalf of British police in Portugal on the Madeleine McCann case

Scotland Yard hope to quiz 38 people of interest.

A police squad set up to carry out inquiries on the Brit officers' behalf in Portugal is due to start work within days. Madeleine vanished days before her fourth birthday from the Algarve resort of Praia da Luz in May 2007, while her parents dined with pals in a nearby tapas bar.

The newly-appointed Portuguese officers will making inquiries, interview witnesses and arrest suspects for Brit police.

Meanwhile disgraced detective Goncalo Amaral, who headed the original investigation, faces a libel hearing in Lisbon on September 9.

He wrote a best-selling book suggesting Madeleine was dead and her parents covered it up.

Doctors Kate and Gerry, both 45, are seeking £1million in damages from him.

A source close to the McCanns said: "The new investigations and the high-profile libel hearing could re-energise the worldwide search for her."

New police team hunting for missing Madeleine McCann, 27 August 2013
New police team hunting for missing Madeleine McCann HLNtv

Nancy Grace

 

By HLNtv.com Staff
updated 8:35 PM EDT, Tue August 27, 2013
  • Madeleine McCann, then 3, vanished from Portugal in 2007
  • Scotland Yard Detectives believe she could still be alive
  • Police set to start interviewing 38 persons of interest

A new police team is set to hunt for missing 3-year-old Madeleine McCann after authorities announce they believe she could still be alive.

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Maddy McCann Alive? CNN Transcripts

Aired August 27, 2013 - 20:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We believe there's a very good chance Madeleine is out there.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There is a real possibility that Madeleine can still be found alive.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Madeleine McCann was 3 years old when she disappeared from a resort. Now British police say they have new leads and are reopening the investigation. They want to question 38 people across Europe, including 12 British nationals.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The authorities in this country are now actively pursuing Madeleine.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They say this new evidence was a development after combing through more than 30,000 pages of documents related to the case.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Her parents have worn the grief and anguish on their faces day after day.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

NANCY GRACE, HOST: Good evening. I'm Nancy Grace. I want to thank you for being with us.

Breaking news tonight. A beautiful 3-year-old little girl, baby Maddy, reportedly snatched during a luxury resort vacation. Her parents partied down at a dinner 100 yards away, leaving baby Maddy and twin siblings there in their hotel room alone.

Bombshell tonight. In a stunning turn, Scotland Yard announces baby Maddy McCann may be alive. That's right, in a stunning turn of events, Scotland Yard doesn't just investigate the possibility that she may be alive, they make a formal announcement this child is very likely still alive this many years later, this after her parents had come under suspicion, many others had come under -- falsely under suspicion. Maddy McCann alive?

Tonight, across the ocean, joining us, Jerry Lawton, senior true crime correspondent with "The Daily Star." Jerry, this is an incredible turn of events, especially with Scotland Yard, they keep everything so close to the vest, to make a public and formal announcement that baby Maddy McCann is very likely alive. Not only that, that a special cop squad has been set up to find her and run down 39 active leads in the case, Jerry.

JERRY LAWTON, "DAILY STAR," (via telephone): Incredible, Nancy. I mean, it's an astonishing development on the story, six years on since Madeleine actually disappeared.

We were summoned to a police briefing. As you say, Scotland Yard normally play their cards very close to the chest, particularly on something like this. It was quite exceptional circumstances.

And yes, at that briefing, the officer who has been appointed in charge of a 37-strong team of UK detectives now actively hunting Madeleine worldwide made the announcement that he has read all the original case files, he's read all the files of the seven or eight teams of private detectives that the McCanns hired to try and find their daughter.

They have read everything, and he said on the record there is not one shred of evidence he has seen that suggests Madeleine is dead. Therefore, they are actively assuming that she is still alive. Incredible development.

GRACE: Straight out to Mike Walker, senior editor, "National Enquirer." Mike, what do we know?

MIKE WALKER, "NATIONAL ENQUIRER" (via telephone): Well, one of the things the police are basing this idea on is that in 2010, a guy named Wayne Hewlett (ph), who is the son of a pedophile, convicted, named Raymond Hewlett (ph), told a British newspaper that he received an unnerving letter regarding the case from his father, who'd died a week before.

Now, this guy is on his death bed, OK? He has no reason to lie, this pedophile. And he got drunk and he let it out in front of his son that he'd stolen Maddy to order as part of a gang. He said the gang had been operating for a long time. It was based in -- a gypsy gang in Portugal -- had been operating a long time.

And what they did was, they would pinpoint children, send a photo of the kid to couples who couldn't have children of their own and who subscribed to their, you know, so-called service. And then if the person said, yes, I like this little girl -- and Maddy was a very beautiful little girl -- they would go and kidnap the child. And that's what this guy said that he did, and the child was taken out the country, across the border into Spain.

