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    

Scotland Yard Investigation - Jan 2014*

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

Four British Police officers from Scotland Yard, including DCI Andy Redwood, arrive in downtown Faro carrying documents believed to be relating to the arrest of 3 men in connection with the Madeline McCann case
Four British Police officers from Scotland Yard, including DCI Andy Redwood, arrive in downtown Faro

 

The bill for Operation Grange hits £6million as DCI Andy Redwood travels to Portugal with his team.

Maddie: Cops' bill hits £6m, 01 January 2014
Maddie: Cops' bill hits £6m The Sun

Met costs soar

Madeleine McCann

 

EXCLUSIVE By MIKE SULLIVAN Published: 01 January 2014

SCOTLAND Yard's bill for its probe into Madeleine McCann's disappearance has topped £6million, The Sun can reveal.

In the last three months a major public appeal for information has pushed the cost of Operation Grange up by £1.64million — and the total is now likely to rocket to £10million-plus.

Join Sun+ to read more...


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

Paper edition:

Maddie: Cops' bill hits £6m The Sun (paper edition, page 19)

Met costs soar

The Sun, paper edition, 01 January 2014

EXCLUSIVE by MIKE SULLIVAN
Wednesday, January 1, 2014


SCOTLAND Yard's bill for its probe into Madeleine McCann's disappearance has topped £6million, The Sun can reveal.

In the last three months a major public appeal for information has pushed the cost of Operation Grange up by £1.64million — and the total is now likely to rocket to £10million-plus.

A Freedom of Information request showed the bill for Grange — launched in May 2011 — had reached £6,343,116 by November 30.

It includes £88,199.652 on travel, with officers regularly flying to Praia da Luz, the Portuguese resort where Madeleine, then three, vanished in May 2007.

The probe was set up after her parents Kate and Gerry, both 45, of Rothley, Leics, wrote an open letter in The Sun asking the PM for help.

A two-year review identified 200 potential leads and a new investigation — including a Crimewatch reconstruction — prompted 5,000 calls.

Det Chief Insp Andy Redwood, in charge of Grange, said: "All this has produced a large volume of work."

Everton Call On Missing Fans To Return Home, 02 January 2014
Everton Call On Missing Fans To Return Home Everton FC

Thursday 2nd January 2014 13:05 by Rob Urbani

Blues to show their support to the charity this Saturday.

Madeleine McCann

Everton is backing an appeal for missing fans to make a safe return to their families in 2014.

The Club is supporting Missing People, an independent charity which offers a lifeline when a loved one disappears, during its FA Cup third round tie against Queens Park Rangers on 4 January.

At half-time, Everton will show the charity's appeal film to the Goodison Park faithful in addition to using its social media channels to communicate appeals for missing people in the area in the run up to the Cup tie, with fans being encouraged to support the appeal by using #EFCsearching.

The Blues have thrown their support behind the campaign to help find missing people like Madeleine McCann, who went missing in 2007. Madeleine's mother Kate McCann, who is an Ambassador for the charity Missing People and also an Evertonian, is attending the match to help raise awareness of the search for missing people in the area.

Speaking in Everton's matchday programme this weekend, Chairman Bill Kenwright, had this message in support of the campaign: "There are thousands of people who are reported missing across the country every year and it's truly heartbreaking to read, and hear, the distressing stories that are affecting the lives of those close to them.

"We have a strong tradition at Everton of working with, and supporting, our Community and because of that we wanted to use today's game to help raise awareness of those who, for whatever reason, are currently missing."

He added: "The thoughts of myself and everyone at Everton Football Club are with those currently affected. We wish you all the very best and hope 2014 is the year when you are reunited."

A 2013 report showed 14,672 missing persons incidents were reported to Merseyside Police over 12 months, and the charity is keen to raise awareness of the 250,000 people who go missing in the UK each year, 140,000 of whom are children.

Jo Youle, Missing People Chief Executive said: "We're extremely fortunate to have this sort of support from a club like Everton and hope to harness the power of Goodison fans to help us search for missing people.

"We urge anyone in the area to take to Twitter and Facebook, follow @missingpeople and use the hashtag #EFCsearching to help us reunite missing people with their loved ones."

To help support Missing People, text Hope to 70707 to donate £3.

Text costs £3 plus network charge. Missing People received 100% of your donation. Obtain bill payer's permission. Customer care 08448 479800. Charity No. 1020419

Police identify three prime suspects for abduction of Madeleine McCann following analysis of mobile phone data, 03 January 2014
Police identify three prime suspects for abduction of Madeleine McCann following analysis of mobile phone data Daily Mail
  • Data suggests a burglary gang was operating near time of disappearance
  • Suspects made an 'unusually high' number of calls hours after Maddie was reported missing
  • Police believe thieves carried out one raid in resort, disturbing a child
  • Portuguese police attached no significance to the break-in days before
  • British detectives described oversight as a 'disgrace'
  • 'Main line of inquiry' suggests burglars panicked and kidnapped Maddie
By STEPHEN WRIGHT
PUBLISHED: 22:31, 3 January 2014 | UPDATED: 23:45, 3 January 2014

Analysis of mobile phone data suggests Madeleine McCann could have been kidnapped by a gang of burglars who panicked when she woke up as they raided her holiday apartment

Three prime suspects for the abduction of Madeleine McCann have been identified by Scotland Yard officers.

Analysis of mobile phone data suggests a burglary gang was operating very near to where she vanished in Portugal in May 2007.

The three men made an unusually high number of calls to each other in the hours after Madeleine was reported missing from her holiday flat in the Algarve.

Police believe the thieves, including at least one Portuguese man, had already carried out one raid in the resort of Praia da Luz, disturbing a child.

That child's parents, who had been drinking outside the property, rushed inside to find the intruders had fled.

During their bungled investigation Portuguese police attached no significance to the break-in, which came a few days before Madeleine disappeared.

British detectives said this oversight was a 'disgrace'.

Following the Yard phone breakthrough, informal discussions have taken place about arresting the three burglars and searching their homes and other sites.

It is believed background checks have taken place into their criminal history, their circle of friends and relatives and the vehicles they have used.

British detectives believe the burglars may have panicked after they woke Madeleine up by mistake and decided to take her away with them.

Kate and Gerry McCann pose with an artist's impression of how their daughter might look at the age of nine last year

 

Kate and Gerry McCann pose with an artist's impression of how their daughter might look at the age of nine last year

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

An informed source said: 'After all the far-fetched theories about what may have happened to Madeleine, there may be a far more simple explanation: that a burglary went horribly wrong.

'It is the main line of inquiry for British police.'

But Scotland Yard's hopes of early arrests have been thwarted by the reluctance of the Portuguese authorities to agree to a formal joint investigation.

Because none of the burglars is British, the Met cannot arrest them in Portugal and will need the full cooperation of local police to pursue the inquiry.

Behind the scenes, highly sensitive diplomatic discussions are taking place to resolve the issue so that British detectives can be based in Portugal. Home Secretary Theresa May is being briefed regularly.

Yard detectives have dismissed the idea that a local man who died in a tractor accident four years ago was responsible for Madeleine's disappearance.

Portuguese police regard the 40-year-old, a former employee at the Ocean Club holiday complex the McCanns stayed at, as their prime suspect.

Met officers disagree with their reasoning and are concentrating on the burglars.

The compelling mobile phone 'cell site analysis' – which has helped solve a number of major crimes – has strengthened suspicions about the gang.

A major appeal based on 'substantive' new information – including descriptions of possible suspects – was broadcast on the BBC1's Crimewatch in October. Days before the appeal, senior detectives revealed mobile phone records may hold the key to solving the case.

Detective Chief Inspector Andy Redwood, who is leading the inquiry, said officers were examining data from thousands of mobiles thought to belong to people who were in Praia da Luz around the time of Madeleine's disappearance.

The data suggests the men were involved in a burglary a few days before Madeleine's disappearance during which they woke a another child

 

The data suggests the men were involved in a burglary a few days before Madeleine's disappearance during which they woke a another child

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

Madeleine McCann went missing from her apartment in The Ocean Club in Praia Da Luz in 2007

Madeleine McCann went missing from her apartment in The Ocean Club in Praia Da Luz in 2007

----------------
Police are trying to identify the owner of each phone to build up a picture of exactly who was in the area.

More than 3,000 people live in Praia da Luz, while holidaymakers and seasonal workers visit from around the world. 'This is not just a general trawl,' said Mr Redwood. 'It's a targeted attack on that data to see if it assists us to find out what happened to Madeleine at that time.'

Mr Redwood said officers had been unable to identify, six years on, a large number of mobile phones, especially those bought on a pay-as-you-go basis.

The records also contain information on which numbers were dialled and when. It is thought some numbers might appear on police intelligence systems, or be linked to criminals.

According to Scotland Yard, the phone records were looked at by the Portuguese police investigation but in no detail. Scotland Yard announced it was launching an investigation into Madeleine's disappearance in July – after spending two years reviewing the case under the codename Operation Grange.

Madeleine, whose parents Gerry and Kate live in Rothley, Leicestershire, was days away from her fourth birthday when she was abducted.

Earlier this week it emerged that the bill for the Yard's probe has topped £6million. The total is now likely to exceed £10million, with £88,000 having gone on travel costs so far.

Pictured: Kate and Gerry McCann looking relaxed and happy watching Everton in the FA Cup, 04 January 2014
Pictured: Kate and Gerry McCann looking relaxed and happy watching Everton in the FA Cup Daily Mirror

By Anthony Bond | Jan 04, 2014 16:04

The couple were spotted enjoying themselves at Goodison Park in Liverpool - and even shook hands with Harry Redknapp

 
Happy: Kate and Gerry McCann today enjoyed a trip to Liverpool to watch Everton v Queens Park Rangers in the FA Cup

 

Happy: Kate and Gerry McCann today enjoyed a trip to Liverpool to watch Everton v Queens Park Rangers in the FA Cup

 
Supporters: The couple are keen Everton fans

 

Supporters: The couple are keen Everton fans

 
Meeting: The McCanns were pictured shaking the hand of Harry Redknapp, the manager of QPR

 

Meeting: The McCanns were pictured shaking the hand of Harry Redknapp, the manager of QPR

 
Chat: Mr Redknapp listens to Gerry

 

Chat: Mr Redknapp listens to Gerry

 
Support: The couple sat next to Everton chairman Bill Kenwright

 

Support: The couple sat next to Everton chairman Bill Kenwright

They are living through unimaginable pain as they continue to search for their missing daughter.

But Kate and Gerry McCann still managed to enjoy an afternoon out today to watch their beloved Everton in the FA Cup.

The couple were spotted enjoying themselves at Goodison Park in Liverpool as their team took on Queens Park Rangers.

In one picture, Kate and Gerry share a laugh together, with Kate looking on lovingly at her husband.

The couple, who were sat next to Everton chairman Bill Kenwright, also shook hands with Harry Redknapp, the manager of QPR.

The couple's daughter Madeleine was three when she went missing in the Algarve in 2007. One of the most famous images of the youngster shows her wearing an Everton football shirt.

The couple were at the game to support Missing People, an independent charity which offers support to relatives when a loved one disappears.

Everton are backing an appeal for missing fans to make a safe return to their families in 2014. Kate McCann is an ambassador for the charity.

It emerged today that detectives from Scotland Yard have identified three key suspects for the toddler's abduction.

Cops believe a gang of burglars was working close to where Madeleine went missing.

As reported by the Daily Mail, mobile phone data shows that the men made a high number of calls to each other after the three-year-old went missing.

One line of enquiry is that the burglars panicked after waking the youngster and decided to kidnap her.

Kate and Gerry were yesterday blocked from giving evidence at the libel trial of an ex-detective who accused them of covering up their daughter's death.

The couple wanted to take the stand to explain how false claims in Goncalo Amaral's book about Mad­­­eleine's disappearance had left them devastated.

But in Lisbon, judge Maria de Melo e Castro ruled that neither the McCanns nor Amarel can give evidence.

The McCanns' lawyer Isabel Duarte said: "Obviously Gerry and Kate were disappointed."

The couple, both 45-year-old doctors from Rothley, Leics, are suing Amaral, 56, for £1million over his book The Truth of the Lie and a related TV documentary.

Maddie McCann case – Suspects' phones could be 'treasure trove of evidence', 04 January 2014
Maddie McCann case – Suspects' phones could be 'treasure trove of evidence' Sunday Post

By John Paul Breslin, 4 January 2014 9.09pm

Maddie McCann

Police probing Maddie McCann's disappearance could uncover a treasure trove of evidence on phones used by three suspects, according to a forensics expert.

Former police officer Neil Morgans, who runs A Star Forensics, said cops hunting Maddie's abductors could use texts, photos and videos on suspects' phones to place them at the scene of the crime.

He said the phones can still be tracked even if they've changed hands several times and data on the devices would still be there — even if it had been deleted and subsequent owners had thrown away the SIM card.

His comments come after it was reported that officers at Scotland Yard have narrowed their prime suspects down to three burglars who were operating at the resort in Portugal where Maddie disappeared in 2007.

Reports state that mobile phone data suggests the three men were near to where the missing girl vanished.

British detectives are working on the theory that the burglars may have panicked after waking Madeleine and decided to take her away with them.

Neil Morgans said information on the three men's phones could provide a breakthrough in the case.

He said: "Police need to get hold of these phones. If they had considered a ransom then they might have taken photos and videos of her.

"Images could still be obtained from the devices even if they were deleted.

"Some photos could have meta-data showing where pictures were taken. Again, that could help show if they were in the area of the abduction.

"There may also be information contained in text messages.

"The phones can be tracked using their unique serial numbers. Even if the phones have changed hands several times they could still be found."

The three male suspects are said to have made an unusually large number of calls to each other in the hours after Madeleine was reported missing from her holiday flat in the Algarve.

Cops believe the crooks, including at least one Portuguese man, had already carried out one burglary in the resort of Praia da Luz, disturbing a child.

During their bungled investigation Portuguese police attached no significance to the raid, which came a few days before Madeleine disappeared.

Informal discussions are said to have taken place at Scotland Yard about arresting the three burglars and searching their homes and other sites.

