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    

'Joint Investigation Team' and Crimewatch Update*

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

Gerry McCann: From our point of view, and I'm sure for, errr... Metropolitan Police, it's been a fantastic response.
Gerry McCann: "...it's been a fantastic response."

 

27 November 2013: The Metropolitan Police announce their desire to set up a "joint investigation team" with the Portuguese authorities. Met Police Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe says the force is seeking agreement for the team from the UK and Portuguese and UK governments, and that it would be more effective than the current "ad-hoc" approach to working together.

28 November 2013: The Crimewatch update is broadcast, although this amounts to little more than a brief comment from the McCanns and an interview with DCI Andy Redwood, live from the incident room, which lasts little more than a minute.

Madeleine McCann: Crimewatch appeal update (to be broadcast on 28/11/13), 25 November 2013
Madeleine McCann: Crimewatch appeal update BBC One

 
Madeleine McCann: Crimewatch appeal update BBC One

28/11/2013

DURATION: 1 HOUR

The team are live with Britain's biggest unsolved cases including, following a special appeal, the latest developments in the Madeleine McCann investigation.

Also featuring crimes caught on camera in Martin Bayfield's CCTV round up and a new collection of wanted faces.

Detectives from across the UK are in the studio ready to take your calls and there are updates on the latest cases to have been cracked thanks to Crimewatch viewers.

(...)

Broadcasts

Thu 28 Nov 2013
21:00
BBC One

UK and Portuguese governments trying to set up joint police investigation, 27 November 2013
UK and Portuguese governments trying to set up joint police investigation Martin Brunt, Sky - Twitter

 
#madeleine UK and Portuguese governments trying to set up joint police investigation into Madeleine's disappearance, says Scot Yard.

[text version of above]

martinbrunt
@skymartinbrunt

#madeleine UK and Portuguese governments trying to set up joint police investigation into Madeleine's disappearance, says Scot Yard.

12:14 PM - 27 Nov 2013

Met trying to get agreement for joint Madeleine team from Portuguese & UK govts and police forces, 27 November 2013
Met trying to get agreement for joint Madeleine team from Portuguese & UK govts and police forces Danny Shaw, BBC - Twitter

 
Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe says Met trying to get agreement for joint #madeleine team from Portuguese & UK govts and police forces

[text version of above]

Danny Shaw
@DannyShawBBC

Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe says Met trying to get agreement for joint #madeleine team from Portuguese & UK govts and police forces

1:14 PM - 27 Nov 2013

 
Hogan-Howe: formal working arrangement between Portuguese/UK would be more efficient and effective than current "ad hoc" approach

[text version of above]

Danny Shaw
@DannyShawBBC

Hogan-Howe: formal working arrangement between Portuguese/UK would be more efficient and effective than current "ad hoc" approach #madeleine

1:24 PM - 27 Nov 2013

Madeleine McCann inquiries: Met wants 'joint investigation team', 27 November 2013
Madeleine McCann inquiries: Met wants 'joint investigation team' BBC News

27 November 2013 Last updated at 13:32

Scotland Yard began a review of the case in May 2011 and opened a formal investigation in July this year

The Metropolitan Police want to set up a "joint investigation team" with the Portuguese authorities into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann.

Met Police Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe said the force was seeking agreement for the team from the UK and Portuguese and UK governments.

He said it would be more effective than the current "ad-hoc" approach to working together.

Madeleine disappeared from Praia da Luz, in the Algarve, in May 2007.

Last month, Portuguese police reopened their inquiry into the disappearance of Madeleine, who was three when she went missing from her family's holiday apartment as her parents dined at a nearby tapas bar.

Portugal's attorney general said "new elements of evidence" justified the "continuation of the investigation", which was shelved in 2008.

That came a week after an appeal by British police - launched on BBC One's Crimewatch programme - prompted 2,400 responses.

Call for Madeleine police teams to work together, 27 November 2013
Call for Madeleine police teams to work together ITV News

2:51pm, Wed 27 Nov 2013
Madeleine McCann vanished while holidaying with her parents in Praia da Luz in 2007. Credit: PA
Madeleine McCann vanished while holidaying with her parents in Praia da Luz in 2007. Credit: PA

British and Portuguese police should join together as one team in their investigations into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann, the Metropolitan Police Commissioner has said.

Currently Scotland Yard is running its own inquiry into what happened to the little girl, who vanished while holidaying with her parents in Praia da Luz in 2007, while the Portuguese authorities have their own investigation.

Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe said: "One thing we'd like to see in the future is a joint investigation team which comes under the European community. It is a possibility legally, and we're working together at a political level, and at a police and judicial level, to see how we can construct that.

"There are two separate inquiries with a different focus - we've got one particular set of lines of inquiry and they have a different one. But it's important that we work together on what is clearly a common problem.

"It's a formal arrangement, it allows officers from each country to work in the other country, it gives them powers associated with that, and it's an efficient way of doing it.

"If you're not careful, you end up doing things on an ad-hoc basis, and for us it would be better to have that type of arrangement. So that's what we're trying to get agreement between the two governments and the two police services."

Madeleine McCann inquiries: Met wants 'joint investigation team', 27 November 2013
Madeleine McCann inquiries: Met wants 'joint investigation team' BBC News

27 November 2013 Last updated at 15:14

Scotland Yard began a review of the case in May 2011 and opened a formal investigation in July this year

 

The Metropolitan Police want to set up a "joint investigation team" with the Portuguese authorities into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann.

Met Police Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe said the force was seeking agreement for the team from the UK and Portuguese and UK governments.

He said it would be more effective than the current "ad-hoc" approach to working together.

Madeleine disappeared from Praia da Luz, in the Algarve, in May 2007.

Last month, Portuguese police reopened their inquiry into the disappearance of Madeleine, who was three when she went missing from her family's holiday apartment as her parents dined at a nearby tapas bar.

Portugal's attorney general said "new elements of evidence" justified the "continuation of the investigation", which was shelved in 2008.

That came a week after an appeal by British police, launched on BBC One's Crimewatch programme.

The BBC said the programme, shown on 14 October, had prompted 3,500 calls, texts and emails from members of the public.

Sir Bernard said he would like to see a joint investigation team, "which comes under the European community".

"It is a possibility legally and we're working together at a political level, and at a police and judicial level, to see how we can construct that," he said.

"There are two separate inquiries with a different focus - we've got one particular set of lines of inquiry and they have a different one.

"But it's important that we work together on what is clearly a common problem."

He said a new "formal arrangement" would allow "officers from each country to work in the other country - it gives them powers associated with that and it's an efficient way of doing it".

E-fits released

The senior investigating officer of the British inquiry, Det Ch Insp Andy Redwood, is due to provide an update on the Crimewatch appeal on the programme on Thursday night.

But BBC home affairs correspondent Danny Shaw said Det Ch Insp Redwood was not expected to release any major new information.

In the appeal, detectives released two e-fits of a man seen carrying a child in Praia da Luz at 22:00 on the night Madeleine, from Rothley, Leicestershire, went missing.

--------------------
Thursday 3 May 2007: Timeline

 
Thursday 3 May 2007: Timeline

  • 20:30 Kate and Gerry McCann leave their apartment to have dinner at a Tapas bar
  • 21:05 Gerry McCann checks on Madeleine and her siblings
  • 22:00 A man is seen carrying a child wearing pyjamas heading towards the ocean
  • 22:00 Kate McCann raises the alarm that Madeleine has gone missing

  • --------------------

    The programme, which was later repeated in the Netherlands and Germany, also revealed police now suspected she could have been taken later than previously thought - just before her mother returned to the apartment to check on her.

    Announcing their new investigation last month, Portuguese police said a review team had been working since March 2011 to look back through information from the original investigation.

    They said this had uncovered potential new lines of inquiry, which were separate from those being followed by the Met.

    Madeleine's parents, Kate and Gerry McCann, said they hoped the new Portuguese inquiry would "finally lead to her being found and to the discovery of whoever is responsible for this crime".

    Crimewatch will be shown on BBC One at 21:00 GMT on Thursday.

    Scotland Yard want a Portuguese-British investigation into the Madeleine case, 27 November 2013
    Scotland Yard want a Portuguese-British investigation into the Madeleine case La Informacion

    Wednesday, 27/11/13 - 19:49

    London, Nov. 27 (Reuters) -. The London Metropolitan Police (Scotland Yard or MET) has asked the British and Portuguese governments to authorize a joint police investigation between the two countries over the 2007 disappearance in Portugal of British girl Madeleine McCann, the BBC reported today.