GRACE: Out to Matt Zarrell, covering the story with me. Matt Zarrell, there have been a lot of developments, a lot of focus on a tall, thin, scraggly, dark-headed male on the beach the day baby Maddy disappeared, taking photos of children. What do you know, Matt?

MATT ZARRELL, NANCY GRACE PRODUCER (via telephone): Yes. Files reveal that on May 9th of 2007, officers interviewed the owner of a restaurant on the beach, which is about 20 minutes from where Maddy McCann was staying. And the owner recalled seeing the McCanns with their three children for (ph) the last time at the restaurant. And they revealed that they saw a strange Englishman who was spotted taking pictures of children on the beach visited by Maddy just before she went missing.

And British police were told that Madeleine had been abducted three days after being photographed by a spotter. Now, police have not located this spotter, but it is definitely a theory that they are looking at right now.

GRACE: Not only that, Alexis Tereszcuk, senior reporter, Radaronline.com -- for those of you just tuning in, a stunning development by Scotland Yard, who comes out and makes a formal announcement they believe baby Maddy McCann may very well be alive.

Years have passed since baby -- baby Maddy goes missing while her parents are at a luxury resort. That evening, they were eating about we thought 100 yards. Now it has been narrowed down to 100 feet away -- about 100 feet away, the McCann apartment, basically across the pool at a tapas restaurant, and an adult would be sent back to the apartment every 30 minutes to check on the children.

Now, isn't it true, Alexis Tereszcuk, that one of the other parties, one of the other members of the dinner party, went back and they saw a man carrying a child wrapped in a blanket, but they didn't put two and two together?

ALEXIS TERESZCUK, RADARONLINE.COM: You're exactly right. And this is something that was a distraction, actually -- well, no, it wasn't a distraction, but the police were only focused on Madeleine's parents. And so the people with that were with her actually said that they saw someone else carrying this child. This could have been their daughter.

But the police only focused on the parents for years, in fact, and they ignored so many other leads, so that with this new investigation opening, they're going to look into everything, and this is one of the things that they're scrutinizing because this could be a huge lead. They just -- they didn't know at the time. They didn't realize that what they saw could have been the child that would end up missing. It just wasn't something that entered their thought process.

But now the police are absolutely focusing on this. And they're trying really hard to track down every last detail. They are revisiting every single tip, every single lead, and they do feel like they've narrowed it down. But the parents and this other couple, none of them are considered suspects. So the 38 people, none of them...

GRACE: But what's interesting...

TERESZCUK: ... are included in this.

GRACE: What's interesting about it, Marc Klaas, president, founder, Klaas Kids Foundation, is that evening, they were actually afraid to bring in a hotel baby-sitter because they didn't want somebody with the children, Maddy and her twin siblings, that they didn't know. They were afraid that a baby-sitter unknown to them could hurt the children, would ignore the children. So they thought one of them going back every 30 minutes to check on the children would suffice.

MARC KLAAS, KLAAS KIDS FOUNDATION: Whoops, Nancy. They made a critical mistake there. You should never leave young children unattended. And in fact, in the United States, I believe it's against -- in California, I know it's against the law to leave very young children unattended.

GRACE: Out to the defense lawyers. Joining me tonight, Parag Shah, defense attorney, Atlanta. Also with me, veteran lawyer Renee Rockwell.

The parents came under fire when baby Maddy went missing. It turns out that there had been DNA reportedly found in the trunk, their car trunk, that matched baby Maddy. But when it was all said and done, Renee, it turns out that this car was rented 25 days after Maddy went missing.

RENEE ROCKWELL, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, Nancy, a little interesting that they would make such a big deal. Doesn't it smack of JonBenet Ramsey to you? Aren't the parents the first suspects and the first ones that need to get excluded?

But in a situation like this, you just got to hit it and move on. Ask Marc Klaas. He manned up. He showed up. He answered all the questions. You hit it, and you move on.

GRACE: Well, Parag Shah, I don't think that the McCanns, as opposed to other cases -- I do not believe the McCanns are in any way responsible for Maddy's disappearance. But the reality is, Parag, is that parents have to expect to be a prime suspect because statistically, they are the ones responsible when children go missing or are killed.

In this case, I don't think that that is true. But you know, that comes with the territory of being a parent. When something happens to your child, you're the first one the cops look at. That's just the way it is because statistically, it's true.

PARAG SHAH, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Yes, and that's ridiculous because the way people should be arrested or suspects is with evidence, and these 38 suspects that they have...

GRACE: OK, I don't know what you just said...

SHAH: I hope they find this girl...

(CROSSTALK)

GRACE: ... the way people should be arrested is with evidence? I don't know if that's even a sentence.

SHAH: Well, what happens is there's a rush to judgment and somebody...

GRACE: Parag Shah, I don't know...