It's believed background checks have been carried out into their criminal history, their friends and relatives and the vehicles they've used.

Madeleine McCann: Three burglars are prime suspects in hunt for missing girl as police trawl phone records, 05 January 2014
Madeleine McCann: Three burglars are prime suspects in hunt for missing girl as police trawl phone records Sunday Mirror

By Justin Penrose | Jan 05, 2014 01:21

Scotland Yard believes Maddie was snatched by a panicked gang who ­accidentally woke her in the family's apartment and took her with them
Missing: Maddie
Missing: Maddie

Three burglars have been ­identified as prime suspects in the hunt for Madeleine McCann after detectives trawled through thousands of phone records.

Scotland Yard believes Madeleine was snatched by a panicked gang who ­accidentally woke her in the family's holiday apartment and decided to take her with them.

Mobile phone analysis shows the men made an unusually high number of calls to each other in the hours after she disappeared aged three in Praia da Luz, Portugal.

British officers now want to arrest the men but need the Portuguese to agree to a formal joint investigation as UK detectives cannot swoop on foreign suspects.

Yesterday a source close to parents Kate and Gerry said: "It could be a major breakthrough.

"Kate and Gerry are buoyed up by this latest development. Whilst they don't want to build up their hopes too high they are feeling optimistic.

"They felt it was only a matter of time before new clues came to light."

Officers believe the burglars had carried out a raid in the resort days before Madeleine vanished in May 2007, disturbing another child. That youngster's parents were outside and rushed in to find the intruders had fled.

During their bungled probe Portuguese police attached no ­significance to the ­break-in. But the Met is thought to have made checks into the men's criminal history, their friends and any vehicles they have used.

Scotland Yard, which refused to comment, also ruled out Portuguese officers' prime suspect – a man who had worked at the resort where the McCanns, of Rothley, Leics, stayed.

A Crimewatch appeal aired in October and police, led by ­Detective Chief Inspector Andy Redwood, revealed mobile records could be key. Yesterday Kate was at Everton's FA Cup tie against QPR to help raise awareness for missing people.

EXCLUSIVE: Madeleine McCann police are urged to hunt Ocean Club thief, 05 January 2014
EXCLUSIVE: Madeleine McCann police are urged to hunt Ocean Club thief Sunday Express

SCOTLAND Yard detectives hunting Madeleine McCann’s kidnapper are being urged to trace a former worker at the Ocean Club holiday villa complex from where she disappeared.

By: James Murray
Published: Sun, January 5, 2014

AMBASSADOR: Gerry and Kate McCann represent the Missing People charity at Everton's match [REUTERS]

A criminologist who has spent years analysing Portuguese police files has discovered information about the man, who had previously been caught stealing.

He lived close to the spot where a man was seen carrying a child, who detectives believe was Madeleine, at the time of the abduction.

Madrid-based Heriberto Janosch has written to Scotland Yard's Operation Grange detectives with details of his findings.

The revelation comes after it was reported that Scotland Yard officers have identified three "prime suspects" in a burglary gang after analysing phone data around the time of the abduction on May 3, 2007, at Praia da Luz in Portugal's Algarve.

The report claimed there were a high number of calls between the group after Madeleine vanished. It also suggested the gang was responsible for two earlier raids at neighbouring apartments, one of which was foiled when they were disturbed by an elderly resident.

Now Yard chiefs are involved with discussions with counterparts in Portugal on how and when to arrest the trio, one of whom is ­Portuguese.

Mr Janosch said that the individual he is interested in was not ­working at the Ocean Club during the evening when Madeleine disappeared. He said: "When I read the information in the Portuguese police files I felt it was important to contact Scotland Yard to make sure they were aware of it.

MADDIE: Madeleine's kidnapping in 2007 is still under investigation [PA]

"Now I understand that the Yard is concentrating on three suspected burglars and I wonder if this man I am interested in is one of them.

"The investigation is reaching a very important stage and hopefully the police are on the verge of a breakthrough.

"I have investigated this case for a long time and it is my belief that Madeleine was taken by burglars and there was no planned kidnapping.

"She just happened to come across them when they were in the apartment."

The move came as Kate McCann, an ambassador for the charity Missing People, and husband Gerry yesterday attended the FA Cup tie between Everton and Queens Park Rangers at Goodison Park.

Everton supporter Kate went to the game to raise awareness of the charity and to cheer on her team.

A film about the plight of missing people was shown during the half-time break.

Writing in Everton's match programme yesterday, chairman Bill Kenwright, said: "We have a strong tradition at Everton of working with, and supporting, our community and because of that we wanted to use today's game to help raise awareness of those who, for whatever reason, are currently missing."

Message from Gerry and Kate McCann highlighting 'the damage the press have done in the search for Madeleine', 05 January 2014
Message from Gerry and Kate McCann highlighting 'the damage the press have done in the search for Madeleine' Official Find Madeleine Campaign - Facebook

 
Official Find Madeleine Campaign, 05 January 2014

 

Text version of above:

Sunday, 5 January 2014, at 18:37

I would like to remind those new to our page that Gerry and Kate will only comment on the investigation to find Madeleine when and if any updates FROM THE POLICE warrant a statement.

Please allow the police to do their jobs and not speculate or fuel rumours. We will not answer questions related to unfounded and speculative press articles and we ask that you not post them on our page.

Thank you for understanding.

~FM Webmaster (on behalf of Gerry and Kate)

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

Then later...

 
Official Find Madeleine Campaign, 05 January 2014

Text version of above:

Sunday, 5 January 2014, at 21:45

To those offended by my post... I posted this message originally on October 30th. This message is from Gerry and Kate. Gerry and Kate will not comment on press articles. Please keep in mind many things you read in the press are not based on facts. If I have offended anyone with the tone, I apologise. I hope you can understand the amount of damage the press have done in the search for Madeleine (and how frustrating that is to all of us working so hard to get her home). Thank you to all who continue to stand by us and who keep Madeleine in their hearts. ~FM Webmaster

ITV: The Lying Game - Crimes That Fooled Britain, 07 January 2014
ITV: The Lying Game - Crimes That Fooled Britain ITV player

McCanns first press appeal, 04 May 2007

McCanns first press appeal, 04 May 2007

McCanns first press appeal, 04 May 2007

Dr Sharon Leal [Forensic Psychologist]

9:00pm, Tuesday 7 January 2014

Experts look with fresh eyes at some of the most notorious criminal cases in which the perpetrator has appeared in front of the cameras with sham displays of grief.

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

Transcript

By Nigel Moore

- Extract relevant to the McCanns -

Narrator [Lesley Sharp]: If you don't know the signs to look for, the innocent can appear guilty. Much of the public believed Joanne Lees had murdered her boyfriend because of how she conducted herself.

Joanne Lees: (archive footage) I've got a problem with all press that distort the truth and doubt my story.

Narrator: It took her four years to clear her name.

Lindy Chamberlain: (archive footage) I got near the tent, I could see all her blankets spread from one end of the tent to the other...

Narrator: Although innocent, many disbelieved Lindy Chamberlain's account of her baby having been taken by a wild dog. She spent just over three years in jail.

Lindy Chamberlain: (continuing) ...I ran out of the tent, I said to Michael: 'The dingo's got the baby'.

Narrator: In this, the McCanns first press appeal, how they seemed was the last thing on their minds.

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

Dr Sharon Leal [Forensic Psychologist]: He's brought out the list of things he must be certain to remember. He won't think that looks suspicious. A liar might believe that that is suspicious. There's been a lot of controversy about whether or not the McCanns are innocent of guilty. From my point of view, is, they are 100% innocent.

Operation Grange - second ILOR, 10 January 2014
Operation Grange - second ILOR Metropolitan Police

 
Operation Grange - second ILOR

This page was last updated on 10-Jan-2014 11:59

We can confirm that a second International Letter of Request (ILOR) has been sent to the Portuguese authorities by the Crown Prosecution Services this week (week commencing 6 January) in connection with Operation Grange.

The CPS sends a second "international letter of request" to Portugal, 10 January 2014
The CPS sends a second "international letter of request" to Portugal Sam Marsden - Twitter

CPS sends a second "international letter of request" to Portugal

Text version of above, in chronological order:

12:46 PM - 10 Jan 2014

The CPS has sent a second "international letter of request" to Portugal asking for help with Scotland Yard's Madeleine McCann inquiry

12:47 PM - 10 Jan 2014

Scotland Yard refusing to give any details about what help they are seeking from the Portuguese authorities in the Madeleine McCann case

Madeleine McCann: Scotland Yard requests more help from Portugal, 10 January 2014
Madeleine McCann: Scotland Yard requests more help from Portugal The Telegraph

A second "International Letter of Request" asking for assistance has been sent to the Portuguese authorities on behalf of the Metropolitan Police detectives investigating Madeleine's disappearance

Madeleine McCann went missing in Portugal in May 2007 Photo: PA

By Sam Marsden
1:30PM GMT 10 Jan 2014


Scotland Yard detectives investigating the disappearance of Madeleine McCann have formally asked Portugal for more help with their inquiry.

Police refused to give any details about the nature of the assistance being sought, but the move appears to suggest that fresh suspects or promising new lines have been identified.

The Crown Prosecution Service sent a second "International Letter of Request" to the Portuguese authorities on behalf of the Metropolitan Police this week.

The first letter asking for help was submitted to Portugal as Scotland Yard announced it was launching a full investigation into the case, codenamed Operation Grange, in July last year.

Over the summer British detectives sent further International Letters of Request to 30 other countries, most of them in Europe.

The requests relate to persons of interest and unidentified mobile phone numbers that were recorded in Praia da Luz in southern Portugal around the time that Madeleine, then aged three, went missing from her family's holiday flat on May 3, 2007.

Because British police have no jurisdiction to operate overseas, they must ask their counterparts in other countries to carry out investigative work and interview suspects on their behalf.

Under European Union rules, member states are expected to comply with requests like these made under Mutual Legal Assistance Treaties.

Portugal's attorney general announced in October that his country's investigative Policia Judiciaria had reopened their inquiry into Madeleine's disappearance after receiving new evidence.

A Metropolitan Police spokesman said on Friday: "We can confirm that a second International Letter of Request has been sent to the Portuguese authorities by the Crown Prosecution Services this week in connection with Operation Grange."

Madelaine McCann: three prime suspects identified, 10 January 2014
Madelaine McCann: three prime suspects identified The Times

 
Madelaine McCann: three prime suspects identified, 10 January 2014

Graham Keeley Madrid
Published 1 minute ago


Scotland Yard detectives investigating the abduction of Madeleine McCann last night formally requested help from the Portuguese authorities after British detectives identified three prime suspects.

In a significant move, the Crown Prosecution Service sent an International Letter of Request to Portuguese authorities.

The Scotland Yard investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine has revealed a gang of burglars were operating near to where she was abducted in May 2007.

Analysis of mobile phone calls indicates three men made a large number of telephone calls to each in the hours after Madeleine was reported missing from her holiday flat in the Algarve.

Maddie cops to make first arrests, 12/13 January 2014
Maddie cops to make first arrests Daily Mirror (paper edition)

 
Daily Mirror, 13 January 2014

 

Scotland Yard to make first arrests

BY DAVID COLLINS

Monday, 13 January 2014


BRITISH police are poised to make the first arrests in the hunt for missing Madeleine McCann.

The Met want to quiz three burglars who carried out raids in the Portuguese resort when the child, three, vanished.

A source close to her parents Kate and Gerry said: "They know that this is a significant lead."

FULL STORY: PAGE 5

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

Madeleine McCann cops to make first arrests: Three burglars who 'made many phone calls' after her disappearance wanted in Portugal
Daily Mirror

By David Collins | Jan 12, 2014 22:58

The Crown Prosecution Service has sent an International Letter of Request to ­Portuguese police seeking permission to arrest the trio

Arrests: Madeleine McCann
Arrests: Madeleine McCann

British police are poised to make the first arrests in the hunt for missing Madeleine McCann.

The Met want to quiz three burglars who carried out raids in the Portuguese resort when the three-year-old vanished.

Officers were last night preparing to fly to the Algarve to make their first arrests since the force set up Operation Grange in 2011 to review the ­kidnapping.

They hope to speak to the thieves after mobile phone records showed the men made numerous calls to each other in the hours after she disappeared.

The Crown Prosecution Service has sent an International Letter of Request to ­Portuguese police seeking permission to arrest the trio.

A spokesman for Madeleine's parents Kate and Gerry said: "The letter is a significant development. It is necessary for British police to request the ­Portuguese authorities allow them to operate on their turf.

"It means they have the intention of arresting and interviewing X, Y or Z. We don't know who they have their sights on but it's likely it is the burglars.

"Whether the Portuguese will co-operate remains to be seen. It is a very sensitive issue with differences they have had.

"Police want to be given a chance to arrest key suspects. It doesn't prove they have Madeleine but it will rule them in or out of the investigation and that is i­mportant.

"Kate and Gerry don't want to build up their hopes too high but they realise it could be a significant new lead."

Days before Madeleine's disappearance from Praia da Luz in May 2007 aged three, the gang raided another holiday flat there, disturbing a child. The ­youngster's parents interrupted the burglars who fled.

An inquiry source said: ­"Portuguese police attached no ­significance to the burglary at the time. British officers regard this as an oversight."

Met Police have so far been unable to arrest the men as their Portuguese ­counterparts are reluctant to carry out a joint investigation, instead preferring to follow their own lines of inquiry.

Diplomatic discussions are going on to try to secure agreement for UK detectives to be based in Portugal. Six local officers are working with the Met’s team, making enquiries on their behalf.

The latest development follows a first International Letter of Request allowing Operation Grange to access mobile phone data.

Scotland Yard said: "We can confirm a second International Letter of Request has been sent to the Portuguese authorities by the Crown Prosecution Services."

No formal arrests have ever been made in the hunt for Madeleine. Early on former GP Kate and heart doctor Gerry, both 45 and from Rothley, Leics, were given the status of arguido. It meant they were formal suspects but they were cleared in 2008.

British-born property consultant Robert Murat was also made an arguido but he was exonerated alongside the McCanns.

Operation Grange has 37 officers and has so far cost taxpayers £4.5million.