    Scotland Yard want a Portuguese-British investigation into the Madeleine case

    Scotland Yard want a Portuguese-British investigation into the Madeleine case

    According to the UK public broadcaster, the MET Commissioner Bernard Hogan-Lowe [sic] has called for the formation of a "joint investigation team" considering that it would be more effective than the current situation, in which both police forces collaborate in parallel investigations.

    On 24 October, the Portuguese police reopened - to find new evidence - the case of Madeleine, who disappeared on May 3, 2007, when she was 3 years old, from the Portuguese Algarve apartment where she slept with her twin siblings, while their parents dined at a restaurant in the same complex.

    The Portuguese officers, who came to regard the parents of the child, Gerry and Kate McCann, as suspicious, had previously filed the case in 2008 for lack of evidence.

    The Portuguese investigation runs parallel to that initiated in 2012 by Scotland Yard, with the express support of British Prime Minister David Cameron, who is committed to the parents of the girl.

    Last month, in a new impetus to investigation, the MET released two electronic images of a man allegedly linked to the incident.

    In addition, the BBC television show Crimewatch dedicated a show - broadcast also in Germany and the Netherlands - to the disappearance of the girl, prompting thousands of calls from potential witnesses.

    The programme will provide an update on Thursday, although it is not expected that there will be any significant news.

    White British; The Madeleine McCann story, 27 November 2013
    White British; The Madeleine McCann story The London Economic

    POSTED BY THELONDONECONOMIC ON NOVEMBER 27, 2013
    By Jack Peat, Editor of The London Economic

    The Madeleine McCann story

    The Madeleine McCann story offers the most potent example of what makes British media tick and what British people want to read.

    Although crimes and atrocities occur every day, there are criteria which land them on page nine and conditions which qualify it for extraordinary media coverage, bordering on the obsessive. For the missing girls of India or teenagers in London enslaved by gangs it’s the former, in Madeleine McCann's case it was very much the latter.

    The disappearance of Madeleine McCann

    The disappearance of Madeleine McCann is both a press phenomenon and an accurate portrayal of how the media functions. The ordinary middle class McCann family is what made their case perversely extraordinary. It's relatable and thus the more shocking, despite being commonplace in the context of wider global affairs.

    An intriguing question posted on thestudentroom.co.uk is "Would Madeleine McCann get as much attention if she was Black?" The prevailing opinion was, unsurprisingly, no. She is one girl out of hundreds that go missing every year, one student argued, adding that if the rest were given the same amount of exposure, more missing kids would be found.

    This is an interesting hypothesis. Media coverage of McCann has undoubtedly fuelled police spending both at home and abroad, suggesting there is a link between what the public reads and what Scotland Yard investigates. It also raises the question of whether the McCann's should be grateful of the media coverage, despite being publically resentful of it.

    After Portuguese police inquiries were shelved in 2008 there was a Home Office-funded review in 2011 following the intervention of David Cameron. Why the Prime Minister intervened in a police case isn't a mystery; the red top readers are waiting for a response.

    British Media

    The McCann case has been so extensively profiled that new angles and fresh stories can fill our papers for many years to come. On a slow news day it's these kind of hooks which are regurgitated; an editorial strategy which means we never really hear the full story.

    High profile cases linger in the public’s memory, and the fact there's been no conclusion to this tale has fuelled media churning to some extent. But even the hacks facing 'slow days' in the newsroom will tell you no such case has managed to hit the headlines so relentlessly, with so few new developments.

    I often compare the Madeleine McCann story to press coverage of war zones. A British soldier will make the news even if he died killing 1,000 Iraqis, which will go unreported. For the British public, it’s not the scale of the atrocity but whether they can relate to it, whether they can identify an 'enemy' and whether they can comprehend the incomprehensible.

    Is it deserving?

    The McCann case is deserving of British press coverage because it satisfies the essential criteria of coverage, which are largely determined by us. It is undoubtedly unique in the amount of press attention it received, but it is regardless a potent example of what drives British media.

    For those disgusted by a Madeleine McCann front page while tales of bigger atrocities lie scattered and sparse throughout the rest of the publication I would advise avoiding the periodical all together and reconsidering the news you digest. I still maintain that The Economist, for example, contains more 'newsworthy' content in the first two pages than a red top does in a week's worth of print.

    The question posed at the start of this feature is "what fuels media obsession with one middle class white girl and its ignorance of so many other similar cases?" The answer, I believe, is us.

    Madeleine McCann: Portuguese police in Algarve 'no help to hunt', 28 November 2013
    Madeleine McCann: Portuguese police in Algarve 'no help to hunt' Daily Mirror

    By Tom Pettifor | 28 Nov 2013 01:20

    A friend of Kate and Gerry McCann said: "The Policia Judiciara are not pulling their weight and are almost working against the Met"

    Missing: Madeleine

     

    Portuguese police hunting for Madeleine McCann's kidnapper are not "pulling their weight," a source close her parents said yesterday.

    Fears that tension between the country's Policia Judiciara and Scotland Yard is mounting comes as Britain's top cop called on the two forces to unite in a joint investigation.

    The Met Police's Bernard Hogan-Howe's plea is "a polite but public expression of frustration", Kate and Gerry McCann's close pal believes.

    The source added: "They can't see this ever happening else it would have happened six and a half years ago!

    "It seems the PJ are not pulling their weight and are almost working against the Met!

    "If Mr Hogan-Howe is at pains to stress that both investigations should run jointly, and not in parallel, it shows his frustration that the present system to find Madeleine and whoever took her is not working."

    The source added: "There are two separate agendas here. The Met recently showed on Crimewatch images of a white suspect they are looking for.

    "Just two or three days later the PJ say they are hunting for a black tractor driver! It is completely contradictory to what the Met are saying!

    "It seems obvious to us that the PJ are back to their old game, which is not helping the search for Madeleine."

    Heart specialist Gerry and former GP wife Kate, both 45, of Rothley, Leics, declined to comment while the police inquiry is ingoing.

    Their spokesperson Clarence Mitchell said: "How the investigations are run is entirely a matter for both police forces to agree themselves."

    Maddie was aged nearly four when she vanished from a holiday apartment in Portugal's Praia da Luz in May 2007.

    -------------------
    Maddie police in Algarve 'no help to hunt' Daily Mirror (paper edition, page 19)

    Maddie police in Algarve 'no help to hunt' Daily Mirror (paper edition, page 19)

    BY TOM PETTIFOR - Crime Correspondent
    Thursday November 28, 2013


    PORTUGUESE police are not "pulling their weight" in the search for the kidnapper of Madeleine McCann, a source close to her parents said yesterday.

    Met Police chief Bernard Hogan-Howe has called for a joint investigation between his force and the Policia Judiciaria to help avoid an "ad hoc" approach.

    A close friend of Kate and Gerry McCann believes his plea is a "polite but public expression of frustration".

    The source said: "The Met had images on Crimewatch of a white suspect. Days later the PJ say they are hunting for a black tractor driver."

    The McCanns declined to comment. Madeleine was aged nearly four when she vanished in Praia da Luz in May 2007. An update will be shown on Crimewatch BBC1 tonight at 9pm.

    Bexley mum helps Madeleine McCann case after daughter nearly snatched, 28 November 2013
    Bexley mum helps Madeleine McCann case after daughter nearly snatched News Shopper

    By Tim MacFarlan, Bexley and north Kent reporter
    1:21pm Thursday 28th November 2013

    Jessica today holding a photo of her and brother Gary on the holiday where she was nearly snatched.

    Jessica today holding a photo of her and brother Gary on the holiday where she was nearly snatched.

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

    A MUM from Bexley has told detectives working on the Madeleine McCann case of the chilling moment her daughter was nearly abducted in Gran Canaria.

    Mother Lisa Allen, 38, was on holiday in the resort of Puerto Rico with daughter Jessica, then aged six, and son Gary, who was four at the time, when the incident occurred.

    Too nervous to report the incident to the Spanish authorities as a young mum on her first trip abroad, it was not until Ms Allen saw a recent BBC Crimewatch programme on Madeleine McCann that she came forward to tell her story.