(CROSSTALK)

SHAH: ... going to be arrested on this...

GRACE: Nobody's been arrested, Parag.

SHAH: They have 38 suspects...

GRACE: They were not arrested, Parag. I don't know what you're talking about. They were not arrested.

SHAH: They weren't arrested, but they were highly scrutinized, which there was no basis...

GRACE: Well, then -- OK, why don't you...

SHAH: ... and just because parents --

GRACE: ... deal with the facts we're talking about right now? They were not arrested. They were suspected and -- put him back up, please!

SHAH: Unfoundedly!

GRACE: Parag, have you -- Parag, I assume that you've tried murder cases, have you not?

SHAH: Yes.

GRACE: OK. Just out of curiosity, it's neither here nor there, but how many, one?

SHAH: I've tried multiple murder cases.

GRACE: OK. So two. That's good. Parag, the reason -- there is a reason that parents are the first suspects, that husbands are the first suspect when a woman, a wife or a girlfriend goes missing because, statistically -- you know what? Let Marc Klaas...

SHAH: This is different, though!

GRACE: ... tell you...

(CROSSTALK)

GRACE: Please cut his mike.

SHAH: ... they had those same 38 suspects...

GRACE: Number one...

SHAH: ... back then, as well.

GRACE: ... it's 39, and they're not suspects. They are leads. But Marc, could you please explain to Parag Shah why parents, such as you or me, would come under suspicion first.

KLAAS: Well, because, as you said, the statistics take you there. In the vast majority of cases involving child victims, the parents are the ones involved. Unfortunately, it's a reality that has to be dealt with.

The McCanns had to deal with it, and they just couldn't get past the scrutiny of the authorities, and I think that that really tanked the case back six years ago.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Madeleine McCann was 3 years old when she disappeared from a resort.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's important that people know what I saw because, you know, I believe Madeleine was abducted.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don't think we can say 100 percent. I mean, you know, we're realistic, but what we do know is there's a very good chance that she is alive.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Police say they have new leads and are reopening the investigation called Operation Grange.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GRACE: Out to Jerry Lawton, senior true crime correspondent, "Daily Star." Everyone, for those of you just joining us, in a disturbing and surprising about-face, Scotland Yard, police, have now announced that Maddy McCann may very well be alive. The general public had decided that Maddy McCann was dead shortly after her kidnapping. Not true.

To Jerry Lawton, joining us from "The Daily Star." Jerry, what has made them come to this announcement?

LAWTON: Well, Nancy, basically, it's the hard work of Gerry and Kate McCann, Madeleine's parents, who since she disappeared and despite, as you touched earlier, the scrutiny upon them, they've continued to fight a single (ph) campaign on their own, basically, to get people to continue to look for their daughter.

The Portuguese police archived the original case in 2008 as an unsolved mystery, and the McCanns refused to accept that, hired private detectives, and continued to, basically, fight a campaign to get somebody to look for her. They appealed directly to British prime minister David Cameron, and he listened to them. They had a direct meeting with them. He ordered British police to launch a review of original investigation, which they spent two years and 5 million British pounds doing.

And as a result of looking at those files, they have seen a whole host of unsolved leads that the British police don't believe have been investigated, traced and eliminated to a standard that they require. And that is the process that they are now embarking upon.

They've still only made their way, Nancy, through two thirds of the file. There's another one third to go. But it's taken two years to get to that point. So you can imagine the volume of information that they are sifting through. And basically, the British police have said there are too many leads here, there's too much that has not been done, we need to start over and do it properly.

GRACE: To Mike Walker, senior editor, "National Enquirer." What do you know about a taxi driver who has sworn under oath that he picked up Maddy McCann with a woman and three men the night she disappears?

WALKER: Yes. And he said also that he noticed a little -- Maddy had a little black spot in one eye that made her look a little bit distinctive, and he saw all that.

Now, incredibly, Nancy, this cab driver said that he was dying to be interviewed by the police, let everybody know what he had seen, and no one ever interviewed him. And that's another possible lead here that has surfaced. And then, of course, there was the other one. Did you hear about Posh Spice or a woman...

GRACE: The lookalike? Yes, tell me.

WALKER: She looks like -- what's her real name? I keep calling her Posh Spice.

GRACE: Victoria Beckham, Posh.

WALKER: Right. And -- Victoria Beckham. And -- and -- remember, I said that the pervert, pedophile, confessed on his death bed that a Portuguese gang -- he had helped kidnap the child for a Portuguese gang. They took her over the border into Spain.

Now, here's another little connection that they've discovered. A woman -- there were reports of a woman who looked like Victoria Beckham in Barcelona, Spain. And three or four days -- four days, I guess it was- yes, May 7th, 2007 -- at a marina acting very agitated And she had possibly an Australian accent, but she spoke fluent Spanish. And she was asking, she was approaching men and saying, Are you here to give me my new daughter?