In October, a BBC Crimewatch special, featuring a reconstruction and an e-fit of a new prime suspect, sparked 3,500 calls and emails. Two viewers gave the same name for the man seen carrying a child.

Daily Mirror, paper edition, page 5: 'The 3 made many calls after she was taken. This is very significant', 13 January 2014

Daily Mirror, paper edition, 13 January 2014

Madeleine: Police identify burglars as prime suspects, 13 January 2014
Madeleine: Police identify burglars as prime suspects Daily Express (paper edition)

 
Daily Express, 13 January 2014

 

SEE PAGE 4

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

Madeleine: Police identify burglars as prime suspects after phone calls clue Daily Express

THREE burglars have been identified by Scotland Yard as potential major suspects in the hunt for Madeleine McCann.

By: John Twomey
Published: Mon, January 13, 2014

Madeleine McCann has been missing for over six years [EPA]

 

Detectives in London are understood to have urged the Portuguese authorities to track down the men and detain them.

The Yard is believed to have appealed for the thieves to be arrested in an international letter of request sent to Lisbon last week.

In what could be a breakthrough in the inquiry, detectives focused on the three men after a painstaking trawl through mobile phone records.

It is understood there was significant phone traffic between them around the time three-year-old Madeleine vanished from the McCanns’ holiday home in the Algarve in May 2007.

One theory is that the burglars raided the apartment in Praia da Luz and were panicked into snatching the little girl when she woke up and started crying.

The Yard cannot discount the possibility the men are not linked to Madeleine's disappearance but it is vital they are "traced, interviewed and eliminated" as an important step in the inquiry.

Burglars were active in the area in the days before Madeleine was kidnapped and the small but significant increase in the number of break-ins has been a major focus in the Yard's inquiry.

Shortly before Madeleine was snatched, an apartment was raided and another child was disturbed.

Scene of Madeleine McCann's disappearance [PA]

The youngster's parents were nearby but the intruder or intruders had fled when they rushed back inside.

Identifying the burglars as possible major suspects in the hunt for Madeleine is a key part of the Yard's investigation, codenamed Operation Grange.

A source close to her parents, Kate and Gerry, said: "It could be a major breakthrough. Kate and Gerry are buoyed up by this latest development.

"Whilst they don't want to build up their hopes too high they are feeling optimistic. They felt it was only a matter of time before new clues came to light."

In a moving radio interview recently, former GP Mrs McCann, 45, said: "Six years ago my little girl Madeleine was stolen. I cannot describe the impact that awful night had on our family. It’s a horrible pain we live with every day.

"[The charity] Missing People call it living in limbo and until Madeleine is found, we are in this nightmarish limbo too.

"Missing People never gives up hope, never stops looking. They are there when it counts, supporting each family for as long as it takes. For families like mine, they are a vital lifeline."

Authorities in London and Lisbon are working to set up a joint investigation team which would take advantage of European law to speed up cross-border inquiries.

Detective Chief Inspector Andy Redwood, head of Operation Grange, has revealed that mobile records could be key to the mystery. But there are many other possible lines of inquiry.

Yesterday, a Scotland Yard spokesman confirmed an international letter of request was sent to the Portuguese last week but declined to discuss the contents.

British police 'preparing to make arrests' in Madeleine McCann case, 13 January 2014
British police 'preparing to make arrests' in Madeleine McCann case The Guardian

Police are ready to arrest and interview suspects over girl's disappearance in Portugal, says parents' spokesman

Haroon Siddique
Monday 13 January 2014 12.23 GMT

Madeleine McCann vanished at the age of three from an Algarve resort in May 2007. Photograph: Everton FC/PA

British police are reportedly preparing the ground to make the first arrests in their investigations into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann.

A spokesman for Madeleine's parents told the Daily Mirror that police were ready to arrest and interview "key suspects". Scotland Yard confirmed that it had sent an international letter of request to the Portuguese authorities but would not elaborate on its contents.

However, the Mirror said officers were preparing to fly to the Algarve on Sunday night to speak to three burglars who carried out raids in the Portuguese resort where Madeleine, then three years old, vanished on 3 May 2007.

The Metropolitan police launched its own investigation into her disappearance in July last year and in October, when new developments in the case were put to air on the BBC Crimewatch programme, officers said they were seeking to track down the people behind a series of burglaries around the Ocean Club complex, mainly in the early months of 2007. There was also an incident almost exactly a year before the abduction when children in a ground-floor apartment saw an intruder break in through a patio door and stare into a travel cot, stealing nothing.

Earlier this month, the Mail reported that analysis of mobile phone data suggested that a burglary gang was operating very near to where Madeleine vanished and made an unusually high number of calls to each other in the hours after she was reported missing.

The spokesman for Kate and Gerry McCann said: "The letter is a significant development. It is necessary for British police to request the Portuguese authorities allow them to operate on their turf.

"It means they have the intention of arresting and interviewing X, Y or Z. We don't know who they have their sights on but it's likely it is the burglars."

He said Madeleine's parents did not want to get their hopes up but "realised it could be a significant new lead". He also said it was not a formality that the Portuguese authorities would co-operate.

Portuguese police, who once falsely treated the parents as suspects, reopened their investigation in October last year, more than three years after it was shelved. Their investigation is running in parallel with the Scotland Yard inquiry but the Met police commissioner has called for the two forces to join together as one team.

Madeleine McCann Cops Poised to Make Arrests in Her Disappearance, 13 January 2014
Madeleine McCann Cops Poised to Make Arrests in Her Disappearance ABC News

By LAMA HASAN via GOOD MORNING AMERICA
LONDON Jan. 13, 2014

Good Morning America News, video screenshot: Madeleine McCann Case: 3 Alleged Burglars to Be Interviewed

Madeleine McCann Case: 3 Alleged Burglars to Be Interviewed

London police appear poised to make an arrest in the disappearance of Madeleine McCann, the girl who was 3 when she vanished while on a Portuguese vacation with her family nearly seven years ago.

The arrests of a trio of alleged burglars who had been active in the neighborhood would be the result of Operation Grange, the reopening of the McCann investigation three years ago.

"We can confirm that a second International Letter of Request has been sent to the Portuguese authorities by the Crown Prosecution Services this week... in connection with Operation Grange,'' Scotland Yard told ABC News in a statement. The authorities would not discuss any further details.

The McCann family spokesman refused to comment about the investigation.

"I'm afraid we are saying nothing about any aspect of Operation Grange whilst the police work continues, least of all about any tabloid speculation surrounding it,'' the spokesman told ABC News.

Scotland Yard is reportedly working with Portuguese police to find, detain and question three men believed to be burglars who were operating in the area where Madeleine and her family were on vacation in Portugal.

After pouring over records containing hundreds of cell phone numbers used during the time Maddie vanished, police found a high number of calls were made between these men in the hours after her disappearance.

Last year, Scotland Yard said one of their significant lines of inquiry was the four-fold increase in burglaries in the resort where the McCanns had been staying, peaking in April 2007. Madeleine disappeared in May 2007. Two of the burglaries took place in April in the apartment block where the McCann family was staying. In both of the April burglaries entry was gained via a window.

Madeleine was just days away from her fourth birthday when she vanished from her hotel room bed while her parents dined at a nearby restaurant. Her parents, Kate and Gerry McCann, were immediately named suspects by Portuguese police, but were eventually cleared.

For the past seven years since her disappearance, the McCanns have campaigned to keep her name and picture in the news, most recently making a heartfelt plea to anyone who has any information on her disappearance on Britain's version of America's most wanted late last year. The show featured a re-enactment of the most detailed sequence of events the night she went missing, generating more than 300 phone calls and 170 emails with specific lines of inquiry relating to Maddie's case.

Last July, when Scotland Yard decided to move from a review to an investigation, Metropolitan Police Detective Chief Inspector Andy Redwood said he believed there is a possibility she is alive.

"There is no clear, definitive proof that Madeleine McCann is dead, so on that basis I still genuinely believe that there is a possibility that she is alive," Redwood said.

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

Transcript of short video

By Nigel Moore

Josh Elliott: Overseas, a new development in the nearly seven year mystery surrounding British girl Maddie McCann's disappearance. Scotland Yard detectives are now reportedly asking Portuguese authorities - where Maddie disappeared on a family vacation - to help interview three burglars in the area, the night she vanished.

Madeleine McCann case used as reason not to jail over-the-limit crash mum who'd left five-year-old home alone, 13 January 2014
Madeleine McCann case used as reason not to jail over-the-limit crash mum who'd left five-year-old home alone South Wales Evening Post

By Rarken | Posted: January 13, 2014

 Madeleine McCann, who disappeared from a holiday resort in Portugal
Madeleine McCann, who disappeared from a holiday resort in Portugal

Bronnie-May Dunn, whose car was hit by the over-the-limit mum
Bronnie-May Dunn, whose car was hit by the over-the-limit mum

A MUM left her five-year-old son who had Asperger’s Syndrome home alone at night - but was caught after a road rage row with another driver.

The professional woman was over the limit when she went out for a drive leaving her little boy asleep on the settee.

She crashed into a car at traffic lights - and when police went to her home they found the "vulnerable" little boy all alone.

The woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, admitted child neglect and was facing a jail term.

But her lawyer pleaded for her freedom - because Kate and Gerry McCann were never prosecuted for leaving daughter Madeleine alone in their holiday apartment.

A court heard the mother had been drinking heavily when she drove to a supermarket cashpoint shortly before midnight.

On the way back she smashed into the rear of a car being driven by swimming coach Bronnie-May Dunn, 21, who had stopped at a red traffic light.

Miss Dunn suffered head injuries in the crash but the drunken mum shouted at her: "That was your f***ing fault."

The airbags on the woman's Ford Mondeo were inflated but she sped off, leaving Miss Dunn injured in her car.

Police followed the woman home to arrest her but she told them: "I can’t be arrested, my son is in the house and he’s only five."

Prosecutor Stephen Head said: "Sure enough, when police went into the house they found the five-year-old boy asleep under a blanket on the settee.

"She told police she had driven to the cashpoint to get money to buy herself a takeaway meal and had left the little boy with her niece.

"But her niece was not in the house and her son, who has Asperger’s syndrome, was all alone."

Magistrates at Merthyr Tydfil heard the woman, who was held in high regard by her employer, was more than two-and-a-half times the drink drive limit.

Mr Head told the court: "She told police she left the scene of the accident because she wanted to get back to her son."

Probation officer Graham Craig said the little boy, an only child, was "extremely vulnerable" because of his Asperger’s Syndrome.

Mr Craig said: "His mother accepts full responsibility and knows that a potentially catastrophic situation could have developed at home while she was out.

"She accepts making a series of poor decisions and that alcohol was a factor."

Gareth Morgan, defending, asked the magistrates not to impose a custodial sentence saying the woman had not touched a drop of alcohol since the night she left her son alone last October 30.

He said: "The parents of Madeleine McCann were guilty of child neglect for leaving their little girl much longer than my client.

"They were never prosecuted for it.

"The mother in this case is ashamed and remorseful at putting her young child at risk in the way she did."

The woman, who can not be identified for legal reasons, admitted child neglect, drink driving and leaving the scene of an accident.

She was given a 12-month supervision order, ordered to carry out 120 hours unpaid work and told to attend 15 sessions on a thinking skills course.

She was also banned from driving for 22 months.

The court heard she had been suspended from the her job and was expecting to be dismissed at a disciplinary hearing after 14 year’s employment.

The crash victim, Miss Dunn, suffered a head injury and whiplash when the woman hit her at traffic lights.

Miss Dunn said after the case: "I couldn't believe it when she hit me from behind then drove off with her air bags inflated.

"I was off work for a while with head injuries but I think the most important person in all this is her little boy.

"The road accident led to the authorities discovering she had left her vulnerable five-year-old boy alone at night."

PJ denies the presence of British policemen in Portugal investigating the Maddie case, 13 January 2014
PJ denies the presence of British policemen in Portugal investigating the Maddie case Renascença

The British press says that officers from the Scotland Yard are in Portugal to question suspects and that there may be detentions soon.

13-01-2014 15:25 by Celso Paiva Sol
With thanks to Astro for translation

Madeleine McCann

The Judiciary Police is unaware of the presence of British policemen in Portugal that are working on the Maddie case. If that were true, the PJ says, it would have mandatorily been informed.

Contacted by Renascença [Radio], a source at the Judiciary Police's National Directory thus denies the news from "Sky News" television, according to which at this moment there are Scotland Yard officers in Portugal to question three suspects of involvement in the English child's disappearance.

The same source asserts that there was no request for permission for the entry of foreign policemen into Portugal and that this is a competence that belongs solely to the Judiciary's National Director.

According to "Sky News", representatives of Scotland Yard are in Portugal to question three men who at the time of the little English girl's disappearance were in the same region and were responsible for some residential burglaries. By all indications, the three men's phone records show that they made numerous calls among them that night.

A police spokeswoman confirms that a letter was sent, requesting the cooperation of Portuguese authorities in this matter, but did not reveal any details. The English police does not have the power to act alone in Portugal.

The English child, then aged three, disappeared from a bedroom in a tourist resort in Praia da Luz, in the Algarve, in May 2007, while her parents were dining in a restaurant in the vicinity.

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

[Note: There is no report by Sky News, or elsewhere in the British press, that states Scotland Yard officers are currently in Portugal to interview the alleged three burglars.]

Madeleine McCann Police Hunt Three Burglars, 13 January 2014
Madeleine McCann Police Hunt Three Burglars Sky News

8:04pm UK, Monday 13 January 2014

British detectives want Portuguese police to interview three burglars whose phones were 'red hot' after Madeleine went missing.

Sky News video screenshot: Martin Brunt, 13 January 2014

British police investigating Madeleine McCann's disappearance are targeting three burglars whose phones were "red hot" after she went missing, Sky News has confirmed.

Metropolitan Police detectives want Portuguese investigators to interview the three men, who were in the area when the three-year-old disappeared.

Sky News Crime Correspondent Martin Brunt said mobile phone records show the men made numerous calls to each other in the hours after Madeleine vanished while on a family holiday in Praia da Luz in May 2007.