    The links between Jessica's near abduction and the case of Jeremy Vargas, who vanished from his home in Gran Canaria aged seven on March 10 last year, also brought back horrible memories for Ms Allen of when her daughter was nearly snatched in October 2000.

    On a visit to a market during the holiday, the mother-of-five was pushing Gary in his buggy and talking to her brother Daniel, 34, while Jessica was walking a few yards ahead.

    Gary, Lisa and Jessica Allen in Gran Canaria in 2000.

    Gary, Lisa and Jessica Allen in Gran Canaria in 2000.

    Suddenly, Ms Allen looked up and saw a man grabbing her daughter by the top of her arm and marching her quickly away between two stalls.

    The full-time mum told News Shopper: "I let go of the buggy, ran over and grabbed his opposite arm.

    "He didn't say anything – he just looked at me with a big smirk on his face and a big grin like he knew he had been caught.

    "He was quite big, stocky and tanned and he just turned around and walked away at a really quick pace.

    "If I had looked up a few seconds later Jessica would 100 per cent have been gone."

    Ms Allen has since spoken twice to Metropolitan Police detectives investigating three-year-old Madeleine McCann's disappearance from a holiday apartment in Portugal in 2007.

    The Puerto Rico resort (pic by Dan Kamminga).

    The Puerto Rico resort (pic by Dan Kamminga).

    And Ms Allen, who lives with Jessica in Mount Pleasant Walk, Bexley, said the near miss made her much more worried for her children.

    Jessica Allen, now 19, works at a call centre in Dartford and has vivid memories of the terrifying moment in 2000 when she was nearly wrenched from her family by a complete stranger.

    The former Cleeve Park School pupil said: "I remember pinching him and scratching him and trying to get him off me.

    "I didn't scream because I just didn't think about it. The guy just basically laughed in mum's face.

    "I do sit and actually think if it weren't for my mum seeing me in those last couple of seconds I might have been gone.

    "To this day, I will be out on the street and I will still worry about it and I am very conscious of people around me."

    BBC Crimewatch: Madeleine McCann update, 28 November 2013
    BBC Crimewatch: Madeleine McCann update YouTube

     

    Transcript

    By Nigel Moore

    Kirsty Young: Last month we had the latest on Madeleine McCann investigation - the 3-year-old vanished, of course, from her holiday apartment in Praia da Luz, in Portugal, in May of 2007.

    [footage from Crimewatch reconstruction, Kate describes entering the apartment]

    Kate McCann: As I opened it a bit, I... I kind of looked into the room. I guess I was looking at Madeleine's bed and I couldn't... couldn't make her out and it was literally at that point the curtains - that I say, were closed - just kind of 'whoooosh!' And then I could see that the window had been pushed right over and the shutters were up. So, I... I kind of knew straight away, then, that Madeleine had been taken.

    Kirsty Young: Well, following our reconstruction, we had an unprecedented response with the highest number of calls ever to our studio. The next day, the Met police detectives leading the case travelled to the Netherlands, to appeal on the Dutch version of Crimewatch, before moving on to Germany, where they were joined by Madeleine's parents Kate and Gerry, to appeal on the German equivalent of our show. Our cameras were there and we spoke to them about how they felt it was all going.

    Gerry McCann: From our point of view, and I'm sure for, errr... Metropolitan Police, it's been a fantastic response.

    Kate McCann: I mean, one... once again, you know, the general public have shown how supportive they are and how keen they are for us to find Madeleine as well and that gives us great encouragement and hope.

    Kirsty Young: Well, I should tell you that a little later on this evening I'm going to be speaking live to the lead detective on the case for the very latest developments.

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

    BBC Crimewatch: Madeleine McCann update (Andy Redwood) YouTube

    Transcript

    By Nigel Moore

    Kirsty Young: ...special Madeleine McCann appeal. Well, we can now speak live to DCI Andy Redwood, of course, he's the lead detective on the case. He joins us from the actual incident room itself in Belgravia, in London. Thanks for joining me and taking the time. Errm... Can you tell me a little bit about the response and how its, errr... impacting on the investigation.

    Andy Redwood: Well, it's been an absolutely fantastic response, Kirsty. Over 3 and a half thousand calls, texts and emails, some really interesting new information - people in Praia da Luz or in the area at the time.

    Kirsty Young: Errm... Since, errr... the programme last month, the Portuguese police have announced that they are reopening their investigation and as recently as yesterday, errm... the head of the Met Police said that he thinks there should be a joint investigation. Do you think that's important?

    Andy Redwood: Well, it's very important to us that the case has been reopened and over the coming weeks and months we are looking to develop further our relationship with the Portuguese police and authorities and hoping jointly to work together in a focused and determined way to find what has happened Mad... to Madeleine McCann.

    Kirsty Young: Andy, can I just ask you briefly, there was coverage of somebody who was described in the press as a 'prime suspect' who had since died. What can... can you tell us anything about that?

    Andy Redwood: Well, there are a number of really important lines of inquiry that we are following up at the moment, errm... lots to do. But this evening, Kirsty, what I'd really like to do is to thank the public for the huge and continuing, errr... help that they provided us.

    Kirsty Young: Okay, I'm sure you'll update us as the investigation progresses and we thank you for taking the time, Andy, to talk to us, errr... tonight.

    BBC Crimewatch: Madeleine McCann update (screenshots), 28 November 2013

    Kate McCann: "...the curtains - that I say, were closed - just kind of 'whoooosh!'"
    Kate McCann: "...the curtains - that I say, were closed - just kind of 'whoooosh!'"

    Kate McCann: "So, I... I kind of knew straight away, then, that Madeleine had been taken."
    Kate McCann: "So, I... I kind of knew straight away, then, that Madeleine had been taken."

    Gerry McCann: From our point of view, and I'm sure for, errr... Metropolitan Police, it's been a fantastic response.
    Gerry McCann: "...it's been a fantastic response."

    Madeleine McCann appeal: Police hail thousands of calls, 28 November 2013
    Madeleine McCann appeal: Police hail thousands of calls BBC News

    28 November 2013 Last updated at 22:17

    Madeleine McCann was three years old when she disappeared in Portugal

    Police investigating the disappearance of Madeleine McCann say they have received 5,000 calls since a fresh appeal on the BBC's Crimewatch.

    Members of the public from the UK, Germany and the Netherlands contacted officers with information following the programme in October.

    Det Ch Insp Andy Redwood described the response as "fantastic".

    Many of the calls came from people who were in Praia da Luz, Portugal, when Madeleine disappeared in 2007, he said.

    Det Ch Insp Redwood said he had been in Portugal this week as part of the Metropolitan Police's investigation, codenamed Operation Grange.

    "The media appeals produced a fantastic response from the public in all three countries with a total of 3,500 calls and messages in the UK, 850 to Germany, and 650 in Holland," he told BBC One's Crimewatch.

    "Lots of people have called to say they were in Praia da Luz at the time. All of this information has obviously produced a very large volume of work for the Operation Grange team to work through.

    He added that there had also been "large number" of calls to Portuguese police.

    Announcing their new investigation last month, police in the country said a review team had been working since March 2011 to look back through information from the original investigation.

    They said this had uncovered potential new lines of inquiry, which were separate from those being followed by the Met.

    On Wednesday, the Met said it wanted to set up a "joint investigation team" with the Portuguese authorities.

    Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe said the force was seeking agreement from the UK and Portuguese governments.

    He said it would be more effective than the current "ad-hoc" approach to working together.

    Madeleine, from Rothley, Leicestershire, was three when she disappeared. Police have said her abduction could have been pre-planned.

    The appeal update comes after detectives released two e-fits of a man seen carrying a child in Praia da Luz at 22:00 on the night Madeleine went missing.

    Police have said they now suspect she could have been taken later than previously thought - just before her mother returned to the apartment to check on her.

    The original Crimewatch appeal was repeated in the Netherlands and Germany.

    Madeleine McCann: Detective's thanks after 5,000 viewers contact police after TV appeals across Europe, 28 November 2013
    Madeleine McCann: Detective's thanks after 5,000 viewers contact police after TV appeals across Europe Daily Mirror

    By Paul Cockerton | 28 Nov 2013 22:25

    Several holidaymakers who were in Praia da Luz, Portugal in 2007 when the little girl vanished have made contact with his team

    Madeleine McCann

     

    A senior detective investigating the disappearance of Madeleine McCann has thanked the public for thousands of messages received in the wake of recent television appeals.