It was as if she had been told to go there and meet somebody, and she got agitated and wasn't sure who she was supposed to meet, and she kept asking, Are you here to deliver my new daughter?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: New details in a 6-year-old cold case

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Police now say they think this little girl, Madeleine McCann, may still be alive.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They say this new evidence was a development after combing through more than 30,000 pages of documents related to the case.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, we're hoping that this actually leads to something more promising.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don't really want them to have the burden of this, of having to keep looking and looking and looking and not being able to stop, you know? So we need to find her now.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GRACE: Is Maddy McCann alive? A stunning announcement by police that this child may very well be alive. They have called in all that they can, all the manpower, all the feet on the ground. They've created what is called a cop squad to find baby Maddy.

Mike Walker, senior editor, "National Enquirer," could you repeat the story? Now, this goes back to a cab driver that swears he picked up Maddy McCann with one woman and three men the night after she goes missing. Repeat?

WALKER: Yes, that's exactly right. And he said that he saw the little black spot in one of Maddy's eyes. It was very distinctive. And he's absolutely sure it was her.

Now, again, you know, who knows if it was, but he is very, very sure. And all these years, he has asked and begged for the Barcelona -- the Portuguese police to interview him, and they never have. They closed this case down a year after it started, and that's been it ever since.

Luckily, as you say, now Scotland Yard has stepped in with the British prime minister behind them and really launching something. And they've put together a bunch of leads, the kind of stuff that we are reporters, newspaper reporters, would be after if we had, you know, 5 million pounds to spend.

But this may just do it. And the reason there's so many people, Nancy, involved is they're not dealing with 38 separate, you know, suspects. They're dealing with, obviously, gangs, rings, in other words, where, you know, you might find one ring of kidnappers, and there would be, you know, 15 or 20 people involved.

GRACE: Out to the lines. Patrick in New York. Hi, Patrick. What's your question?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hi Nancy. Love the show. I was just wondering what new evidence they've found that suggests that she's still alive.

GRACE: You know what? Jerry Lawton, I'm going to go to you on that - - Jerry Lawton with "The Daily Star."

LAWTON: Hi, Nancy. Yes, I'm afraid it's a negative, rather than a positive answer. Basically, we were told by the police who called us in to a press briefing at Scotland Yard that it's based purely on the fact that they've not found one shred of evidence suggesting the opposite, that she is dead.

They have looked at multiple theories (ph), thousands and thousands and thousands of pages of witness reports, documentation. Work has been done by Interpol worldwide following up leads and sightings, and there is no evidence, particularly in the forensic area, to suggest that Madeleine is dead. Therefore, they are -- until they believe otherwise or find otherwise...

GRACE: Right.

LAWTON: ... they will go on the basis that she could well still be alive. Obviously...

GRACE: To Greg Kading, former LAPD...

(CROSSTALK)

GRACE: ... author of "Murder Rap" -- Greg, it's very disturbing to me that all of these people -- there's a string of them -- were not interviewed by police. How does that happen?

GREG KADING, FORMER LAPD DETECTIVE: It does happen, unfortunately. And you know, things fall through the cracks. An investigation is only as good as your investigators. And so if you have complacent investigators or incompetent investigators, well, that's how your investigation is going to end up.

This is very encouraging, however, that there's this new specialist task force, you know, with specialists involved who will -- who will re- look at everything with fresh eyes. And you have all this compelling corresponding information with a -- you know, with spotter, and you've got, you know, somebody saying that they saw the child later. I mean, this is a tremendously encouraging situation for Scotland Yard.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Big headline from this is police believe that she may still be alive.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Certainly no evidence to suggest otherwise.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Madeleine McCann -- British police say they have identified more than three dozen people of interest in her disappearance.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They identified 38 suspects.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GRACE: The parents of baby Maddie McCann never giving up in the search for baby Maddie. I want to refresh all of your recollections as to the events surrounding her disappearance that night. Out to Mike Walker, National Enquirer. Mike, if you could, please go back through the facts very carefully about the night she disappeared.

WALKER: The night she disappeared, the parents had been, as you said, checking on her. They were having dinner with some people about 300 yards away from -- pardon me, about 100 yards, 300 feet away from the room, and they were sitting around a pool. So they could see the room. They were sending somebody over. One of them would go over every 30 minutes or so to check on the children, and then suddenly of course the disappearance.

Now, what happened immediately, when the disappearance was reported, and the police arrived, the first thing the police didn't do was secure the crime scene. People were walking all over, all around. As Scotland Yard says, you know, destroying what might have been valuable forensic evidence, or maybe not.