He said: "Scotland Yard detectives, among many other things they did as part of their review of the Portuguese case, have examined mobile phone traffic and what's emerged is that there was an extensive use of mobile phones by these three individuals in the minutes and hours after Madeleine disappeared.

"They were suspected of burgling one or more apartments in the block where Madeleine and her family were on holiday in the days before her disappearance.

"Madeleine went missing and within minutes the phones of these suspects were 'red hot' - they were talking to each other an awful lot.

Madeleine's parents say the move 'could be a significant new lead'

"Investigators have no idea what they were saying to each other. There are no recordings of the phone conversations, but the activity was such that it's raised suspicions."

Officers confirmed that the Crown Prosecution Service had sent an International Letter of Request to ­Portuguese authorities on behalf of the Metropolitan Police.

The letter effectively requests that Portuguese police track down the three men and either arrest them or ask them to explain the mobile phone calls made on the night Madeleine disappeared.

They are thought to have been living in the Algarve in 2007, but it is not clear whether they are still in the area.

A spokesman for Madeleine's parents, Kate and Gerry McCann, told the Daily Mirror: "Whether the Portuguese will co-operate remains to be seen. It is a very sensitive issue with differences they have had.

"Police want to be given a chance to arrest key suspects. It doesn't prove they have Madeleine, but it will rule them in or out of the investigation and that is i­mportant.

The little girl vanished from this holiday apartment in May 2007

"Kate and Gerry don't want to build up their hopes too high, but they realise it could be a significant new lead."

Any arrests would be the first since the Met set up Operation Grange in 2011 to review Madeleine's disappearance.

It is claimed that days before the little girl vanished, the gang raided another holiday flat in the Algarve resort, disturbing a child.

The ­youngster's parents reportedly interrupted the burglars, who fled.

Madeleine vanished from her holiday apartment while her parents were dining in a tapas bar 90 yards away.

Portuguese police reopened their investigation last year, more than three years after it was shelved.

It is running in parallel with the Metropolitan Police inquiry, but the Met commissioner has called for the two forces to work together as one team.

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

Transcript

By Nigel Moore

Martin Brunt: It's long been known that there were burglars targeting the apartments, errm... in the block where Madeleine and her family were staying but what's emerged from extensive study of mobile phone traffic in the area, and we're talking about thousands of phones around the time Madeleine vanished, what's emerged is that there were three phones that police believe they've identified, belonging to three of those burglary suspects, three of those phones, in the minutes after Madeleine vanished, on the night of 3rd of May, were used, errr... extensively.

It appears, from what Scotland Yard has discovered, that three phones were used to phone each other many, many times in the minutes, and then in the hours, after Madeleine disappeared. Errr... Police believe they know who those phones belong to; three local Portuguese men. They believe they were part of a larger gang that were targeting the apartments, so a very strong theory now is, and it's not the only theory, a very strong theory is that Madeleine may have woken up while these men were burgling the apartment and those men reacted with a crime that had gone wrong. Reacted in a way that led to Madeleine's disappearance.

Now, the problem for Scotland Yard is that they don't have the authority to go and arrest and interview those men themselves; those suspects. So, last week, through the Crown Prosecutors, errr... in London, a letter was sent to the Portuguese authorities asking them to go and question those men. They could be arrested, they could be questioned in some other way, and it is possible that they could at the end of this process be eliminated from the inquiries but Scotland Yard, errr... at the moment see them as three key potential suspects, who need to be questioned.

Madeleine: Portuguese officials await UK request for help, 13 January 2014
Madeleine: Portuguese officials await UK request for help The Portugal News

BY BRENDAN DE BEER · 13-01-2014 21:14:00

The Portuguese Attorney General's Office has this evening confirmed it has received a 'note' from UK officials, revealing that it is now expecting a "request for judicial help" in the investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann.

DCI Andy Redwood

Portuguese authorities explained that they were yet to receive a formal request, but "when that happens, it will be analysed and duly carried out."

A PJ official in Lisbon added this evening that the execution of any rogatory letter or request to investigate by the Attorney-General's Office on behalf of British police will have to comply with Portuguese criminal procedure, which will govern the detention of suspects for the purposes of subsequent interrogation.

Earlier Monday, the Daily Mirror reported that British police are poised to make the first arrests in the case.

According to the tabloid, Scotland Yard want to quiz three burglars who carried out raids in the Portuguese resort when the three-year-old vanished.

"They hope to speak to the thieves after mobile phone records showed the men made numerous calls to each other in the hours after she disappeared", the daily said.

A spokesman for Madeleine's parents Kate and Gerry told the Daily Mirror: "The letter is a significant development. It is necessary for British police to request the ­Portuguese authorities allow them to operate on their turf.

"It means they have the intention of arresting and interviewing X, Y or Z. We don't know who they have their sights on but it's likely it is the burglars.

"Whether the Portuguese will co-operate remains to be seen. It is a very sensitive issue with differences they have had.

"Police want to be given a chance to arrest key suspects. It doesn't prove they have Madeleine but it will rule them in or out of the investigation and that is i­mportant.

"Kate and Gerry don't want to build up their hopes too high but they realise it could be a significant new lead."

An inquiry source also reportedly told the Daily Mirror: "Portuguese police attached no ­significance to the burglary at the time. British officers regard this as an oversight."

Madeleine's parents are accused of child neglect, 14 January 2014
Madeleine's parents are accused of child neglect Daily Mirror (paper edition)

 
Daily Mirror, 14 January 2014

 

Lawyer sparks outrage: See page 9

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

Madeleine McCann: Lawyer says 'Kate and Gerry McCann guilty of neglect for leaving her - and they weren't charged' Daily Mirror

By Adam Aspinall | Jan 14, 2014 00:00

Gareth Morgan made the shocking claim while acting for a drink-driving mum who left her five-year-old son, who has Asperger syndrome, home alone at night

Search agony: Gerry and Kate McCann with image of how Maddie might look today
Search agony: Gerry and Kate McCann with image of how Maddie might look today

A lawyer accused Madeleine McCann's parents of child neglect as he defended his own client in an "outrageous" courtroom speech.

Gareth Morgan made the shocking claim while acting for a drink-driving mum who left her five-year-old son, who has Asperger syndrome, home alone at night.

Yesterday a friend of Kate and Gerry McCann, both 45, blasted the comparison as ­"insensitive and plain wrong".

The mum, 44, was caught after she crashed into a car at traffic lights. When the police went to her home they found the "extremely vulnerable" boy there.

The woman, who cannot be named, admitted neglect and was spared jail. But Mr Morgan pleaded for her freedom on the basis that Kate and Gerry McCann were never prosecuted for leaving daughter Madeleine alone in their holiday flat.

He told magistrates in Merthyr Tydfil, South Wales: "The parents of Madeleine McCann were guilty of child neglect for leaving their little girl much longer than my client. They were never prosecuted.

"The mother in this case is ashamed and remorseful at putting her young child at risk in the way she did."

The McCanns left three-year-old Madeleine in their apartment in Portugal's Praia da Luz while they dined with friends at a nearby tapas bar in May 2007.

Last night a close pal of the couple, of Rothley, Leics, said: "The comments are insensitive and plain wrong. Kate and Gerry will be furious. The circumstances are totally different and not comparable.

"If Kate and Gerry were guilty of child neglect, and they were absolutely not, they would have been dealt with. As it is, there are two police inquiries in two different countries trying to find out what happened to Madeleine, and comments made by a lawyer in an unrelated case is offensive, outrageous and inaccurate.

"It is his opinion, but it is a disgrace that a defence lawyer is commenting on Kate and Gerry in this way. They will not be happy about that."

Merthyr Tydfil magistrates heard the mum was more than two-and-a-half times the limit when she drove to a supermarket cashpoint shortly before midnight.

On the way back she smashed into the rear of a car being driven by Bronnie-May Dunn, 21, who had stopped at a red traffic light.

Miss Dunn suffered head injuries in the crash but the woman shouted at her: "That was your f****** fault."

Police followed the woman home but she told them: "I can't be arrested, my son is in the house and he's only five."

Prosecutor Stephen Head said: "Sure enough, when police went into the house they found the boy asleep under a blanket on the settee."

The woman pleaded guilty to child neglect, drink-driving and leaving an accident. She got a 12-month supervision order, was ordered to carry out 120 hours' unpaid work and told to attend a course. She was also banned from driving for 22 months.

Probation officer Graham Craig said: "His mother accepts full responsibility and knows a potentially catastrophic situation could have developed while she was out."

The McCanns would not be drawn on Mr Morgan's claim last night. Spokesman Clarence Mitchell said: "We will not comment on details in a court case." Mr Morgan could not be reached.

Meanwhile, British police hunting for Madeleine are poised to make their first arrests. They are heading to the Algarve and want to quiz three burglars behind raids in Praia da Luz. Records show the men made numerous calls to each other after she disappeared.

Daily Mirror, paper edition, page 9: 'Maddie's parents were guilty of child neglect for leaving her alone & they weren't charged', 14 January 2014

Daily Mirror, paper edition,  January 2014

Sky News: Newspaper Review, 14 January 2014
Sky News: Newspaper Review Sky News Sunrise

 
Sky News: Newspaper Review, 14 January 2014

14 January 2014
With thanks to A Miller for transcript

Eamonn Holmes, presenter (above, far left), and Sarah Churchwell, writer and critic (above, far right), discuss the morning newspapers.

Eamonn Holmes: On the subject of children, the Madeleine McCann case, errm... and a police development here. What is that?

Sarah Churchwell: Well this is a story that the police, the, errr... British Police, might well be in a position to make arrests in... in the Madeleine McCann case which, you know, seven years after her disappearance is quite extraordinary.

Errm... The story is, that there were... that there was apparently a ring of burglars operating in the area, who were using mobile phones in order to co-ordinate their break-ins and that that might give them, errr... you know, errr... material and evidence to work with. So the story is that they might be arresting these burglars in order to interview them.

I think the... the question that it leaves one with though... I mean, it leaves one with several questions, but one of which is - if in fact these burglars were operating in the area and there is mobile phone evidence of this - how on earth does it take seven years for them to put that together?

I mean I know there's been questions about whether the Portuguese Police are going to be co-operating with the Met, and there are other reasons why maybe it didn't... it didn’t happen as quickly as one would hope, but the idea that seven years later there might be material evidence finally being brought to light seems to me quite extraordinary.

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

[Note: There was no interjection or comment from Eamonn Holmes, as usually happens during the morning review of the newspapers. When Sarah Churchwell had finished speaking the subject was immediately dropped.]

UK authorities looking into 3 people in Madeleine McCann disappearance, 14 January 2014
UK authorities looking into 3 people in Madeleine McCann disappearance CNN

By Erin McLaughlin and Isa Soares, CNN
January 14, 2014 -- Updated 1407 GMT (2207 HKT)

London (CNN) -- After a renewed push for leads in the case of missing British girl Madeleine McCann, authorities in the United Kingdom are turning to Portuguese officials for help.

A letter sent by the Crown Prosecution Services to authorities in Portugal on Friday is requesting permission to conduct interviews in connection with the girl's 2007 disappearance from her family's holiday villa in the resort town of Praia da Luz.

Pedro do Carmo, the deputy national director of the Judiciary Police in Portugal, said Portuguese authorities have not yet received the letter, but he noted the latest lines in the Scotland Yard investigation focus on three people. Do Carmo declined to provide the nationalities of those three people, who he said have not been detained.

The development in the case comes roughly three months after new police sketches were released of potential suspects and UK police appeared in a TV appeal for information.

The program prompted a flurry of tips, and police in Portugal announced that same month that they would reopen the case.

Madeleine was 3 when she disappeared while she was on holiday with her family in June 2007. Her disappearance prompted headlines worldwide.

The two police forces' investigations have run in parallel since October. Do Carmo said Portuguese police have been in constant contact with authorities in the UK.

Detectives have been investigating a spike in break-ins in the area in the weeks before Madeleine disappeared, two of them in the same block where her family was staying.

Expert downplays pending arrests in McCann case, 14 January 2014
Expert downplays pending arrests in McCann case USA Today

 

The expected arrests in the disappearance of Madeleine McCann that British media are calling imminent are being "overplayed," a former police detective with extensive experience of high-profile investigations has told USA TODAY. VPC

Kim Hjelmgaard, USA TODAY | 11:02 a.m. EST January 14, 2014 [16:02 p.m. GMT]

LONDON — The expected arrests in the disappearance of Madeleine McCann that British media are calling imminent are being "overplayed," a former police detective with extensive experience of high-profile investigations has told USA TODAY.

"This isn't a major breakthrough. This is a significant piece of information about three individuals who need to be eliminated (from police investigations)," Mark Williams Thomas, who has won awards for his investigative reporting, said Tuesday.

"Burglars don't abduct children," Thomas said. "Child abusers abduct, pedophiles abduct, but if you are in an area burglarizing a house looking for items you are not looking to take a child. In terms of who these individuals are, they are likely to be questioned about what they may have seen as witnesses," he said.

"I doubt very much they will be viewed as suspects," Thomas said. "To call them 'suspects' at this point is overplaying it by far."

Late Monday, several media outlets in the United Kingdom, including the Guardian and Daily Mirror, citing an unidentified spokesman for Kate and Gerry McCann — Madeleine's parents — reported that police in Portugal were ready to arrest and interview "key suspects" connected to alleged robberies in the area where the then 3-year-old Madeleine was taken in the case that has captivated global attention for years.

British investigators, who last year re-launched their own investigation into Madeleine's 2007 disappearance from a resort in Portugal, confirmed Monday they sent a letter of request to Portuguese authorities but would not elaborate on its contents.

Two of the burglaries took place in April 2007 in the apartment block where the McCann family was staying, ABC reported from London. In both of the April burglaries, entry was gained via a window. One theory is that Madeleine was also abducted after access to the family's vacation rental was gained through a window.

However, Thomas, who as a police officer specialized in child protection cases, said Tuesday, "These individuals may have information but as far as a breakthrough? No." More importantly, he said, they need to be ruled out.

"What happens now is very much down to what the authorities in Portugal decide to do next," he said.