    Detective Chief Inspector Andy Redwood said several holidaymakers who were in Praia da Luz, Portugal in 2007 when the little girl vanished had made contact with his team.

    British police launched their own investigation into Madeleine's disappearance earlier this year, called Operation Grange, and recently made renewed appeals for information on television in the UK, Holland and Germany.

    Appearing on the BBC's Crimewatch programme tonight, Mr Redwood said : "The media appeals produced a fantastic response from the public in all three countries with a total of 3,500 calls and messages in the UK, 850 to Germany, and 650 in Holland.

    "Lots of people have called to say they were in Praia da Luz at the time.

    "All of this information has obviously produced a very large volume of work for the Operation Grange team to work through.

    "I have been in Faro this week working with police colleagues, and I know the appeal generated a large number of calls to the Portuguese police also.

    "I'd like to thank the media and the public for their continued assistance in this challenging enquiry."

    DCI Andy Redwood of the Metropolitan Police

    Yesterday Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe said British and Portuguese police should join together as one team in their investigations into what happened to Madeleine.

    The little girl, then aged three, went missing from a holiday apartment where she was sleeping with her two younger siblings as her parents dined nearby with friends.

    The Portuguese shelved their inquiry into her disappearance in 2008, but last month said that a review had uncovered enough new information to justify reopening the case.

    The Commissioner said: ''One thing we'd like to see in the future is a joint investigation team which comes under the European community.

    "It is a possibility legally, and we're working together at a political level, and at a police and judicial level, to see how we can construct that.

    ''If you're not careful, you end up doing things on an ad-hoc basis, and for us it would be better to have that type of arrangement.

    "So that's what we're trying to get agreement between the two governments and the two police services."

    Germans give hope of clue in search for Madeleine McCann, 01 December 2013
    Germans give hope of clue in search for Madeleine McCann Sunday Express

    DETECTIVES hunting for Madeleine McCann have been given information about two German or Dutch-speaking men seen acting suspiciously before she was kidnapped in Portugal.

    By: James Murray and Allan Hall
    Published: Sun, December 1, 2013

    Kate and Gerry McCann made an appeal on a German crime show [EPA]

    The potentially strong leads came after Kate and Gerry McCann made a direct appeal on a German crime show, called Case Files XY...Unsolved, in October.

    They were joined by Scotland Yard's Detective Chief Inspector Andy Redwood, who asked German viewers for help.

    Calls came in from people who had been at the Ocean Club resort at Praia da Luz on the Algarve at the same time as the McCann family, on May 3, 2007. The callers had information about the German or Dutch speaking men, but it is not known if they were able to provide names.

    During the programme, 500 calls flooded in to a special team with a further 350 coming in during the following weeks.

    Madeleine McCann went missing in May 2007 [PA]

    The bitter emotions of a seventh Christmas without her beloved Madeleine were evident on Kate's face as she forced herself into the yuletide spirit for the sake of twins, Sean and Amelie.

    She joined thousands for the annual switching on of the Christmas lights in her home village, of Rothley, Leicestershire, on Thursday evening.

    She smiled as children played on a bouncy castle and went on rides, but there were other moments when the pain of not having Madeleine there to share the early Christmas joy was clear to see.

    With a protective arm around the eight-year-old twins, Kate was cheered by warm words from friends and acquaintances who quietly support her.

    Detective Chief Inspector Andy Redwood joined the McCanns for the appeal [PA]

    Spy plane clue to Maddie mystery, 15 December 2013
    Spy plane clue to Maddie mystery Sunday Express (paper edition)

     
    Sunday Express, 15 December 2013

     

    EXCLUSIVE

    By James Murray
    INVESTIGATIONS EDITOR


    [text as per online article]

    TURN TO PAGE 5

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

    EXCLUSIVE: Nato spy plane 'may have photographed Madeleine McCann abduction' Sunday Express

    A SPY plane on a Nato exercise may have captured an aerial image of the person who abducted Madeleine McCann, it was claimed last night.

    By: James Murray
    Published: Sun, December 15, 2013

    Madeleine McCann went missing in 2007 [GETTY]

     

    A Portuguese military aircraft took photos of the Algarve coastline on the day the three-year-old dis­appeared, says British military expert Philip Burden.

    He claims the images were clear enough to identify buildings and people's faces and were offered to Portuguese police when Nato officials later learned of Madeleine's disappearance. Mr Burden said: "The aircraft may provide a new lead in the hunt for Madeleine. During the early and late evening of May 3, 2007, the day Madeleine disappeared from the holiday resort of Praia da Luz, the plane took aerial photos of that stretch of the Algarve.

    "It was on a Nato training exercise and had been used on similar missions over other European countries at other times."

    Writer Mr Burden added: "According to my source, strips of film were later passed to the Portuguese police following their appeal for information about Madeleine's disappearance.

    "I'm told that there were a number of low-level passes over the resort as part of a lengthy photo reconnaissance training mission. Although the light was fading, people and buildings could be clearly seen."

    Portuguese police thanked the Portuguese Air Force for sending the film at the time but the pictures were not evident when secret police files were published later.

    Asked to confirm or deny the claims, a Scotland Yard spokesman said: "We are not giving a running commentary."

    Experts believe the aircraft may have taken photos of the hotel on the night Madeleine was abducted [GETTY]

     

    If good images exist, they could prove vital in establishing what was going on at crucial times around the Ocean Club holiday complex. Spy cameras are so sophisticated they can pick out the registration number of vehicles and, in ideal conditions, tell the colour of a person's eyes.

    The claims come at an emotional time for Madeleine's parents, Kate and Gerry McCann, as they prepare to celebrate Christmas with eight-year-old twins Sean and Amelie, with their missing daughter very much at the centre of their thoughts.

    On Monday Kate was close to tears at a service at St Martin-in-the-Fields church in London arranged by the charity Missing People, for whom she is an ambassador.

    Kate read the words of the Billie Holliday classic I'll Be Seeing You, which moved many in the packed congregation. The lyrics, particularly poignant at this time of year, include the lines: "I'll be seeing you, in all the old familiar places."

    Kate's reading gave strength and encouragement to other parents facing the same heart-wrenching void in their lives.

    Charity patron Sir Trevor McDonald, the former ITV newsreader, welcomed guests to the service marking the 20th anniversary of the charity.

    Parents Kate and Gerry McCann are still searching for their daughter [GETTY]

    Sir Trevor said: "It represents a time, if only brief, for those of us who have not been personally affected by the disappearance of someone we love to join in solidarity with those of you here tonight who are living in limbo, with all the grief and hope that brings."

    A particularly moving part of the service came when Peter Boxell spoke of his feelings over the disappearance of his son Lee, who vanished in Sutton, Surrey, in 1988, aged just 15. Mr Boxell said: "For many months, Christine and I were afraid to leave the house in case we missed a call from Lee."

    To donate £3 to Missing People's Home For Christmas Appeal text Hope1 to 70707.

     

    An insight into the background of 'disgruntled and unreliable former RAF employee ... Philip Burden':

    UK News: RAF tracked huge UFOs at 24,000 mph, April 1998
    UK News: RAF tracked huge UFOs at 24,000 mph The Anomalies Channel

    [CNI News thanks Graham Birdsall and Colin Andrews for contributing to this story; and Skye Turrell and Rebecca Keith for their assistance.]

    Britons awoke to sensational news headlines on Monday, April 27, 1998. "24,000 MPH UFO BUZZES BRITAIN" said the Daily Mail. "RAF SPOTS SPEEDING UFOs WITH NEW RADAR" said the London Daily Express. Other papers and TV news ran similar stories.

    Citing unnamed sources within the RAF, the British press reported that sensitive new radars at RAF Fylingdales had tracked a "battleship-sized" triangular UFO over the North Sea. Reportedly, the Dutch Air Force also tracked the mystery behemoth. The same UFO was later observed heading out over the Atlantic Ocean, according to the Daily Mail.

    Immediate efforts by several British UFO researchers to confirm the story were met with firm denials by RAF spokesmen, who stated that the apparent source of the story was a disgruntled and unreliable former RAF employee named Philip Burden.