The next thing that happened was the police just decided arbitrarily that because both of these people were doctors, one of them a very respected cardiologist and his wife a very respected general practitioner, doctors, they decided what they were doing probably was drugging the kids so that they would stay asleep and not be a bother, and probably that's what happened here, and she overdosed the kid and the kid died, and so they got rid of the body. Question, Nancy. Where do you get rid of a body? OK? They tried to say that rented car had DNA evidence traced. It was later proven to be wrong, wrong forensic testing. But you know, what did they do? They secretly kept the baby somewhere under the bed in the rental place where they stayed, under police supervision all those days? No. You can't hide a body like that. Very hot in Portugal that time of year. Bodies decompose very quickly. So there's in way that anybody can say there's any evidence that the child had died.

And even when the Spanish -- Portuguese police brought in corpse sniffing dogs, they said we sniffed your car keys and we had a trace of a dead body. There you are. And as the doctor, as the wife pointed out, she said I handled six dead bodies just days ago, before I came to Portugal for my vacation. That's what I do. I'm a doctor. And so there's no evidence that the child died, but there's a lot of evidence mounting that she may still be alive.

GRACE: And not only that, Mike Walker, police had also said they found baby Maddie's DNA behind the sofa in that hotel, that resort hotel room. That turned out to be false. The DNA that they claimed was baby Maddie's DNA in the car, the rental car was not her DNA. And not only that, the rental car had been rented 25 days after she disappeared.

WALKER: And the lead detective in the case, the Portuguese detective was bounced off the case after about five months, God knows why, but he then went on to write a book saying that the McCanns were killers, and he made a half a million dollars from that book.

GRACE: I hope he was sued. Was he?

WALKER: Yes, he was.

GRACE: Was it successful?

WALKER: Yes.

GRACE: With me, Mike Walker, senior editor of "National Enquirer." Also with us, Jerry Lawton, true crime correspondent, "Daily Star." What can you tell me, Jerry, about a man in the stairwell spotted by more than one witness in the stairwell near Maddie's resort room, just 24 hours before she vanished?

JERRY LAWTON, DAILY STAR: This is a girl that's (ph) wearing sunglasses. This is just one of approximately eight suspicious characters seen in and around the apartment within 48 hours of Madeleine's disappearance, none of which the police have determined have actually been traced or eliminated from the investigation. Hence why there's so much excitement. This was a guy who was spotted by (inaudible), virtually a prowler, looking suspicious, wearing sunglasses. No apparent reason for him to be there. The apartment itself is within a block of a holiday compound. He has never been traced. Amazingly, many of the people who actually stay in the neighboring apartments have never still to this day been questioned about Madeleine's disappearance, and they were in those apartments the night she disappeared.

GRACE: Unleash the lawyers, Renee Rockwell, Parag Shah joining us. I usually don't pile on the police, because I firmly believe that for the most part they are doing the best they can under the circumstances at the time of the incident. But in this particular case, I think it was horribly botched. They were at a resort in Portugal. The cops did not treat it as a crime scene. It was not roped off until, I think, the next day. Hotel personnel had been tromping in and out. Tons of people had come in and out. Whatever evidence may have been there was completely destroyed. The little animal that she slept with, cuddle cat, had not been tested for DNA. It was found on the floor. You know, there, the borders of the country are like going from state to state in the U.S. The countries are not huge. You can get to the country`s borders fairly quickly. They didn`t close down the borders. There were tons and tons of police mistakes, Renee.

ROCKWELL: You got to wonder, Nancy, had they been vigilant, would this child still be gone. This is a human trafficking case. You can get $200,000 for a beautiful child like that, and you got to wonder is the child in Australia, is the child in Barcelona. It's a crying shame.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Help from private investigators has made a difference.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There's a very good chance she's alive and there's certainly nothing to suggest otherwise.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Really it's important not to give up on Madeleine.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This, they are having to keep looking and looking and looking and not being able to stop, you know. So we need to find her now.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (inaudible) she'll be found. (inaudible).

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Police are hopeful. Authorities are asking the public to help find this little girl, wherever she may be.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GRACE: Take a look at the shots of Maddie McCann. I still call her baby Maddie. Liz, if you could show me several shots of her. It is her right eye as you're viewing it, you'll see it on the left, that has a very peculiar black mark in the middle of the iris. There you go. She`s absolutely a gorgeous child, too. Medical examiner, forensic pathologist and toxicologist, Dr. William Morrone, joining me tonight out of Madison Heights. Now if someone were to find a child that looks like baby Maddie, how quickly can it be determined if it's really her and what is the process?

DR. WILLIAM MORRONE, FORENSIC PATHOLOGIST: If the authorities are in a large city and they have a university that's reasonably equipped, they can identify her in 24 to 48 hours. But if they're in some third world country or a rural setting, it's going to take a couple of days. They'll want to get dental records, want to get a DNA swab, they'll want to get some medical records, and they will compare it to the DNA standards of the parents, which can be sent over the computer. But doing the DNA analysis on Maddie McCann, the suspected Maddie McCann, is going to take a couple of days and they've got to get her to a major city or a university to do that kind of work.