Contributing: William M. Welch

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

Video screenshots

Rachel Bagley

Messages for Madeleine

Quote from Mark Williams-Thomas

Message for Madeleine

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

Transcript of video

By Nigel Moore

Rachel Bagley: (to camera) The first arrests since police reopened the investigation into Madeleine McCann's disappearance could give police and Madeleine's family new information.

Rachel Bagley: (voice over) British police are reportedly eyeing three alleged burglars who broke into the Portuguese resort where the McCanns were staying, weeks before the three-year-old disappeared in 2007.

Scotland Yard would not elaborate on the details of a letter they sent to Portuguese authorities but the Daily Mail reports phone records show the alleged thieves called each other hours after McCann went missing.

But high-profile security expert, Mark Williams-Thomas, tells USA Today the arrests may not be a major breakthrough, saying: "To call them 'suspects' at this point is overplaying it by far."

Thomas believes police are interested in ruling these people out of their investigation, or questioning them as witnesses.

A spokesman for McCanns' parents told the Daily Mirror: "Kate and Gerry don't want to build up their hopes too high but they realize it could be a significant new lead."

Police to make arrests in Madeleine McCann case, 14 January 2014
Police to make arrests in Madeleine McCann case Today

TODAY | January 14, 2014

British police are nearing their first arrests in the disappearance of toddler Madeleine McCann, the 3-year old who vanished from her parents’ apartment in Portugal seven years ago.

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

Video screenshots

Today video: Keir Simmons, 14 January 2014

Today video: Savannah Guthrie and Keir Simmons, 14 January 2014

Today video: Savannah Guthrie with Lisa Bloom, 14 January 2014

Today video: Lisa Bloom, 14 January 2014

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

Transcript


By Nigel Moore

Matt Lauer: Meanwhile, let's begin this half hour with a break, possibly, in the nearly seven year old disappearance of Madeleine McCann. This morning, British police are reportedly close to making several arrests. NBC's Keir Simmons is in London. Keir, what can you tell us?

Keir Simmons: Hey, Matt, good morning. You know, I've reported on the disappearance of Madeleine McCann since the first few days she went missing; this does feel like a significant development. At the very least, detectives here at Scotland Yard want the opportunity to rule out their latest theory for Madeleine's parents, who've now spent more time searching for her than the time they've spent with her.

- Video report over archive footage

Keir Simmons: [voice over] Madeleine McCann, a bright, 3-year-old girl; this year will be her 11th birthday. And now, almost seven years since she went missing on vacation, there may be a breakthrough. British papers reporting that detectives want to make the first arrests, targeting three men from a gang suspected of breaking into Madeleine's apartment in Portugal. In a UK television appeal, "Crimewatch," mum Kate relived the moment she discovered Madeleine gone.

Kate McCann: [Crimewatch] ...the curtains - that I say, that were closed - just kind of 'whoooosh!' And then I could see that the window had been pushed right over...

Keir Simmons: [voice over] The British police theory, according to reports, that a simple burglary went wrong.

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

Keir Simmons: [voice over] NBC news has confirmed that British prosecutors have contacted Portugal asking for assistance from detectives there, reportedly requesting the arrests. Previously, detectives have said cell phone data from the time Madeleine disappeared forms part of the evidence. The family saying last year they're relieved to see some progress.

Gerry McCann: [archive footage] They're doing all the things that we said needed to be done, which is...

Keir Simmons: [voice over] They've gained strength from stories like Jaycee Lee Dugard, found after going missing for 18 years. Madeleine's bedroom, even after all this time, is still ready for her to come home.

Kate McCann: [archive footage] Sometimes I can just go into Madeleine's room and sit down and I don't even have to talk.

Keir Simmons: [voice over] This was one of the last pictures of Madeleine; smiling. Her parents still praying they'll see her again soon.

- End of video report

Keir Simmons: And this is a tricky case. There is tension between detectives in Portugal and detectives, errr... here in London. In the end, Savannah, this is about one police force asking another police force to do something, but really it's about a little girl. And what these parents are going through, it's just unimaginable.

Savannah Guthrie: It is, indeed, and unfathomable. Keir Simmons, thank you.

Let's turn to Lisa Bloom, she's today's legal analyst. Good morning to you, Lisa. Do you think this looks promising? I mean, do you assume they're looking to arrest three people, that the British police have something more than what the Portuguese authorities apparently had on these guys seven years ago.

Lisa Bloom: Well, an arrest in this case may just mean to question these three men, and certainly they should be questioned. I'm assuming that investigators will want to separate them. You know, phone records can tell us not only the length and number of calls, but the location of the calls. So, I think investigators want to put together a timeline, separate these guys, see if their stories add up and look for inconsistencies.

Savannah Guthrie: Every time I look at this case, I just think, uhhhh, the passage of time, seven years. How do you build a case with all that time elapsed. I mean, do you assume they're going to try and get these guys to spill the beans on one another?

Lisa Bloom: Well, this looks like a completely different legal theory than we'd always assumed, right? We'd always assumed that she was abducted perhaps by a child molester or by a predator. In this case, it looks as though burglars may have sought to come into that house to rob it. Perhaps she interrupted the burglary, or she was a witness to it, and that's why she was taken.

Savannah Guthrie: What are the legal and the diplomatic hurdles that the British police have with the Portuguese authorities. As Keir just mentioned, our reporter in London, there is some tension there.

Lisa Bloom: Well, absolutely. I mean, why weren't these three men talked to seven years ago when this poor little girl disappeared? Maybe they were, maybe the investigation wasn't adequate. So, this is a touchy situation but bottom line is, the UK wants to protect its own citizens even when they're on vacation in another country.

Savannah Guthrie: Well, we hope for the parents sake that there is some development that gives them some peace. Lisa, thank you very much, appreciate.

New leads in Madeleine McCann case, 15 January 2014
New leads in Madeleine McCann case CNN

Anderson Cooper 360 | Added on January 15, 2014

CNN's Gary Tuchman takes us through what we've learned about the final, crucial hours before Madeleine McCann vanished.

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

Transcript

By Nigel Moore

Gary Tuchman: (voice over) This is the last place three-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. This exclusive video is the first we've seen inside the resort's grounds. Madeleine's mum says the little girl told her it was the best day she'd ever had. This smiling picture would be the last taken of Madeleine before she vanished just hours later.

Gary Tuchman: (to camera) Much of what the police know is still a mystery to us, in part because of a Portuguese law which makes it illegal to talk about a current investigation. But details of that night have emerged and could hold the key to the case. Through various reports, here's what we've learned.

Gary Tuchman: (voice over) Around 6 o'clock that evening, Kate and Gerry McCann say they took Madeleine and their two-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 in a room laid out like this one.

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: (archive footage, ITN/25 May 2007) 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.

Gary Tuchman: (voice over) The restaurant is located within the resort, like when Susan Cooper rented the unit right next door to where the McCanns stayed. The Cooper's don't know the McCanns but let us out on their balcony to see that the tapas bar is within eyesight of the apartment but...

[question directed to Mr Cooper] if someone was crying inside this apartment would you hear them at the restaurant?

Mr Cooper: (assertively) No.

Gary Tuchman: (voice over) 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 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.

Gary Tuchman: (to camera) At around 9:30 one of the McCanns' friends came back to the apartment to check on the children but apparently just listened at the door.

30 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:

Trish Cameron: (archive footage, ITN/May 4, 2007) He said that Madeleine had been abducted. She's not the type of wee girl to wander off. Errm... They'd been checking every half an hour on the children.

Gary Tuchman: (voice over) Kate McCann returned to the table screaming that Madeleine had been taken.

Gerry McCann: (archive footage, August 7, 2007) ...from the minute we discovered Madeleine missing, and the police were called very early on, errm... we alerted them al... you know, almost immediately.

Gary Tuchman:
(voice over) 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.

John Hill: [Manager, Ocean Club] (archive footage, May 4, 2007) ...and we tried to do a strategic search from the right hand side of the village across through to the left.

Gary Tuchman: (voice over) But there was no sign of missing Madeleine

Kate McCann: (archive footage, May 7, 2007) Please, please, do not hurt her. Please don't scare her. Please tell us where to find her or pla... put her in a place of safety and let somebody know where she is. We beg you to let Madeleine come home.

Gary Tuchman:
(voice over) Rumours have been rampant. Facts scarce. Those final hours of May 3rd 2007 remain a mystery, except to the person, or persons, who harmed Madeleine McCann.

Gary Tuchman, CNN, Praia da Luz, Portugal.

Ed Smart discusses possible break in Madeleine McCann case, 16 January 2014
Ed Smart discusses possible break in Madeleine McCann case CNN

VIDEO DELETED

January 16th, 2014 12:20 AM ET

Losing a child is every parent's worst nightmare. Ed Smart's daughter survived her 2002 kidnapping. The parents of Madeleine McCann have been holding out hope for nearly seven years. Now there is a possible break in the case. Ed Smart talks to Anderson about what the McCann family is going through.

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

By Nigel Moore

Anderson Cooper: ...at these possible new leads in the case, I mean, I cannot imagine how hard it must be for the McCanns to... to have to go through this kind of... raising of hopes every couple of years. How does a parent of a missing child deal with something like that?

Ed Smart: Well, you know, I think that to have something significant come on, it puts you into this kind of rollercoaster mode where you have this great hope that you're going to have something happen because I believe that... that the not knowing is worse than anything else. And certainly they've waited a number of years and, errr... so this could be very significant. I think though that they're... they're being optimistically... you know, just taking it easy, and not getting their hopes up too high just because emotionally it's... it's this rollercoaster that goes way up and then it can go way down, and so to get your hopes up too high, errr... you know, you try to get to a point where you're not doing that too much.

Anderson Cooper: You've said in the past that parents immediately have a feeling that their child is either out there or not. I know you've spoken to the... to the McCanns in the past, they've always thought Madeleine was... was still out there somewhere. Do you... do you think... I mean, is that what keeps them motivated, is that what keeps people going?

Ed Smart: Absolutely, errr... I believe that they still believe Ma, errr... Madeleine is still out there and that they... you know, trying to keep momentum in the investigation going is something that is very difficult. So keeping, errm... whatever awareness tools you can, is... is so important to them, and to any parent who has a... a missing child but I believe that this is... is something that, you know, you get to the point, at least in our case, you know, we started getting positive feedback and... and it was like there was some light at the end of the tunnel. You know, this is one of those 'Ah-ha' moments that, errr... you know, I hope for them that it does turn out to be that way.

Anderson Cooper: You... you make the point also that the fact that both British and Portuguese police are... are so cooperative, that's a positive sign for the parents. Their... their involvement in keeping the case alive is... is critical.

Ed Smart: It is, errr... you know, for law enforcement agencies to work together, that is absolutely critical and, you know, that's one thing that I believe here in the United States we've improved so much on, so for them I hope that... that law enforcement agencies are really working together because obviously it's critical in finding out whether these burglars, errr... have anything to do with this. But it certainly sounds somewhat hopeful to me.

Anderson Cooper: Does... I mean, as a parent do you ever get to the point where... where you just want to know one way or the other? Whether... I mean, I've heard parents in the past say: 'Look, I just wanna know. I just wanna know, I mean, whether my child is... is alive or... or dead. I just, you know, and I just want them to... to come back home, one way or the other'.

Ed Smart: I think that that is very important, errm... the not knowing is, as I said, is the worst thing out there, errm... you know, certainly if you know one way or the other you can deal with it; in this state of limbo you're just... your mind gets going: 'Where's my child?', 'What are they going through?' 'How can, errr... What can I do?', 'What can I do to help find them?' and so the not knowing I believe is the worst position a parent finds them... themselves in. So, for the McCanns, I... I hope that this is going to be a very positive, errr... a positive tip.

Cooper Anderson: Yeah, well I think everybody hopes that as well.

UK media reports arrests imminent in Madeleine McCann case, 16 January 2014
UK media reports arrests imminent in Madeleine McCann case The Portugal News

BY BRENDAN DE BEER · 16-01-2014 14:27:00

Following reports that the first arrests in the Madeleine McCann case were imminent the Portuguese Attorney General's Office this week said it received a 'note' from UK officials, adding that it is now expecting a "request for judicial help" in the investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann.

Kate and Gerry McCann

Portuguese authorities explained that they were yet to receive a formal request, but "when that happens, it will be analysed and duly carried out." Details of the request were not revealed.

British newspapers have been reporting that police were poised to make three arrests in the case, with at least one of these suspects being Portuguese.

A PJ official in Lisbon added this week that the execution of any rogatory letter or request to investigate by the Attorney-General's Office on behalf of British police will have to comply with Portuguese criminal procedure, which will govern the detention of suspects for the purposes of subsequent interrogation.

Earlier Monday, the Daily Mirror reported that British police were on the verge of making the first arrests in the case.

According to the tabloid, Scotland Yard want to quiz three burglars who carried out raids in the Portuguese resort when the three-year-old vanished.

"They hope to speak to the thieves after mobile phone records showed the men made numerous calls to each other in the hours after she disappeared", the daily said.

A spokesman for Madeleine's parents Kate and Gerry also told the Daily Mirror: "The letter is a significant development. It is necessary for British police to request the Portuguese authorities allow them to operate on their turf.

"It means they have the intention of arresting and interviewing X, Y or Z. We don't know who they have their sights on but it's likely it is the burglars.

"Whether the Portuguese will co-operate remains to be seen. It is a very sensitive issue with differences they have had.

"Police want to be given a chance to arrest key suspects. It doesn't prove they have Madeleine but it will rule them in or out of the investigation and that is important.

"Kate and Gerry don't want to build up their hopes too high but they realise it could be a significant new lead."

An inquiry source also reportedly told the Daily Mirror: "Portuguese police attached no significance to the burglary at the time. British officers regard this as an oversight."

Portuguese authorities ordered the re-opening of the case into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann last October and immediately 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 last autumn 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."

Reports late last year indicated that the PJ Police, perhaps as a result of headway made following a Crimewatch programme on the BBC, felt they had enough new evidence to initiate an official line of enquiry that could include the questioning of persons of interest and possible suspects.

It is believed the PJ team in Oporto uncovered shortcomings in the initial investigation conducted by their counterparts in the Algarve and were now actively pursuing the theory that Madeleine McCann was abducted from a holiday apartment in Praia da Luz.