    However, at least one British news reporter involved in the story assured UFO researcher Graham Birdsall, editor of UFO (UK) magazine, that the main source of the story was not Burden but a reliable RAF insider.

    Meanwhile, other UK investigators proposed that the story was intentionally planted to head off discovery of top-secret, super-advanced military aircraft thought to be flying from several British military bases.

    At week's end, as this issue of CNI News goes to press, the RAF-UFO story remains unresolved, with several competing theories in play.

    Here are excerpts from the April 27 story in the Daily Mail, followed by a sample of commentary from several UK researchers.

    According to Science Correspondent David Derbyshire of the Daily Mail:

    "The RAF has tracked a UFO 'as big as a battleship' off the coast of Britain, military sources revealed yesterday. They said the massive craft was tracked flying in a zig-zag pattern at 17,000 mph over the North Sea. It then accelerated to 24,000 mph and zoomed off towards the Atlantic.

    "The Dutch air force also tracked the UFO, but two F-16 fighters scrambled to intercept the object were unable to keep up, it is claimed.

    "RAF officials are said to be baffled by the object, spotted by the Ministry of Defence long-range listening station on Fylindales moor in North Yorkshire.

    "'It was definitely under control, judging by the various maneuvres executed,' said a source. 'It appeared to be triangular and was around the size of a battleship (about 900 ft long).'

    "Radar records of the craft are due to be presented to science and military experts around the world, who will examine how to exploit space for military purposes at a conference at RAF College, Cranwell, Lincolnshire, in June. Other tapes of the UFO -- thought to have been made during the last two years -- are being withheld because they give too much information about the radar base's scanning ability.

    "However, military chiefs may release a second series of tapes, reported to show 12 UFOs changing shape in mid-flight.

    "The latest theory gaining popularity among some dedicated UFO watchers is that the military deliberately release stories about UFOs as a "smokescreen" -- and that witnesses are really seeing top-secret experimental aircraft."

    CNI News was first alerted to this story by noted crop circle researcher Colin Andrews, who spent much of the day on April 27 trying to reach UK officials who might shed further light on the sensational claims. Andrews sent this update to CNI News:

    "After leaving many messages and trying contacts in the MOD in London, I have eventually spoken with Mr. Alan Patterson in the MOD Press office and in the last few minutes another source, regarding today's stories in UK national newspapers.

    "I asked Mr. Alan Patterson what this story was about. and was it true? He told me that it was not true and that they knew exactly who had put it out. 'He goes around doing this kind of thing,' he said.

    "'He worked it round a nugget of truth,' [Patterson said]. 'There is going to be a military seminar, which will also be open to civilians, that will be held at the RAF Cranwell staff college to discuss certain defense issues... They will not be talking about Flying Saucers... [but] how we might defend ourselves against missiles from space.'

    "I guess we will have to wait for the unknown senior military officer to update us on who is behind the missiles from space, which concerns them," Andrews concluded.

    Noted researcher and publisher Graham Birdsall also spent much of April 27 trying to get to the bottom of this story. He posted a progress report to the internet late in the day:

    "During the last 24 hours considerable attention has been focused on the revelation in some of the British press that information concerning the tracking of one and more UFOs by RAF Fylingdales is to be discussed at a space seminar at RAF Cranwell.

    "I have spent much of that time attempting to track down those responsible for the release, and am now able to confirm that the story is allegedly bogus.

    "Much of the credit must go to my colleague, author and UFO researcher Nick Redfern, who was able to speak directly with Alan Patterson, RAF Press Officer at the Ministry of Defence in London.

    "Mr. Patterson said that 'the only truthful part' that appeared in the press was that concerning the staging of a space seminar. The UFO angle, and everything connected with it, was not true, he said.

    "The story had been concocted by a former MoD employee, whom he named as PHILIP BURDEN.

    "'He was employed as a civilian within the MoD in London, but he left under a cloud,' said Mr. Patterson.

    "No one can be quite certain at this moment in time, but in light of the extraordinary comments from Mr. Patterson, the focus of attention has firmly switched to what appears to be the central figure in these developments -- just who is Philip Burden?"

    While Birdsall continued his inquiry into the elusive "Philip Burden," others in the UK research community took a decidedly different approach.

    An influential faction with British Ufology is committed to the theory that nearly all (if not all) legitimate UFO reports can be explained as sightings of super-secret human aircraft. A leading spokesman for this group, Tim Matthews, was quick to weigh in with his analysis. Excerpts follow:

    "Despite the Ministry of Defence position that UFOs are 'of no defence significance' the story was said to have been leaked by a 'military source'. This was almost impossible to believe and the story could be seen at best as a cover for the operation and testing of secret military aircraft in the North Sea and over the Atlantic.

    "Despite their sophistication, it is not true that the latest Phased Array Radar systems would be able to identify the shape of a UFO -- even one '900 feet' in length -- at anything approaching the speeds reported. A science correspondent should have known this simple fact.

    "The Daily Mail KNEW (!) that the story was nonsense before they printed it and it will be noticed that this tabloid has put out a great deal of alien/ET-type material in recent months.

    "Just last week a diamond-shaped wing-wing aircraft was spotted by a trained observer off the Western Scottish coast near Campbeltown not far from RAF Macrahanish, previously rumoured to be a base of operations for a number of secret aircraft and still a NATO standby base.

    "I have spoken to serving RAF personnel who have witnessed the operation of large triangular aircraft from RAF Boscombe in February 1997.

    "In 1993/4 an aircraft not unlike the US Advanced Airborne Reconnaissance System 'Tier 3' aircraft was reported to be operating over the UK as part of a series of transatlantic demonstrations involving the RAF and elements of the aerospace industry. According to US black projects researcher Dan Zinngrabe, a respected source, the aircraft cost over $150 million, used active stealth features and was able to hover through the use of an advanced jet propulsion system which might have been ducted 'fan-in-wing' technology...

    "At this time, Nick Pope, former Secretariat Air Staff 2a UFO 'expert' went public with a story that UFOs were of extraterrestrial origin and this was undoubtedly part of the cover story involving the MOD and the UFO community...

    "So whilst we have twaddle being put out in the tabloids, some UFO researchers are getting to grips with the reality of secret military aircraft."

    CNI News agrees that the U.S. Air Force, among others, does fly super-secret aircraft that could be mistaken for UFOs; and further agrees that tabloids in the UK as well as the United States certainly run "twaddle" on occasion. However, CNI News also acknowledges that many leading UFO researchers on both sides of the Atlantic disagree with Matthews' apparent intent to explain all otherwise-unexplained UFO sightings as super-secret military aircraft.

    Controversy over the alleged RAF tracking of UFOs continues to unfold.

    UFO (UK) magazine editor Graham Birdsall informed CNI News on April 30 that he had made further inquiries into the sources of the RAF UFO story. Based on his latest update, it seems clear that the story is far from resolved. Excerpts from Birdsall's commentary follow:

    "Alan Patterson, RAF Press Officer, claimed that the source of this story was a former MoD civilian employee named Philip Burden -- someone who left their employment 'under a cloud'.

    "I have since spoken with one of the journalists concerned, who stands by the story. Speaking off the record (his name and newspaper are known to a clutch of researchers, including Nick Redfern, Nick Pope and Timothy Good), he told me that the original source of this story was a senior serving RAF official, and not Mr. Burden.

    "However, journalist David Clark (who was an active UFO researcher before joining the Sheffield Star newspaper), has spoken with 'The Express' newspaper journalist John Ingham, who also covered the story. Mr. Ingham has told David Clark that yes, Philip Burden was his primary source.

    "Philip Burden, it transpires, was the former editor of 'RAF NEWS'.

    "I am reliably informed that since leaving RAF News, Philip Burden has provided the media with several stories, originating from his time spent while editor of that publication, and for which he was paid.

    "One of these referred to an alleged UFO incident over Thailand, and took place during an official State Visit by the Queen. Allegedly, the RAF aerobatic team (Red Arrows) had to cut short a flying display when the UFO appeared.

    "We are, as you can well imagine, attempting to clarify several important matters arising from these developments. Suffice to say, at least one senior newspaper correspondent is standing by the story as it appeared last Monday.

    "The only concession he is prepared to make, is that the estimated speed of the UFO in question might now be in doubt, but he failed to expand on his reasoning.