GRACE: What is the mark on her eye? What is that?

MORRONE: There's pigment in the body that's put in different places. Like the color around your iris, it's a specific pigment that's generic, and black specks have been put in the eye by design to reduce glare and sunlight, so that people from Northern European areas where eyes are green and blue, can tolerate the sunlight just as good as people with brown eyes. People with brown eyes tend to tan better and they don't have the need for sunglasses. So it's an adaptation we've had over thousands of years.

GRACE: Dr. Morrone, while I still have you, let me ask you this. Referring to the DNA that was in the car and the DNA that the police claim that they found behind the sofa in her rental unit, how is it that DNA can become so degraded it can no longer be used for official testing?

MORRONE: DNA is chains and strands of amino acids. And when there's erred (ph) segments, they're missing, they're chopped out. And the police, with the technology at that time, tried to say, OK, this is the parents' DNA and we have some other DNA here, but there was obviously something missing, and they made some assumption. We're much better at this, and the DNA technology has really exploded. But they made assumptions that were incorrect because of missing pieces they thought they could match up other parts. It's like a puzzle.

GRACE: Right.

MORRONE: It was a bad move on their part, way too early.

GRACE: To Marc Klaas, president and founder of Klaas Kids Foundation. Marc, what do you believe in regards to that area of the world, as far as human trafficking. And I don't mean just sex trafficking. I mean trafficking for adoption purposes.

KLAAS: Sure, this is baby trafficking. I think that six years later they're going to under -- it will be an enormous challenge to be able to track down a Gypsy gang, because they tend to be very transient anyway, to be able to bring this together. But Nancy, the one thing that's really clear is this is all happening now because of the McCanns' dogged determination to find out what happened to their daughter. That's not the hallmark of guilty parents. It's obvious there were huge errors made at the beginning of this investigation, and that's why they're in the situation they're in now. You know, the fact that the prime minister of England has taken a personal interest in this, I think is really the driving force behind this current investigation.

GRACE: You know, to you, Jerry Lawton, senior true crime reporter joining us from the Daily Star. Everyone, it's a parents' worst nightmare. You take your children on vacation, and they're stolen from their rental unit, never to be seen again. British police now believe Maddie's kidnapper may have been staying in one of the apartments very near the McCann family. What do you think?

LAWTON: Well, I think all options are open. It is indeed possible, and one of the reasons it is possible you've touched on is the poor investigation in the early stages. There's a phrase that a police friend of mine uses over here on any investigation (inaudible) when a child goes missing, and that is clear the ground beneath your feet, and that means you start at the point where she was last seen, and you literally clear absolutely everything around there, working outwards, systematically and methodically, to try and determine what happened to her.

That has clearly not happened here. As we're aware from the Portuguese police files, which are available to the media and were released following the previous investigation, people who were -- they never even found everyone who was in those apartments, staying in them the night she vanished. People were renting them privately. Some people were renting them through companies. Tour operators were renting them. And the police never did that ground work. So they don't even know who precisely was in each apartment when Madeleine went missing. So the possibility that one of this possible gang was in that apartment or staying very close by cannot be eliminated at this stage until a far more thorough investigation has taken place.

GRACE: Matt Zarrell?

ZARRELL: Specifically they're looking at four apartment blocks containing 59 apartments, including apartment 5a, which is where Kate and Jerry McCann were staying with Madeleine.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

GRACE: In a stunning about-face, Scotland Yard now says baby Maddie McCann, who was kidnapped off her family vacation, may very well be alive. Alexis Tereszcuk joining us. Senior report, Radaronline.com. What are some of the sightings of Madeleine?

TERESZCUK: Well, the night that she was taken, there was a sighting of her as I've spoken about earlier being carried out. There was also somebody as we spoke about in the taxicab. But there have been sightings all over the world of Madeleine. Different people have said they saw her. In fact, they have been very recent. In other spots in Europe, people saying that they suspected another little girl with blonde hair who resembled her. There were some in France, there were in Spain, which is very close to there, so it's something that the police are looking into again, because this is giving them hope. This is finally people that are spotting this little girl and with the attention it's brought back and her parents relentlessly staying in the media and keeping attention on their missing child. People are now saying they have seen her around.

GRACE: To Greg Cason, psychologist, Ph.D. joining me out of L.A. If baby Maddie is now found after Scotland Yard is now basically reopening the case, what difficulties, what hurdles will the family have in getting her back and assimilating her back into the family?