Helena Monteiro and her four-man team of detectives, who were handed the case due to their expertise and neutrality, having never worked on it before, are also reported to be keen on speaking to a number of people who were never questioned during the first investigation led by inspectors in the Algarve.

At the time, sources close to the case in Portugal told The Portugal News that they support the Portuguese review in that they hope it will conclude "an investigation which was ended while still in its infancy."

While Oporto detectives have been working on a review of existing evidence, six detectives from the PJ's branch in Faro have been assisting their colleagues from Scotland Yard in the ambit of an international co-operation request based on the issuing of rogatory letters. PJ police in Lisbon stressed in comments to The Portugal News that at this stage of the review, the PJ branches in Oporto and Faro are "working independently."

Met Police Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe has also in recent times admitted it would have been "very difficult" for officers in Praia da Luz to know whether they were dealing with a serious crime immediately after the little girl vanished. Speaking on LBC 97.3 radio, he said: "I think sometimes these things at the beginning can be very difficult to deal with, you don't know exactly if the child has just wandered off. It can be very difficult to know if you've got a very serious crime. I'm sure for them that must have been a challenge. Anybody can go back after two, three, five, six years and say 'why didn't you do that'? That's easy in hindsight. We don't like it when it happens to the Met, and I'm certainly not going to do it to the Portuguese. What I'm determined to do is to work together to make sure we've got the best chance to now try to get to the bottom of this terrible tragedy.

"There is a poor family there who've got the torture of not knowing whether their daughter is alive or not."

Madeleine McCann disappeared from Praia da Luz on 3 May 2007 from an apartment where she was sleeping with her younger twin brother and sister while her parents dined at a nearby restaurant.

21 January 2014 - The McCanns update their official Find Madeleine website with a statement that directly contradicts the information made public by DCI Andy Redwood and detailed on the Met's website:

Unidentified People of Interest to the Inquiry [update], 21 January 2014
Unidentified People of Interest to the Inquiry findmadeleine.com

 
Unidentified People of Interest to the Inquiry

Image detail from 'Unidentified People of Interest to the Inquiry' page
Image detail from 'Unidentified People of Interest to the Inquiry' page

 

21 January 2014

Text version of relevant section above:

Have you seen these men? Do you know who they might be?

These two pictures show a man carrying a child away from the family's apartment. This sighting was seen by a witness at 21:15 on the evening of Thursday, May 3rd, 2007.

Based or more recent information, the Metropolitan Police now believe this man may represent a guest at the Ocean Club who was carrying his daughter back to their apartment. However as it is not possible to be certain that these two men are actually the same person, if you have seen this man in the pictures or suspect who it may be, please contact the Metropolitan Police's OPERATION GRANGE on 0207 321 9251 (0044 207 321 9251 from outside the UK) or Operation.Grange@met.pnn.police.uk and/or the Find Madeleine team on +44 845 838 4699 or investigation@findmadeleine.com.

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

However, the Met's website states:

Man now identified by Operation Grange Met Police

Man now identified by Operation Grange

Man now identified by Operation Grange

Update on previous appeal

We believe we have identified the man who was seen by Jane Tanner carrying a child at about 21.15 near the apartment G5A. These images are the original sketch of that person made at the time together with a Met Police photo of the British holidaymaker who we have spoken to and is seen here wearing the clothes he believes he may have been wearing that evening. The images are: man holding child & man without child.

Was Madeleine McCann spotted in Earlston? 21 January 2014
Was Madeleine McCann spotted in Earlston? Border Telegraph

Published: 21 Jan 2014 09:00

DETAILS have emerged of a Borders police investigation into a possible sighting of Madeleine McCann at a petrol station in Earlston - three weeks after she was taken from a holiday apartment in the Algarve on May 3, 2007.

 
Madeleine McCann

It was one of several reported sightings of the three-year-old probed in the UK in the immediate aftermath of the youngster's unsolved disappearance.

Statements were taken from a forecourt attendant and the manager of the Rhymers Tower service station in Melrose Road.

These statements, along with those of investigating officers and CCTV stills, were sent to Leicestershire Police, which was co-ordinating the British probe under the codename Operation Task.

The documents were later forwarded to the Portuguese authorities which re-opened its investigation in October last year.

The files show that the possible sighting in Earlston came to light on the afternoon of Monday, May 28, 2007 when PC Gordon McCaa and a colleague, who had been on a local mobile patrol, stopped to buy fuel.

While at the pumps, PC McCaa was, according to his statement, approached by a member of the car sales staff who told him that the female forecourt attendant, who was working inside the shop, would "like a word with me regarding an incident in the premises several days earlier that was playing on her mind".

It transpired that the "incident" had occurred four days earlier – on Thursday, May 24.

In her statement, the female attendant recalled that, at about 3pm on that day, a man drove into the forecourt in a small silver car.

"There was a small girl in the car with him...she looked about four years old," said the witness. "He came into the shop and led the girl into the corridor beside the counter and I asked him what he was looking for.

"He answered 'the toilet' and ask if the ladies was a single cubicle...I answered 'yes' and he said that was what he was looking for.

"He took the girl into the toilets; they were there for about 15 minutes. I thought this was a long time and approached the door several times. I could not hear anything from within.

"After what seemed an unusually long time they came back out into the shop. Neither the child nor the man seemed distressed or flustered. The girl asked for sweets but he said 'no' and came to the counter with a carton of Ribena.

"The man was about 6 feet [tall], dark hair, wore tinted glasses which he removed when he came into the shop. Slim, light-skinned, 40-ish, he spoke with an American accent.

"The child was about four years old with bobbed dirty blonde hair and a fair complexion. She spoke with what I thought was an English accent although she only said 'sweets'.

"The man paid cash, did not buy anything else and did not bring anything in with him. He took the girl back to the car and I think, but cannot be sure, that he put her in the front seat. He sat in the car for a while before he drove away.

"I could not see the car registration number and intended to get it when he drove away. The shop got busy and I missed him driving off. I checked the toilet after they left. It was clean, nothing out of place and not even smelly.

"I do not think I would recognise either of them again."

The files reveal that the service station had a new security system from which the attendant was unable to capture video images. Thus PC McCaa and his colleague returned on Tuesday, May 29, and viewed the video images with the filling station manager who offered to copy them onto a CD Rom. But when the officers returned to their police station they found they could not play the disk.

Back at the service station the following day, the officers watched as the manager copied the images onto another four disks and signed a certificate of authentification.

The disks were then taken to to a special unit at divisional headquarters at Fettes in Edinburgh where the images were reformatted onto video, still CD images and four snapshot stills.

"Due to these images being captured in very compressed computer file format, the quality of image was found to be very poor and enlarging or enhancing the images to read vehicle registration numbers was not possible," reported PC McCaa.

Despite that setback, PC McCaa said the vehicle in question appeared to be a four-door silver or grey Toyota Corolla hatchback and he concluded: "The child in the images bears enough resemblance to Madeleine McCann to warrant further investigation."

The case, along with the evidence gathered by the two officers, was then passed on to the local CID which was liaising with Operation Task.

But the files reveal that further investigations drew a blank.

In a letter to Operation Task, Detective Constable Stephen Halls explained: "We have carried out searches of ANPR [automatic number plate recognition] for similar style vehicles in and around the area of the garage...unfortunately there are no positive results from this."

Also passed to the Leicestershire officers, although not included in the files, was correspondence from a woman of Hawick who claimed to be a medium.

"She made notes as they came to her whilst she was holding an image of Madeleine," reported DC Halls.

All this happened at a time when there was huge media coverage of Madeleine's disappearance – nine days before her fourth birthday - while holidaying with her parents Kate and Gerry and her younger twin siblings.

On the day before the possible sighting in Earlston, the Border Telegraph reported that local festival principals and mounted supporters had worn yellow ribbons – the symbol of the worldwide appeal for Madeleine's safe return – at the first rideouts of 2007.

New Malden man accused of 'stitching device in shorts' as part of international gambling ring is son of Met detective, 23 January 2014
New Malden man accused of 'stitching device in shorts' as part of international gambling ring is son of Met detective Surrey Comet

By Ross Logan, Chief Reporter | 10:14am Thursday 23rd January 2014 in Kingston

New Malden gambling ring accused's father is senior Madeleine McCann detective

The father of the man at the centre of an alleged Australian Open betting scam is a senior Metropolitan Police murder detective investigating the disappearance of Madeleine McCann.

Detective Inspector Tim Dobson, whose son Daniel, 22, has been charged with illegal gambling by sending information to a betting ring through a device stitched into his shorts, is a detective inspector of the Met’s Homicide Command.

DI Dobson is a member of the force’s ‘Gold Group’ dealing with the cold case review of Madeleine McCann’s disappearance.

Daniel Dobson is in Melbourne accused of helping gambling associates beat the time lag on TV images of the Australian Open.

He is accused of 'courtsiding' - taking advantage of delayed television coverage by transmitting live scores to a gambling syndicate in order to beat live betting odds.

He appeared last night in Australia alleged to have been one of six men part of a gambling ring.

The former Richard Challoner student currently works for a company called Sporting Data, which has fiercely defended its employee of any wrongdoing.

Madeleine McCann case: British investigators request Portugal interviews, 23 January 2014
Madeleine McCann case: British investigators request Portugal interviews CNN

By Isa Soares and Laura Smith-Spark, CNN
January 23, 2014 -- Updated 1300 GMT (2100 HKT)

Madeleine McCann disappeared while on vacation with her family in the Portuguese resort town of Praia da Luz in 2007.

Madeleine McCann disappeared while on vacation with her family in the Portuguese resort town of Praia da Luz in 2007.

(CNN)
-- Authorities in Portugal have received a letter from British prosecutors asking to interview people there in connection with the 2007 disappearance of Madeleine McCann, the authorities told CNN on Thursday.

The letter was sent on January 10 by Britain's Crown Prosecution Service, amid a renewed push to find the British girl who disappeared while on vacation with her family in the Portuguese resort town of Praia da Luz.

She was 3 years old at the time, and the case prompted headlines around the world.

The latest developments in the case come about three months after new police sketches were released of potential suspects and UK police appeared in a TV appeal for information.

The program prompted a flurry of tips, and police in Portugal announced in October that they would reopen the case. Since then, the Portuguese investigation has run in parallel with the British one.

Pedro do Carmo, the deputy national director of the Judiciary Police in Portugal, said last week that the Scotland Yard investigation was focused on three people but did not give further details.

Police send letter requesting information in Madeleine investigation, 23 January 2014
Police send letter requesting information in Madeleine investigation ITV News

Emma Murphy: Europe Correspondent

1:32pm, Thu 23 Jan 2014

The Portuguese Attorney General has confirmed to ITV News that an International Letter of Request has now been received from detectives investigating the disappearance of Madeleine McCann.

Joana Marques Vidal said the letter from officers at the Metropolitan Police has now been passed to a Portuguese court for consideration.

Emma Murphy: Europe Correspondent

 

Madeleine McCann's parents Gerry and Kate McCann. Credit: PA Wire

Two weeks ago officers involved in Operation Grange, the code-name for the British investigation, confirmed they had asked colleagues in the Algarve for assistance.

It is thought they want to speak to a number of men about a large number phone calls they made in the area on the night the child vanished.

Emma Murphy: Europe Correspondent

Madeleine McCann went missing in Praia da Luz, Portugal in 2007. Credit: PA Wire

It was reported the three were known burglars. Under Portuguese law British officers have to go through local police in order to gain information for their investigation if those involved are based in Portugal.

English ask Portugal for help in Maddie case investigations, 23 January 2014
English ask Portugal for help in Maddie case investigations Renascença

The child, then aged three, disappeared from a bedroom at a tourist resort in Praia da Luz, in the Algarve, in May 2007.

23-01-2014 15:19
With thanks to Astro for translation

Kate and Gerry McCann

The Attorney General's Office (PGR) revealed this Thursday that it received a request for judiciary assistance from the British authorities to carry out investigations in Portugal about the disappearance of the English child Madeleine McCann, in May of 2007, in the Algarve.

The information that was sent to Lusa agency mentions that "the PGR received the original of the request for assistance from the British authorities", and then it was analysed before the requested diligence is carried out.

The PGR clarified that the request that was formulated by the British authorities "will now be sent to the competent court", in Portimão, where the process that is related to Maddie's disappearance lies.

This British investigation is independent from the performance of the Public Ministry (MP) which, in October of 2013, announced the reopening of the inquiry into the disappearance of the little British girl. At that time, the Attorney General's Office explained that the decision was made after "new evidence that invalidates the arguments that were invoked by the MP in the archiving summary" appeared.

The case had been archived since the 21st of July of 2008, when the little English girl's parents and Robert Murat's (British citizen who resided in the Algarve) arguido status was lifted.

The English child, then aged three, disappeared from a bedroom in a tourist resort in Praia da Luz, in the Algarve, in May 2007, while her were dining with friends in a nearby restaurant.

Scotland Yard detectives investigating Madeleine McCann case move a step closer to making arrests with official bid to interview three suspects, 23 January 2014
Scotland Yard detectives investigating Madeleine McCann case move a step closer to making arrests with official bid to interview three suspects Daily Mail
  • Portuguese Attorney General received formal request for access
  • UK prosecutors have asked to interview three prime suspects
By GERARD COUZENS
PUBLISHED: 17:09, 23 January 2014 | UPDATED: 17:43, 23 January 2014

Investigation: The request could be a step forward in the search for Madeleine McCann

The prospect of arrests over Madeleine McCann's disappearance moved a step closer today after Portugal's Attorney General's office confirmed it had received a formal request for help from UK prosecutors.

A spokesman for the country's top law officer confirmed it was in receipt of an International Letter of Request thought to ask for access to three 'prime suspects' - but declined to discuss its contents.

The spokesman said the letter would now be forwarded to a court in the Algarve resort of Portimao tasked with investigating the newly-reopened case in Portugal.

Authorities declined to give a timescale on when the letter would be sent or actioned.

Scotland Yard are understood to want to question three local burglars blamed for a string of break-ins in Praia da Luz where Madeleine was snatched in May 2007.