    "As for the 'battleship'-sized UFO, the 12 oval-shaped objects and radar tapes thereof? He maintains such references were accurately reported, but expressed sympathy towards Alan Patterson's position, who, he stressed, had no option other than to state official MoD policy on the UFO issue.

    "Finally, for anyone thinking of attending the Space Symposium at RAF Cranwell (4-5 June), admission doesn't come cheap. Tickets are priced at Pound220.00 (two hundred & twenty pounds), and I'm not certain whether that's for one or both days.

    "Last but not least, our journalist friend suspects that the radar tapes, and all reference to them, 'will be pulled' from the dozen-or-so sessions schedule to take place," Birdsall concluded.

    CNI News will report further developments, if any, in our next edition.

    Gonçalo Amaral discusses satellite images that the PJ believed to be in the possession of the US authorities, 14 December 2010
    Gonçalo Amaral discusses satellite images that the PJ believed to be in the possession of the US authorities Wikileaks Release

    14 December 2010

    - Extract from interview with SIC Noticias - 

    Pedro Mourinho - Would it have been possible to go further, in gathering evidence, after what took place in September 2007, or not?

    Gonçalo Amaral - As I said before, the investigation is an investigation that is interrupted, an investigation that needs to be concluded. I believe that it is possible to make progress, if it wasn't for lack of political will; now with political will, based on this note - which is only a note as you said, but remains an important note nevertheless between two ambassadors, from one ambassador to the US State Department, that must have the weight that it has. Hopefully now, it will also be disclosed those photos, those satellite images that we believe to be in the possession of the US authorities, that we, the Portuguese police mentioned first, and also requested, a request that was denied to us.

    P.M. - In your understanding, what could those satellite images reveal?

    G.A. - They can reveal who was the person that carried the child on that night on its way to the beach. According to an Irish couple's statement, with an alleged 80% certainty, it was Gerald McCann himself. That could be the confirmation of that Irish couple's statement.

    P.M. - And those images exist?

    G.A. - We believe that, yes. In fact, the McCann couple themselves, said, a few months ago, that they also searched for them; that they don't exist, someone else later stated that they don't exist. It's possible that the site that has divulged the cable might also be able to release those images. That would be interesting.

    P.M. - In your opinion, if they exist, why weren't they yet revealed?

    G.A. - Well, probably because they are a secret of state somewhere... In fact, the whole investigation was a state secret in England. I remind you that there is documentation in that sense, referring that it is a state secret. We do not understand why it is considered as a state secret. In question is the disappearance, and the likely death of a child, and we still fail to understand why that is considered as state secrecy.

    Madeleine McCann's abductor may have been 'snapped by Nato spy plane', 16 December 2013
    Madeleine McCann's abductor may have been 'snapped by Nato spy plane' Daily Star

    THE person who snatched missing Madeleine McCann may have been caught on camera by a Nato spy plane that was on a training exercise at the time.

    Published 16th December 2013

    Madeleine McCann went missing 2007 [PA]

     

    The Portuguese aircraft took aerial images of the Algarve coastline where the three-year-old vanished.

    British military expert Philip Burden claimed Nato had offered the pictures to Portuguese police.

    Speaking to The Sunday Express he said: "During the early and late evening of May 3, 2007, the day Madeleine disappeared from the holiday resort of Praia da Luz, the plane took aerial photos of that stretch of the Algarve.

    "It was on a Nato training exercise and had been used on similar missions over other European countries at other times."

    The Portuguese aircraft took aerial images of the Algarve coastline where the three-year-old vanished [GOOGLE]

    Mr Burden went on to say : "According to my source, strips of film were later passed to the Portuguese police following their appeal for information about Madeleine's disappearance.

    "I'm told that there were a number of low-level passes over the resort as part of a lengthy photo reconnaissance training mission.

    "Although the light was fading, people and buildings could be clearly seen."

    The shots, which are clear enough to see people's faces and pick out car registration numbers, could be crucial in locating Madeleine.

    But despite Portuguese police thanking the Air Force for the the film, the pictures were not evident when secret police files were published.

    Asked to confirm or deny the claims, a Scotland Yard spokesman said: "We are not giving a running commentary."

    Daily Star paper edition: 'Spy plane 'filmed Maddie's kidnap'', 16 December 2013

    dstarpe161213.jpg

    Spy plane 'filmed Maddie's kidnap', 16 December 2013
    Spy plane 'filmed Maddie's kidnap' Daily Star (paper edition, page 20)

    Nato photo clue offers fresh hope for McCanns

    by JERRY LAWTON, Chief Crime Correspondent
    Monday, December 16, 2013

    Madeleine McCann's abduction may have been filmed by a spy plane, it was claimed yesterday.

    A jet was on a Nato exercise above Praia da Luz in Portugal at the time the three-year-old went missing in 2007.

    And military sources have admitted that the Portuguese aircraft was taking photographs of the Algarve coastline. British military expert Philip Burden said there was a chance the plane could have filmed the fiend who snatched Madeleine while her parents Kate and Gerry dined with pals in a nearby tapas bar.

    He said any images taken by the spy plane would be of such high quality they could identify buildings and people's faces. The images were offered to Portuguese police when Nato officials learned of Madeleine's disappearance, but it is believed that detectives did not act on them.

    Mr Burden said: "They could provide a new lead in the hunt for Madeleine.

    "On the day she disappeared the plane took aerial photos of that stretch of the Algarve.

    "I'm told that there were a number of low-level passes over the resort as part of a lengthy photo training mission.

    "According to my source, strips of film were later passed to the Portuguese police following their appeal for information about Madeleine's disappearance."

    Police thanked the Portuguese Air Force for sending the photos but they do not feature in official files on the case.

    McCanns 'buoyed' by developments, 19 December 2013
    McCanns 'buoyed' by developments The Press Association

    Kate McCann

    19 December 2013 | By Press Association

    Missing Madeleine McCann's mother has urged people to "spare a thought and prayer" for all families similar to hers who find themselves unable to share Christmas with a loved one.

    In a Christmas message on the FindMadeleine website, Kate McCann said 2013 had passed particularly quickly but it would be a comfort if they could slow time "just a little".

    Mrs McCann thanked supporters and said she and husband Gerry were relieved and buoyed by this year's developments, including Scotland Yard's review becoming an investigation, and the reopening of the case in Portugal.

    British police launched their own investigation into Madeleine's disappearance earlier this year, called Operation Grange, and made renewed appeals on television in the UK, Holland and Germany.

    Madeleine, then aged three, went missing from a holiday apartment where she was sleeping with her two younger siblings in Praia da Luz, Portugal, in 2007 as her parents dined nearby with friends.

    The Portuguese shelved their inquiry into her disappearance in 2008, but in October said that a review had uncovered enough new information to justify reopening the case.

    In her message, Mrs McCann said: "This year seems to have passed particularly quickly - a sign undoubtedly of a very busy year.

    "It would still be a comfort if we could slow time just a little.

    "Thankfully however there have been some very positive aspects with regards to Madeleine.

    "The Metropolitan Police review becoming an investigation and, more recently, the reopening of the case in Portugal.

    "We are incredibly relieved and buoyed by these developments and continue to hope for further collaboration in the near future with the possibility of a JIT (Joint Investigation Team) between Portugal and the UK to enhance the search for our dear daughter.

    "Once again we would like to thank all our supporters for their commitment to Madeleine and their ongoing support of our efforts.

    "Please spare a thought and prayer for all families similar to ours who will be unable to share Christmas with a special loved one.

    "We wish you a wonderful Christmas and a happy and peaceful 2014.

    "Kate x."

    Last month, Detective Chief Inspector Andy Redwood thanked the public for thousands of messages received in the wake of new TV appeals, saying that several holidaymakers who were in Praia da Luz when the little girl vanished had made contact with his team.

    Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe has said British and Portuguese police should join together as one team in their investigations into what happened to Madeleine.

    Speaking previously, he said: "One thing we'd like to see in the future is a joint investigation team which comes under the European community.

    "It is a possibility legally, and we're working together at a political level, and at a police and judicial level, to see how we can construct that.

    "If you're not careful, you end up doing things on an ad hoc basis, and for us it would be better to have that type of arrangement.

    "So that's what we're trying to get agreement between the two governments and the two police services."