CASON: This will be incredibly tough for this family to go through. Because they're going to have to have a child who does not know them. She was just a few days shy before her fourth birthday before she was taken, and now she's almost ten. So she's going to have a life with another family that she now knows as her family. So going back to her parents is going to be a huge adjustment. Plus, her parents are going to have to deal with the trauma of what they went through and having to not only have a huge sigh of relief, but have to deal with all the emotional feelings that have been coming up and been pent up over these last six years.

GRACE: But how do you do it? How do you do it, Doctor? How do you get over the hurdle? What do you do with a child that doesn't even know you anymore?

CASON: You know, it's going to take a long time. They're going to have to acclimate her and have her be a part of the family, tell her the story of what happened. She was probably told the story that if she does have any memories, that her original family didn't want her. I'm sure that was part of it. Plus, this little girl might be angry that her parents didn't protect her, that they didn't keep her from being abducted. So the parents are going to have to take a long, slow re-acclimation process. Work with therapists and other health professionals in order to have them come back together as a family unit.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

GRACE: Everyone, Labor Day coming up. We celebrate a very special group of workers, working moms. Are you a working mom? Do you know one who deserves recognition for hard work at home and at work? I want to hear from you. Send us a video explaining why you or your loved one is the best working mom in America. Five videos with the most votes wins my signature handcuff necklace, earrings, t-shirts, the works. Details, go to nancygrace.com. After you go to the website, send in those videos.

Tonight, we remember American hero, Army Specialist Shane Ahmed. 31, Chesterfield, Michigan. Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal. Parents Jamal and Subra (ph). Brother Assif (ph). Widow Ava (ph). Daughter Evita. Son Evan. Shane Ahmed, American hero.

Is baby Maddie alive? She's not a baby anymore. Every parent's worst nightmare. They took baby Maddie, just a stunning little girl, on vacation with her twin younger siblings. They go to dinner nearby, checking on her every 30 minutes. They find that she has been taken from her bed. With me from the Daily Star, true crime correspondent Jerry Lawton. So many theories circulating, cops looking for a pock-marked male. What can you tell me about that?

LAWTON: Well, the pock-marked male has featured quite heavily since the very early days of the inquiry. And this is something the Portuguese police originally looked at. This was a guy who was seen hanging around the resort three or four days prior to Madeleine's disappearance. And he was seen basically first of all on the beach. He looked out of place on what is largely a holiday beach. And what is a quaint Portuguese resort. Not a large resort. And this guy seemed to be looking at children from the fun club that Madeleine actually attended during her holiday. I stress Madeleine wasn't among those girls, but that -- he was showing what was described as an unhealthy interest.

GRACE: They are at the club where they, like a kids club at a hotel or a cruise ship, where parents leave them with babysitters. Everyone, the search for baby Maddie goes on. As we go to break tonight, happy birthday to Shirley Talbert. Mother, grandmother, loved her husband dearly, Dave Talbert, who has just passed on, who fought in Vietnam. She loves arranging flowers, and she bakes the best sugar cookies in the world. Happy birthday, Ms. Talbert. Everyone, Dr. Drew up next. I'll see you tomorrow night 8:00 sharp Eastern. Until then, good night, friend.

END

Maddie McCann Search Ramped Up After 6 Years, 28 August 2013
Maddie McCann Search Ramped Up After 6 Years ABC News

 

02:09 | 08/28/2013

British girl was 3 when she vanished while on vacation in Portugal.

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

Transcript for Maddie McCann Search Ramped Up After 6 Years

Transcript by Nigel Moore

Presenter: We're going to turn to startling new developments in the search for Madeleine McCann. Six years after the little girl vanished, while on a family vacation, police are now ramping up their hunt for the British girl, who was just 3 years old when she went missing. ABC's Lama Hasan has the story.

Lama Hasan: (voice over) British investigators are now enlisting the help of Portuguese detectives who were not involved in the original probe that had gone cold.

DCI Andy Redwood: (archive footage) We have visited Portugal on 16 occasions. The Portuguese have worked with us and we're working carefully and closely together now in order to progress this case.

Lama Hasan: They'll be questioning 38 people of interest in the case. Including this man, 73-year-old cab driver, António Castela. He thinks he may have picked up Maddie, along with at least two men and a woman, the night after she disappeared. After reviewing 30,000 documents and finding new evidence and theories, Scotland Yard launched a new full-blown criminal investigation in July.

DCI Andy Redwood: (archive footage) 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's alive.

Madeleine McCann: (archive footage) My shoe.

Lama Hasan: Madeleine was just days from her 4th birthday when she vanished during a family vacation in Portugal in 2007. Kate and Gerry McCann were immediately named suspects but were eventually cleared. Neither they, nor their friends who they were having dinner with the night Madeleine disappeared, are suspects. And despite every parent's worst nightmare, the McCanns have never given up hope.

Kate McCann: (archive footage) The thought of living like this for another 40 years isn't exactly, you know... a happy prospect. She's out there, we've just gotta find her.