Portuguese detectives acting on a first International Letter of Request sent by Britain last July discovered the men were very close to the scene of Madeleine's disappearance and made an unusually high number of calls to each other in the hours after her abduction.

Portugal's Attorney General's office announced last October the Madeleine McCann inquiry, shelved nearly six years ago, was being reopened at the request of police in Porto who have spent the past three years reviewing the case.

Jose Magalhaes e Menezes, the public prosecutor in charge of the original investigation, is overseeing the reopened inquiry.

He was damning of the original probe pointing the finger at Madeleine's parents Kate and Gerry and claimed officers under disgraced former police chief Goncalo Amaral achieved "very little" during their 15 month investigation.

Madeleine McCann, pictured aged three, disappeared from the Portuguese resort Praia da Luz on May 3, 2007

 

Madeleine McCann, pictured aged three, disappeared from the Portuguese resort Praia da Luz on May 3, 2007

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Praying for news: Kate and Gerry McCann are seen posing with a computer generated image of how Maddie might have looked five years after her disappearance

Praying for news: Kate and Gerry McCann are seen posing with a computer generated image of how Maddie might have looked five years after her disappearance

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Amaral has claimed in a book which is the subject of an on-going libel trial that the McCanns covered up their daughter's death in their holiday apartment.

Scotland Yard detectives are conducting their own separate criminal inquiry into Madeleine's disappearance called Operation Grange.

Detective Chief Inspector Andy Redwood, who is leading the Met operation, has said he continues to believe Madeleine is still alive.

Operation Grange was first launched as a review in 2011 following the intervention of David Cameron in the case.

A spokesman for Madeleine's parents has described the International Letter of Request as a significant development.

"A significant development": First arrests in Madeleine McCann case move nearer, 24 January 2014
"A significant development": First arrests in Madeleine McCann case move nearer Daily Mirror

By David Collins | Jan 24, 2014 08:55

A source close to missing Maddie's parents Kate and Gerry McCann said: "It is an important and significant development."
Arrests: Madeleine McCann
Arrests: Madeleine McCann

The British police investigation into Madeleine McCann's disappearance moved a step closer to making arrests yesterday after Portuguese authorities received a letter of formal request for help.

Portugal's Attorney General's office confirmed they were in receipt of an International Letter of Request - a "significant development," according to a source close to Madeleine's parents Kate and Gerry McCann.

The contents of the letter are believed to ask for access to three prime suspects.

The Mirror has previously reported how British police are braced to make the first arrests ever in case of Madeleine McCann's disappearance.

The letter will now be forwarded to a court in the Algarve resort of Portimao tasked with investigating the newly-reopened case in Portugal.

Authorities declined to give a timescale on when the letter would be sent or actioned.

Scotland Yard are understood to want to question three local burglars blamed for a string of break-ins in Praia da Luz where Madeleine was snatched in May 2007.

Portuguese detectives acting on a first International Letter of Request sent by Britain last July discovered the men were very close to the scene of Madeleine's disappearance.

They are thought to have made an unusually high number of calls to each other in the hours after her abduction.

Portugal's Attorney General's office announced last October the Madeleine McCann inquiry was being reopened at the request of police in Porto who have spent the past three years reviewing the case.

Jose Magalhaes e Menezes, the public prosecutor in charge of the original investigation, is overseeing the reopened inquiry.

He was damning of the original probe pointing the finger at Madeleine’s parents Kate and Gerry and claimed officers under disgraced former police chief Goncalo Amaral achieved "very little" during their 15 month investigation.

Scotland Yard detectives are conducting their own separate criminal inquiry into Madeleine's disappearance called Operation Grange.

Detective Chief Inspector Andy Redwood, who is leading the Met operation, has said he continues to believe Madeleine is still alive.

Operation Grange was first launched as a review in 2011 following the intervention of David Cameron in the case.

A source close to Maddie's parents said: "It it the next step forward in what is proving to be a slow but very thorough process.

"Met Police want to be given the opportunity to arrest key suspects.

"They are keeping Kate and Gerry informed of all developments.

"We understand the International Letter of Request was received by the Portuguese authorities last week.

"It is an important and significant development.

"But it is too early to say, at this stage, if the powers that be in Portugal will co-operate."

The McCann's official spokesman Clarence Mitchell said last night: "Kate and Gerry do not comment on any aspect of Operation Grange."

Maddie McCann: Letter from British police calls for the questioning of three suspects, 24 January 2014
Maddie McCann: Letter from British police calls for the questioning of three suspects PT Jornal

Friday, January 24, 2014 10:33 | John Miguel Ribeiro

Madeleine McCann

British police want to question, in Portugal, three suspects in the Maddie McCann case. The Attorney General's Office has received a new request for legal assistance, to be "sent to the competent court."

The British authorities have three suspects in the abduction of Madeleine McCann, in May 2007, who they intend to question. As these suspects are in Portugal, the Crown Prosecution Services (British authority equivalent to our prosecutors) and the Metropolitan Police sent a new rogatory letter, whose receipt has been confirmed by the Attorney General's Office (PGR).

The request for assistance will be "sent to the competent court," added the PGR, which in this case will be the Court of Portimão, which hosts the process. If the Portuguese justice system accepts the request, British police can come to Portugal to accompany the arrests and interviews, but the leadership of the inquiries will always remain with the Judiciary Police.

The investigation into the disappearance of Maddie McCann was reopened in October 2013, and is running in the judicial district of Lagos, under the responsibility of the prosecutor of the Republic, José de Magalhães e Menezes. At the same time, the British authorities also reopened the process, developing the theory that the daughter of the McCanns has been kidnapped.

According to British media, the British police want to question the three men who, at the same time as the disappearance of Maddie, are suspected of having committed several robberies in the Ocean Club resort area, in Praia da Luz, where the McCanns were located. However, no official authority has confirmed this hypothesis.

Maddie cops fly in to arrest 3 suspects, 28/29 January 2014
Maddie cops fly in to arrest 3 suspects Daily Mirror (paper edition)

 
Daily Mirror, 29 January 2014

 

EXCLUSIVE: NEW BREAKTHROUGH

Brit police arrive in Portugal for secret kidnap summit

BY TOM PETTIFOR
Crime Correspondent
Wednesday, 29 January 2014


BRITISH detectives probing the abduction of Madeleine McCann were last night set to arrest three men.

The Scotland Yard team arrived in the Algarve for secret talks with Portuguese officers after a ramatic breakthrough.

A McCann source called it "good news".

FULL STORY: PAGE 5


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Madeleine McCann's parents 'on tenterhooks' as Scotland Yard detectives fly to Portugal to arrest three suspects
Daily Mirror

By Tom Pettifor | Jan 28, 2014 22:38

Anxious Kate and Gerry were being kept "fully informed" of events after learning of the dramatic breakthrough

Madeleine McCann's parents were said to be "on tenterhooks" as Scotland Yard detectives looked set to swoop on three suspects after flying to Portugal.

Anxious Kate and Gerry were being kept "fully informed" of events after learning of the dramatic breakthrough in the bid to solve the six-year riddle of their missing daughter.

A source close to the couple said: "Clearly the fact that the police are out there is significant. Kate and Gerry will now be on tenterhooks as they wait for any potential developments.

"The Met are being very pro-active and this is good news in the search for Madeleine and her abductor."

The source revealed that Kate and Gerry, both 45, of Rothley, Leics, were cautiously hopeful about the latest move. He said: "It is necessary for British police to request the Portuguese authorities allow them to operate on their turf. It means they have the intention of arresting and interviewing X, Y or Z.

I'm going in: Cops meet for briefing

 

I'm going in: Cops meet for briefing

"Whether the Portuguese will co-operate remains to be seen. It is a very sensitive issue with differences they have had.

"Kate and Gerry don't want to build up their hopes but they realise it could be a significant new lead."

After arriving in the Algarve yesterday the Yard team held a secret four-hour meeting with senior Portuguese officers and prosecutors. The discussions are believed to have centred on getting local officials to sanction the arrests and subsequent questioning.

The breakthrough follows a cold-case UK review involving a painstaking trawl through mobile phone data.

It has pin-pointed three men who are said to have been very close to the scene when three-year-old Maddie was snatched from her family's holiday apartment at the resort of Praia da Luz in May 2007.

The records also indicate the suspects, believed to be a burglary gang, made a high number of calls to each other in the hours following her abduction.

Det Chief Insp Andy Redwood, who is leading the UK hunt, arrived at police headquarters in Faro just after 10am clutching two bulging box files.

He was accompanied by three colleagues for the meeting with Luís Mota Carmo, the director of the Polícia Judiciária.

Mr Carmo heads a team of six Faro detectives who have been carrying out work on behalf of Scotland Yard.

The Mirror revealed earlier this month that the Crown Prosecution Service had sent an International Letter of Request to Portuguese police seeking permission to question the new suspects. Portugal's attorney general’s office confirmed last week that it had received the letter.

An insider said of yesterday's talks: "It's the first time the UK and Portuguese police have met since the request was made."

He added: "The investigation is at a sensitive stage and it remains to be seen what action will be taken by the Portuguese police."

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Exclusive: British Police officers from Scotland Yard arrive in Portugal

4 British Police officers from Scotland Yard arrive in downtown Faro carrying documents believed to be relating to the arrest of 3 men in connection with the Madeline McCann case
4 British Police officers from Scotland Yard arrive in downtown Faro carrying documents believed to be relating to the arrest of 3 men in connection with the Madeline McCann case
They headed a meeting with portuguese investigation police relating to the Madeline McCann case, which was attended by current police investigation Director Mota Carmo
Madeline McCann case, which was attended by current police investigation Director Mota Carmo and former head of investigation from original Madeline McCann case Ana Paulo at 10am this morning
British Police officers from Scotland Yard head for lunch carrying documents believed to be relating to the arrest of 3 men in connection with the Madeline McCann case
Madeline McCann case, which was attended by current police investigation Director Mota Carmo and former head of investigation from original Madeline McCann case Ana Paulo at 10am this morning
4 British Police officers from Scotland Yard head for lunch carrying documents believed to be relating to the arrest of 3 men in connection with the Madeline McCann case
They headed a meeting with portuguese investigation police relating to the Madeline McCann case
Madeline McCann case, which was attended by current police investigation Director Mota Carmo and former head of investigation from original Madeline McCann case Ana Paulo at 10am this morning
4 British Police officers from Scotland Yard arrive in downtown Faro carrying documents believed to be relating to the arrest of 3 men in connection with the Madeline McCann case
They headed a meeting with portuguese investigation police relating to the Madeline McCann case
Madeline McCann case, which was attended by current police investigation Director Mota Carmo and former head of investigation from original Madeline McCann case Ana Paulo at 10am this morning

Madeleine McCann: UK Police Fly To Portugal, 29 January 2014
Madeleine McCann: UK Police Fly To Portugal Sky News

9:06am UK, Wednesday 29 January 2014

A Scotland Yard team is in Portugal days after authorities there received a request for help with interviewing three suspects.

 
Madeleine vanished from her family's holiday apartment in 2007

British police have travelled to Portugal to liaise with local officers investigating the disappearance of Madeleine McCann.

A Scotland Yard team flew to the Algarve after British authorities sent a letter to Portuguese police requesting help with tracking down and interviewing three burglars who were in the area when Madeleine vanished.

Detective Chief Inspector Andy Redwood, who is leading the investigation for the Metropolitan Police, was pictured arriving in Faro with three colleagues.

They held meetings with senior members of Portugal's Policia Judiciaria and are believed to have discussed leads recently identified by the Operation Grange investigation team in the UK.

Police have held meetings in Faro, around 50 miles from Praia Da Luz

Police have held meetings in Faro, around 50 miles from Praia Da Luz

Sky's Crime Correspondent Martin Brunt said the letter requesting help from the Portuguese authorities is understood to have arrived in Portugal "in the last 24 hours or so".

He said: "Four detectives from Scotland Yard arrived yesterday to meet their Portuguese colleagues - there's a small team of Portuguese police working in the Algarve on behalf of Scotland Yard.

"We know that among those detectives from London is Chief Inspector Andy Redwood, who's the officer in charge of the British end of the investigation into Madeleine's disappearance.

Det Chief Insp Andy Redwood is leading the Met Police team in the Algarve

Det Chief Insp Andy Redwood is leading the Met Police team in the Algarve

"It's certainly not the first time Scotland Yard detectives have visited Portugal - more than a dozen times in the last two years since Scotland Yard have been reviewing and then investigating Madeleine's disappearance has such a team gone to liaise.

"But it could be of some big significance because we know that earlier this month the UK authorities sent what's known as an international letter of request to the Portuguese authorities seeking, we think, help in interviewing three potential suspects."

Earlier this month, Sky News reported that Det Chief Insp Redwood's team were hunting three men whose phones were "red hot" after Madeleine went missing from her family's Praia da Luz apartment in May 2007.

Kate and Gerry have campaigned to keep the investigation going

Kate and Gerry have campaigned to keep the investigation going

Mobile phone records show that the men made numerous calls to each other in the hours after Kate and Gerry McCann discovered their daughter - three years old at the time - had disappeared from her room.

No arrests have been made since the Met set up Operation Grange in 2011 to review the case.

Portuguese police reopened their investigation last year, more than three years after it had been shelved.

New turn in Madeleine case?, 30 January 2014
New turn in Madeleine case? The Portugal News

BY BRENDAN DE BEER · 30-01-2014 14:52:00

The search for Madeleine McCann took an interesting turn this week when it emerged on Thursday that police have now shifted their focus onto three former employees of the Ocean Club resort in Praia da Luz from where the British girl went missing almost seven years ago.

Madeleine McCann

A number of reports in Portugal indicated that contrary to information contained in British tabloids in the past fortnight suggesting police were hot on the trail of a group of burglars, police were actually interested in speaking to three staff members who were at the resort the night Madeleine disappeared.

Sources close to the case told The Portugal News on Thursday that these individuals were of particular interest as they had made "an abnormally high number of mobile phone calls to areas outside the resort the night she went missing."

The source explained that these calls were domestic, but unlike their colleagues who called each other as the search proceeded, the trio made domestic calls to areas of no geographical interest in the ensuing search.