    Kate McCann's Christmas message: Madeleine's mum 'buoyed' by renewed efforts to find missing girl, 19 December 2013
    Kate McCann's Christmas message: Madeleine's mum 'buoyed' by renewed efforts to find missing girl Daily Mirror

    By Martin Fricker | Dec 19, 2013 11:37

    In a Christmas message she said there had "thankfully been some very positive aspects" in the global search for Maddie

    Kate McCann

    Kate McCann has told of her hope for missing daughter Madeleine and said she is "buoyed"up by Scotland's Yard's efforts to find her kidnapper.

    In a Christmas message she said there had "thankfully been some very positive aspects" in the global search for Maddie.

    The former GP said they included: "The Metropolitan Police review becoming an investigation and more recently the reopening of the case in Portugal."

    She added: "We are incredibly relieved and buoyed by these developments."

    As Kate and husband Gerry face their seventh Christmas without Maddie, she told of their "continued hope" that British police will join forces with Portuguese officers "for further collaboration in the near future."

    The couple, both 45, from Rothley, Leics, want to see a "joint investigation team" between the UK and Portugal "to enhance the search for our dear daughter."

    Kate McCann's Christmas message

    Kate chose to write a brief message on the Find Maddie website on the day it was revealed a nightclub had been blasted for posting photos of a reveller wearing a sick "advent calendar" costume mocking the little girl's disappearance.

    There has been a huge public backlash to the Maddie fancy dress images taken at a Birmingham venue on Saturday.

    Kate, keeping a dignified silence and ignoring the furore, told how the year had been very busy and passed "particularly quickly".

    She added: "It would still be a comfort if we could slow time just a little."

    Kate, an Ambassador for charity Missing People, urges: "Please spare a thought and prayer for all families similar to ours who will be unable to share this Christmas with a special loved one."

    She used the website to thank all supporters for "their commitment to Madeleine and their ongoing support of our efforts."

    Kate and heart consultant Gerry believe their daughter, who would now be aged 10, could still be alive. She vanished from a holiday apartment in Portugal's Praia da Luz in May 2007 just days before her fourth birthday.

    Kerry Needham's anger at Cameron cash snub, 19 December 2013
    Kerry Needham's anger at Cameron cash snub ITV (with video)

    Kerry Needham

     

    4:30pm, Thu 19 Dec 2013

    The mother of Ben Needham says the Prime Minister has refused to give her son's case the same financial backing as the McCann family, despite a plea from her MP for assistance.

    Last month Kerry's MP, Angela Smith, asked David Cameron whether the Needhams could get similar funds as those given to the McCann's in the search for their daughter.

    The response has angered Kerry Needham, and Angela Smith says David Cameron could be accused of "favouring" one family over another. She now wants a national unit to investigate the cases of children missing abroad.

    Calendar can also reveal tonight that a new dossier reveals EIGHT sightings of a blonde boy with the same Greek family. Mark Witty reports

    ----------------------
    Transcript

    By Nigel Moore

    - Extract -

    Angela Smith: [asking question in Houses of Parliament] Two years ago, the Prime Minister quite rightly...

    Mark Witty: [voice over] In November, Angela Smith took David Cameron slightly by surprise with an unannounced question on the case of Ben Needham, and why his family has not had the same government support as the McCanns, who were given 37 full-time Metropolitan Police officers, and 6 in Portugal, at a cost of £5million.

    David Cameron: [answering Angela Smith's question] ...the government should always stand by to help, which is what happened in the Madeleine McCann case, but I'll look at what she says and see... see what I can do.

    Mark Witty: [voice over] The Prime Minister replied to Angela Smith acknowledging the case is 'heart-breaking' and adding that the National Crime Agency is supporting South Yorkshire Police and the Greek authorities. Mr Cameron also pointed out that the Home Office had given a special grant to allow the excavation in Kos last year but there was no mention of financing the Needham case in the same way he did for the McCanns.

    MP Angela Smith

    Angela Smith: Frankly, it's... it's just not good enough. Clearly, far more has been done for... for the McCann investigation. Nobody wants to deny the McCanns the support they're getting but there just isn't a level playing field and Cameron's done nothing to address that.

    [sound bites over footage of Angela Smith typing]

    There is further evidence to be investigated in the Ben Needham case.

    Cameron was hasty in doing what he did.

    [return to interview]

    He's being seen now to... to favour one family at the expense of others.

    Mark Witty: [voice over] Speaking earlier today in our studio, Kerry reiterated he call for parity with the support given to the McCanns.

    Kerry Needham: We just want the same level of support and for South Yorkshire Police to have the same resources - if finances, if that's what they need, you know, the... the level of backing, errm... you know, the... you know, I don't want to be critical... I'm not being critical of... of the McCann family at all. I'm... what I'm being critical on is the fact that, you know, Ben's been missing, errr... 22 years now, you know, and we've never had this support from... from the British government and I think it... it just needs to take a closer look and... and offer South Yorkshire Police his... his support, or the government's support, and whatever they need; give it to them.

    October - Tax debt bailout announced [Review of year], 24 December 2013
    October - Tax debt bailout announced The Portugal News

    BY BRENDAN DE BEER · 24-12-2013 12:35:00

    - Extract -

    The month culminated with news that interest in the case of Madeleine McCann, missing since 3 May 2007, gained renewed impetus following a decision by the Portuguese Attorney-General's office to order the re-opening of the case it shelved in July 2008 due to lack of evidence.

    It has also emerged that police in Portugal excluded the possibility of Madeleine's parents, Kate and Gerry McCann, of having had any involvement in their daughter's disappearance.

    A statement sent to The Portugal News explained: "The Public Prosecutor's Office has determined the re-opening of the inquiry relating to the disappearance of Madeleine McCann following a proposal by the Polícia Judiciária and due to the presentation of new elements which justify the continuation of the investigation."

    While a case review has been underway in Portugal since January 2012, led by leading missing persons detective Helena Monteiro and her team in Oporto, official lines of inquiry were closed in the summer of 2008 by the Attorney-General's office. At the time, the office said that the case would only be re-opened "should new evidence emerge."

    To date no significant evidence has been forthcoming as a result of the re-opening of the case.

    Kate and Gerry McCann and Madeleine's Fund, 28 December 2013
    Kate and Gerry McCann and Madeleine's Fund The Sunday Times

    Published: 28 December 2013

    In articles dated October 23 ("Madeleine clues hidden for 5 years" and "Investigators had E-Fits five years ago", News) we referred to efits which were included in a report prepared by private investigators for the McCanns and the Fund in 2008. We accept that the articles may have been understood to suggest that the McCanns had withheld information from the authorities. This was not the case. We now understand and accept that the efits had been provided to the Portuguese and Leicestershire police by October 2009. We also understand that a copy of the final report including the efits was passed to the Metropolitan police in August 2011, shortly after it commenced its review. We apologise for the distress caused."

    Maddie cops' prime suspect blunder, 28 December 2013
    Maddie cops' prime suspect blunder Daily Mirror (paper edition)

     
    Daily Mirror, 28 December 2013

     

    They could have ruled out innocent man SIX years ago

    EXCLUSIVE

    BY TOM PETTIFOR Crime Correspondent
    Saturday, 28 December 2013


    BUNGLING police chased the wrong suspect for six years in the hunt for missing Madeleine McCann.

    An innocent British dad told police in 2007 he was the man in an e-fit seen carrying a child in a Portuguese resort.

    But his evidence was overlooked. A source said yesterday: "This doesn't look good."

    FULL STORY: PAGES 4&5

    [picture text: WRONG MAN E-fit of 'prime suspect']

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

    Madeleine McCann: Bungling police had 'prime suspect' details for SIX YEARS without realising
    Daily Mirror

    By Tom Pettifor | 28 Dec 2013 00:00

    The innocent dad came forward in 2007 but mistakenly remained the main focus of the hunt until this year when Scotland Yard detectives tracked him down

    Madeleine McCann

     

    Bungling police had the details of the "main suspect" in the disappearance of Madeleine McCann for SIX YEARS without realising.

    The innocent dad came forward in 2007 to say he was the person seen carrying a child in Portugal at the time the three-year-old vanished.

    But the information was overlooked and the British holidaymaker remained the main focus of the hunt until this year when Scotland Yard detectives finally tracked him down.

    The revelation will be a blow to Madeleine's parents, Kate and Gerry, as they endure a seventh Christmas without their oldest daughter.