Lama Hasan: Last year, police issued a fresh image of how they believe Madeleine would look today, urging the public to continue looking for her.

(to camera) Well, both Kate and Gerry McCann say they have, quote 'absolute faith' in this investigation and the team's efforts. But the most important point is that British detectives continue to believe there is a possibility that Madeleine is alive. Elizabeth?

Presenter: Wow. Let's hope they get some answers for that family soon. Alright, Lama, thank you, so much.

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

Portugal Police to Aid Scotland Yard's Hunt for Madeleine McCann ABC News

By LAMA HASAN via Good Morning America
Aug. 28, 2013

Kate McCann attends a press conference for the launch of the book "Madeleine" in London, May 12, 2011

Portugal police have assembled a new team of detectives to assist Scotland Yard's investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann, the British toddler who went missing in Portugal six years ago.

Madeleine McCann was three when she vanished from a holiday apartment in the Algarve region of Portugal in 2007 as her parents ate dinner at a nearby restaurant with friends.

Madeleine's parents, Kate and Gerry McCann, said they found Madeleine missing after having left the children in the home unsupervised while having dinner nearby.

Madeleine's disappearance sparked a global hunt for the toddler, but an investigation by Portuguese police was shelved in July 2008.

Why Madeleine McCann May Still Be Alive

The newly assembled Portugal team will make inquires and question witnesses on behalf of Scotland Yard. British police launched a new investigation into Madeleine's disappearance in July and believe she may still be alive, having found no evidence to prove otherwise.

"We have visited Portugal on 16 occasions," said Detective Chief Inspector Andy Redwood. "The Portuguese have worked with us. We are working carefully and closely together now in order to progress this case."

British detectives decided to open a new case after uncovering what they said was new evidence from reviewing 30,000 documents and carrying out new witness interviews.

Thirty-eight "persons of interest" from a number of European countries have been identified by Scotland Yard.

Twelve of those are British nationals believed to have been in Portugal when Madeleine went missing, but not all of them are currently living in the U.K.

Among the 38 people whom police will question is Antonio Castela, a 73-year-old cab driver who thinks he may have picked up Madeleine and at least two men and one woman the night after she disappeared.

None of the McCanns' friends who were having dinner with them the night that Madeleine disappeared are among the 38 "persons of interest" in the case.

Kate and Gerry McCann have maintained a website and a 24-hour tipline to keep their daughter's case in the public eye.

Madeleine would have turned 10 years old on May 12 of this year.

ABC News' Jean-Nicholas Fievet contributed to this report.

Home Office replies to a Freedom of Information Act request about the 'Letter to Portugal', 04 September 2013
Home Office replies to a Freedom of Information Act request about the 'Letter to Portugal' Jill Havern Forum

sharonl Wednesday 04 September at 7:13 pm

The Question

The Home Secretary Theresa May has sent an official request to Lisbon for permission for Scotland Yard to begin a new investigation in Portugal into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann.

It follows the disclosure that the Met has identified 38 potential suspects - including 12 Britons - who are "of interest" because of their presence in Portugal when Madeleine vanished.

In relation to the above, please provide the following information:

1. The date the letter to the Portuguese was sent

2. To whom (name of department and person) the letter was sent (the article merely says it was sent 'to Lisbon'), and

3. The full text of the letter.

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

The Answer

The Home Secretary did not send the Letter of Request to Portugal.

The letter was sent by the Crown Prosecution Service.

However, the Home Office can confirm in answer to your questions that;

1) The letter was sent on 17 July 2013.

2) The letter was addressed to Magistrat Du Parquet, Procuradoria General de la Republica.

3) The letter itself is exempt from disclosure under sections 27(1)(a), 31(1)(a), and 31(1)(b) of the Freedom of Information Act.

The reasons why we have taken this decision are:

Section 27(1)(a) - International Relations

Information is exempt information if its disclosure under this Act would, or would be likely to, prejudice relations between the United Kingdom and any other State. It would be a breach of trust to publicly disclose details of ongoing negotiations between two countries.

Section 31(1)(a) – Law Enforcement

Information is exempt information if its disclosure under this Act would, or would be likely to prejudice the prevention or detection of crime. This is an ongoing police investigation with several suspects at large.

Section 31(1)(b) – Law Enforcement

Information is exempt information if its disclosure under this Act would, or would be likely to prejudice the apprehension or prosecution of offenders. This is an ongoing police investigation with several suspects at large.

If you are dissatisfied with this response you may request an independent internal review of our handling of your request by submitting a complaint within two months to the address below:

Information Access Team
Home Office Ground Floor, Seacole Building
2 Marsham Street
London SW1P 4DF
e-mail: info.access@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk

Yours sincerely

Matthew Maggs

With thanks to Nigel at McCann Files

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