The Portugal News was also told that the UK Metropolitan Police have made a formal request for Portuguese authorities to obtain access to the bank accounts of these three people who are so far classed as "persons of interest" and are not viewed as suspects.

House searches are also said to have been asked for by Scotland Yard. This procedure could take several days, if not weeks, and can be challenged by the targeted individuals.

Police were not willing to disclose the nationalities of the three former workers.

It is estimated that at the time of Madeleine McCann’s disappearance on 3 May 2007, the Ocean Club was employing 130 Portuguese nationals and 30 Britons, though most of the latter group are believed to have left the country following the economic downturn and negative publicity Praia da Luz received at the time.

This information is amongst that contained in the second international letter of request sent by Scotland Yard to the Attorney-General’s Office in Lisbon.

The document is thought to have arrived at the Portimão Court on Monday, where prosecutors will have the task of instructing local PJ police detectives in the city to carry out the requests contained in the letter, should they be in agreement.

The next step will be for these three individuals to be contacted by PJ police for an interview at their earliest convenience.

It also appears that detectives at the PJ headquarters in Lisbon have not yet received a request from the team of British investigators to sit in on the questioning.

Without authorisation, the team of British police officers, which includes fluent Portuguese speakers, will not be able to attend questioning.

These interviews will preferably take place at the PJ police stations in either Portimão or Faro, but can also be held at a local PSP or GNR police station should it suit the person of interest to do so.

Four Scotland Yard detectives, including Chief Inspector Andy Redwood paid a fleeting visit to Faro this week in a repeat of what has become a regular monthly meeting to discuss latest developments with their Portuguese colleagues and future joint plans of action.

They returned to Gatwick airport on Wednesday afternoon having been delayed in Faro for an hour due to industrial action by Portuguese air traffic controllers.

The four officers had met with Faro PJ chief Mota Carmo and Portimão PJ chief Ana Paula Rito. The four British detectives were never seen publicly with their Portuguese colleagues and enjoyed meals in their own company.

Portuguese authorities ordered the re-opening of the case into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann last October and immediately 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, spearheaded 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."

While Oporto detectives have been working on a review of existing evidence, six detectives from the PJ's branch in Faro have been assisting their colleagues from Scotland Yard in the ambit of an international co-operation request based on the issuing of rogatory letters and international letters of request.

Reports late last year indicated that the PJ Police, perhaps as a result of headway made following a Crimewatch programme on the BBC, felt they had enough new evidence to initiate an official line of enquiry that could include the questioning of persons of interest and possible suspects.

It is believed the PJ team in Oporto uncovered shortcomings in the initial investigation conducted by their counterparts in the Algarve and were now actively pursuing the theory that Madeleine McCann was abducted from a holiday apartment in Praia da Luz.

Helena Monteiro and her four-man team of detectives, who were reportedly handed the case due to their expertise and neutrality, having never worked on it before, are also reported to be keen on speaking to a number of people who were never questioned during the first investigation led by inspectors in the Algarve.

At the time, sources close to the case in Portugal told The Portugal News that they support the Portuguese review in that they hope it will conclude "an investigation which was ended while still in its infancy."

PJ police in Lisbon recently stressed in comments to The Portugal News that at this stage of the review, the PJ branches in Oporto and Faro are "working independently."

Suspects 'paid to snatch Maddy', 31 January 2014
Suspects 'paid to snatch Maddy' Daily Express (paper edition)

 
Daily Express, 31 January 2013

 

By Gerard Couzens and David Pilditch

[text same as online version]

TURN TO PAGE 5

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Scotland Yard to examine Madeleine McCann suspects' bank accounts Daily Express

BRITISH detectives hunting Madeleine McCann's abductor want to trawl through the bank records of three new suspects, it was claimed yesterday.

By: Gerard Couzens, David Pilditch
Published: Fri, January 31, 2014

Madeleine McCann at the Ocean Club, the Portuguese resort [PA]

The move raises fears Madeleine may have been snatched to order and sold by her kidnapper. It is alleged the suspects worked at the Ocean Club complex in the Algarve holiday resort of Praia da Luz where Madeleine's family were staying. The three are thought to be behind a string of burglaries at the holiday complex before Madeleine went missing.

Scotland Yard detectives flew to Portugal this week as police prepared to make a series of arrests.

Yesterday it was reported the team, led by Detective Chief Inspector Andy Redwood, met their Portuguese counterparts to ask them to interview the unnamed trio, search their homes and examine their bank accounts.

It is claimed they want to find out whether large deposits were made after Madeleine vanished.

The youngster's parents, Kate and Gerry, both 45, were said to be "on tenterhooks" as investigators look set to swoop on the suspects. The couple, from Rothley, Leics, are being kept "fully informed" of developments.

Scotland Yard declined to comment on the latest claims.

Portuguese police confirmed a three-hour meeting between Policia Judiciaria senior investigators and a team from the Yard's Operation Grange had taken place on Tuesday.

Yesterday Portugal's biggest-selling newspaper reported: "British police want the Portuguese authorities to interrogate and search the homes of three former Ocean Club employees.

"They also requested access to the bank accounts of the three suspects to see if there were any large deposits made after the child disappeared."

The newspaper Correio da Manha said the requests were contained in a second international letter of request from British authorities which Portugal's Attorney General confirmed he had received last week.

The letter was forwarded to a court in the Algarve resort of Portimao which is overseeing the reopened investigation into Madeleine's disappearance.

The Ocean Club resort had around 130 Portuguese employees and 30 British employees when Madeleine went missing on May 3, 2007. All the British employees are understood to have left.

Madeleine was snatched from her parents' apartment while they were dining with friends at the club's tapas bar. It emerged last October that Portuguese police had questioned the family of a former Ocean Club worker with a theft conviction.

Former colleagues say Euclides Monteiro, 40, was asked to leave after taking tips meant to be shared with other waiters. Portuguese police are said to have discovered from mobile phone tracking that he was near the club when Madeleine disappeared, even though he was no longer working there and was living in Lagos, a 15-minute drive down the coast.

Monteiro, an immigrant from the Cape Verde islands, 350 miles off the west coast of Africa, died in a tractor accident in 2009.

The three new suspects are said to have made a number of phone calls to each other around the time Madeleine vanished. There were reports of several break-ins at the Ocean Club in the days running up to her disappearance.

A spokesman for Portugal's Policia Judiciaria said in a statement: "The PJ confirms a meeting has taken place in Faro between British and Portuguese authorities within the framework of the execution of an inter­national letter of request. However, the PJ will not be commenting on the content of this meeting."

Almeida Rodrigues, the force's national director, added: "We cannot say anything else because when we cooperate with our British colleagues within the framework of an inter­national letter of request we are bound by professional secrecy."

The McCanns' official spokesman Clarence Mitchell said: "Kate and Gerry will not comment on any aspect of Operation Grange while it is continuing."

The couple's lawyer in Portugal, Rogerio Alves, said he was aware that Scotland Yard wanted to question three suspects.

The Yard team flew back to the UK declining to comment.

Maddie prime suspects worked at hol resort, 31 January 2014
Maddie prime suspects worked at hol resort Daily Mirror (paper edition)

 
Daily Mirror, 31 January 2014

 

HOPE FOR THE MCCANNS

3 burglars may have been disturbed by missing child, 3

BY DAVID COLLINS
in Praia da Luz
Friday, 31 January 2014


THREE ex-staff at the resort where Madeleine McCann vanished are now the prime suspects in her kidnap.

British police believe they did a string of burglaries at the Praia da Luz complex. The missing child, three, may have disturbed them.

Met officers want to search their homes and bank accounts.

FULL STORY: PAGEs 4&5


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Madeleine McCann cops want to raid homes of three prime suspects who were working at holiday complex
Daily Mirror

By David Collins | Jan 31, 2014 00:00

British officers believe the men would have known the layout of the Ocean Club at Praia da Luz and been aware of the best escape routes for anyone taking a child

Investigation: Madeleine McCann and Praia Da Luz Ocean Club Resort

 

Investigation: Madeleine McCann and Praia Da Luz Ocean Club Resort PA/Sunday Mirror

Police hunting for missing Madeleine McCann want to raid the homes of three prime suspects and examine their bank accounts in the hunt for clues into her disappearance.

British officers plan to quiz the trio, who were working at the holiday complex in Portugal where the three-year-old was snatched from her bed.

They hope to look at their bank records to see if any large sums of money were placed in their accounts – which could indicate payment for a crime.

The three men would have known the layout of the Ocean Club complex at Praia da Luz and been aware of the best escape routes for anyone taking a child.

It would also have been possible for them to watch the movements of Madeleine's parents Kate and Gerry's on the night their daughter went missing in May 2007 as they ate tapas with friends near their ­apartment.

Detectives believe the suspects were behind a string of burglaries in the area in the weeks before the youngster vanished.

One of the flats burgled at the Ocean Club is owned by a former British expat. It is in the same block as the one the McCanns rented.

The man, who is in his 50s and wishes to remain anonymous, said yesterday: "They'd taken two mobile phones, a camera and some cash. There was no sign of forced entry.

"I was convinced they had a key to get inside. I spoke to my neighbours, many of them expats, and I'd say around 90% of them had experienced the same thing...  valuable items going missing out of their ­apartments.

"I brought these complaints to the ­attention of the Ocean Club but they were pretty much ignored. Nothing was done.

"This was about four weeks before Maddie went missing."

Investigation: Madeleine McCann and Praia Da Luz Ocean Club Resort

Scene: The Ocean Club where Madeleine went missing

The expat was interviewed 18 months ago by Scotland Yard detectives – meaning officers have long suspected burglars could be ­responsible for Madeleine's kidnap.

One theory is that burglars raided the McCanns' apartment and were panicked into snatching her when she woke up.

Nelson Rodrigues, who worked as a barman at the Ocean Club at the time the child, from Rothley, Leics, vanished, said it was "possible" former workers had ­something to do with the kidnap.

But he added: "In my opinion, it's not likely.

"I don't know what happened to her that night, but I would be very surprised if any of the workers had anything to do with it.

"There were quite a few staff who had access to keys.

"Reception staff, the cleaners, and the maintenance men could all get into rooms. Waiters and barmen did not have access to keys.

"I remember at the time things belonging to guests went missing now and then.

"Mobile phones, cash, anything valuable lying around."

Reports in local media said the Ocean Club had around 130 Portuguese employees and 30 British staff when Madeleine went missing.

Nelson also told how he joined the frantic hunt for Madeleine when her parents raised the alarm.

He added: "I looked ­everywhere for her. Around the pool, inside apartments, in the streets.

"I kept looking until five in the morning, when my boss said, 'OK, it's time for you to go home'.

"I saw Kate. She looked very upset. I heard her say, 'I need a priest'."

Scotland Yard officers flew to Faro in Portugal this week to meet with local police where they discussed the probe into the three ex-staff who are now suspects.

British police first became suspicious of the staff after analysing mobile phone data.

They discovered a high number of calls made by the three men in the hours leading up to Madeleine's disappearance.

Operation Grange, set up to reopen the case, has sent a second International Letter of Request to their ­Portuguese ­counterparts which addresses developments in the probe.

It deals with issues surrounding formal questioning of the men as well as searching their homes and looking into their bank accounts.

The letter is now being dealt with by a court in the Algarve resort of Portimao. The Policia Judiciaria, the Portuguese force investigating Madeleine's disappearance, and the Attorney General refused to comment on the content of ­Tuesday's meeting with Scotland Yard.

A Policia Judiciaria spokesman said last night: "The PJ confirms a meeting has taken place in Faro between British and ­Portuguese authorities within the ­framework of the ­execution of an ­International Letter of Request."

And the force's director Almeida Rodrigues added: "We cannot say anything else because when we co-operate with our British colleagues we are bound by ­professional secrecy."

The Scotland Yard team have now flown back to London.

Last October, details emerged of a former worker who had been made a suspect by Portuguese police.

Euclides Monteiro, 40, a waiter who had a conviction for theft, was asked to leave his job after being caught stealing tips.

The immigrant from Cape Verde, died in a tractor accident in 2009.

His family claim Portuguese police are using him as a scapegoat for Madeleine's disappearance.

Montiero's close friend Sergio Paulo, 44, said: "Toni was a good guy but had some serious drug problems.

"He became a slave to heroin."

Madeleine McCann: Met asks Portugal to close net on suspects, 31 January 2014
Madeleine McCann: Met asks Portugal to close net on suspects The Guardian

British detectives ask Portuguese police to search homes and examine bank accounts of three former resort workers

Press Association
Friday 31 January 2014 06.48 GMT

The judiciary police headquarters in Faro where Scotland Yard detectives have met with Portuguese police over the Madeleine McCann case. Photograph: Reuters

 

British police searching for missing Madeleine McCann want their Portuguese counterparts to search the homes and examine the bank accounts of three former employees of the resort where she vanished, it is reported.

Detectives from both countries are running their own investigations and a team from Scotland Yard made the request during meetings with Policia Judiciaria after flying to Portugal this week.

Police are keen to investigate the trio, who are believed to have been working at the Ocean Club complex in Praia da Luz where the McCanns were staying in 2007, the Daily Mirror said.

Officers reportedly believe they were behind a spate of burglaries in the weeks before three-year-old Madeleine disappeared.

Kate and Gerry McCann with a missing person poster for their daughter Madeleine. Photograph: Sang Tan/AP

Nelson Rodrigues, a barman at the Ocean Club at the time, told the Mirror a wide range of staff would have had access to rooms.

He said: "There were quite a few staff who had access to keys. Reception staff, the cleaners, and the maintenance men could all get into rooms. Waiters and barmen did not have access to keys.

"I remember at the time things belonging to guests went missing now and then. Mobile phones, cash, anything valuable lying around."

Police from both countries met in Faro after Scotland Yard sent an international letter of request linked to its own inquiry.

The Met said it had not yet made any arrests and that officers had visited Portugal a number of times in the past 18 months.

British detectives launched a fresh investigation into the girl 's disappearance last July – two years into a review of the case – and made renewed appeals on television in the UK, the Netherlands and Germany.

 

With thanks to Nigel at McCann Files

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