    The unnamed dad – spotted in the Praia da Luz resort by McCann family friend Jane Tanner at 9.15pm – was among a number of British witnesses who completed questionnaires for Leicestershire police six years ago.

    He is understood to have provided a detailed description of his movements on the night, including the fact he had picked up his own two-year-old daughter from a crèche close to where Madeleine vanished.

    But his 'alibi' was only looked at this year.

    A source said: "He had been clear then that he had picked her up at around the time of the sighting but for whatever reason he was not eliminated as a suspect. The fact the details of the prime suspect have been known all along doesn't look good."

    Following Madeleine's disappearance, Leicestershire police were responsible for collating all UK-based inquiries at the request of the Portuguese authorities.

    It is not clear if the questionnaires were analysed by the British force or simply forwarded to Portugal.

    Eyewitness: Jane Tanner

     

    Ms Tanner, a close friend of Kate and Gerry, previously told officers that she saw the dark-haired man carrying away a child wearing pink floral pyjamas at 9.15pm on May 3, 2007.

    One of the so-called "Tapas Seven", she had been dining with the McCanns in a nearby restaurant when their daughter went missing.

    Her sighting meant that from 2007 onwards, Portuguese and British police presumed any abduction most probably took place between 8.30pm, when the McCanns went to dinner, and 9.15pm.

    The realisation that it was a false lead has shifted detectives' focus on to a later sighting at 10pm when an Irish family reported seeing a man walking towards the beach carrying a blonde girl in pyjamas.

    The suspect and the father: The tourist came forward in 2007 to rule himself out of the hunt

     

    The revelation was described by DCI Andy Redwood, the Met officer leading the new investigation called Operation Grange, as a "revelation moment" when it was finally made by his team.

    DCI Redwood said in October: "Our focus in terms of understanding what happened on the night of May 3 has now given us a shift of emphasis. We are almost certain that the man seen by Jane Tanner is not Madeleine's abductor.

    "It takes us through to a position at 10pm when we see another man who is walking towards the ocean, close by to the apartment, with a young child in his arms."

    The innocent dad agreed to be pictured in the clothes he wore in Praia da Luz at the time to prove he was the man in the police sketch previously seen as key to cracking the case.

    The scene: Praia da Luz

    His two-year-old's pink pyjamas, which were described by Ms Tanner, were also brought to Scotland Yard to help prove his innocence.

    The new prime suspect was spotted by Martin Smith from Drogheda, Co Louth, as he returned to his apartment in Praia da Luz about 9.50pm.

    He saw a British-looking man carrying a motionless, barefoot girl in pyjamas. Madeleine was noted to be missing by Kate at 10pm.

    The Smith family provided two efit images of the man more than five years ago. However, the sighting was viewed as too late to be significant because of Ms Tanner's sighting– which is why the efits were only released publicly in a Crimewatch appeal broadcast in October.

    Detectives from Scotland Yard's Operation Grange said they received an "overwhelming response" from viewers.

    Hope: The McCanns

    The programme featured a new reconstruction of the hours leading up to the three-year-old's abduction.

    In a statement, Kate and Gerry said at the time: "We are absolutely delighted with the overwhelming public response to Crimewatch. We know that the public desperately want to help the search for Madeleine. We are genuinely hopeful that one or more of these responses will lead to a major breakthrough in the investigation."

    They added: "If anyone was in Praia da Luz around the time of Madeleine's abduction and has not spoken to the Metropolitan Police, or if they know who any of the Efits might be, please have the courage to come forward and speak to the police in confidence."

    More than 1,000 people have come forward with fresh information and several named the same man as the prime suspect.

    Missing: Madeleine McCann

    Leicestershire Police yesterday refused to comment on the latest revelations.

    A spokeswoman said: "The disappearance of Madeleine McCann is being investigated by the Metropolitan Police and it would be inappropriate for us to comment."

    A Scotland Yard spokesman said: "We are not giving a running commentary."

    A spokesman for the McCann's last night declined to comment saying it is "a matter for Operation Grange."

    Madeleine McCann: Anyone saying they were carrying a child around when Maddy disappeared should have been investigated, 28 December 2013
    Madeleine McCann: Anyone saying they were carrying a child around when Maddy disappeared should have been investigated Daily Mirror

    Peter Kirkham

    Ex-Met Police chief Peter Kirkham says questions will be asked as to why the relevance of the information was not recognised earlier

    Ruled out: Original prime suspect in the Madeleine McCann appeal
    Ruled out: Original prime suspect in the Madeleine McCann appeal PA

    Scotland Yard have now concluded that the key sighting of a suspect carrying a child at around 9.15pm was, in fact, a sighting of an innocent dad.

    This has changed the entire timeline of the incident and has opened up crucial new lines of enquiry.

    Questions will be asked as to why the relevance of the information was not recognised earlier.

    While there may have been an oversight by Leicestershire Police, there are two things we should remember.

    They did not have access to all the material collected during the investigation and full responsibility for the case remained with the Portuguese at that time.

    In their liaison role, they may have simply forwarded the questionnaires to Portuguese police without analysing them themselves.

    Even if they did consider the content, they may not have realised the relevance without access to all of the material.

    The information should have been recognised as of great relevance by the Portuguese police.

    I would have expected any person saying they were innocently carrying a child at around the relevant time and place to be investigated and cross-referenced with other witness accounts.

    That said, in a high-profile investigation, so much information floods in that it is all too easy for a crucial item to get lost.

    At that time, the main focus of the investigation centred on the interpretation of the DNA evidence which had been recently made available.

    This may have led to other potential lines of enquiry being overlooked.

    No matter what the explanation, the fact that this "new" witness was in the system all along illustrates why case reviews are so important.

    A review of all material, by new pairs of eyes and with the benefit of hindsight, almost always identifies something which has been overlooked.

    In this case, it appears to have changed the basic understanding of what may have happened on Thursday, May 3, 2007.

    Madeleine McCann: New mobile phone information could hold key to child's disappearance, 31 December 2013
    Madeleine McCann: New mobile phone information could hold key to child's disappearance Daily Mirror

    By Tom Pettifor | 31 Dec 2013 00:00

    A new dossier of mobile phone calls is believed to contain numbers that have yet to be identified - and officers hope they could provide vital new leads

    Missing: Maddie
    Missing: Maddie

    Detectives are examining mobile phone information they believe could hold the key to Madeleine McCann's disappearance.

    Portuguese authorities are thought to have provided Scotland Yard with a list of calls made in and around the Ocean Club in Praia de Luz between 9pm and 10pm on May 3 2007 – the night the three-year-old vanished.

    The dossier is believed to contain phone numbers that have yet to be identified, and officers hope they could provide vital new leads.

    Detectives hope to track down the registered owner of each phone, and check whether any are known sex offenders.

    The information was sent to the Met in response to an "international letter of request" asking for assistance from foreign police forces in 31 countries.

    The requests are believed to relate to unidentified mobile phone numbers and it is the first time they have been analysed in detail. The Met are preparing to send another letter of request soon, sources said.

    Detectives and Crown Prosecution Service lawyers are believed to have prepared a string of ILORs but remain hopeful that a joint probe can be established, rendering them unnecessary.

    If an arrangement cannot be reached then it is feared the British investigation could drag on for years and end up costing at least double the £5million already spent.

    Portuguese police revealed in October that their investigation was being restarted as a result of new lines of inquiry emerging from their own internal review.

    They had originally shelved their probe in 2008, the year after Madeleine vanished, but supported the British-run inquiry.

    Detective Chief Inspector Andy Redwood, the officer spearheading the probe, revealed in October that the records could hold the key.

    He said the analysis was a "targeted attack on that data to see whether it can assist us".

    He added: "We've got a data set of phone traffic. Within that phone traffic, you can see we've got some of those numbers we can attribute to people, but a large number of them we can't ...

    "A lot of the focus is not necessarily to find a suspect, but also witnesses. We're trying to understand who was there for a range of reasons."

    Portuguese police have always had the phone records but they have never been examined in such detail.

    The Met is now examining 41 persons of interest, including 15 UK nationals.

    A Met police spokesman said: "We are not giving a running commentary. However we will issue details of any new ILOR issued to the Portuguese authorities."

    With thanks to Nigel at McCann Files

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