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

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Police Searches - Praia da Luz - Day 8*

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Scotland Yard detectives bring in sniffer dogs while scouring a new area near a water treatment plant outside Praia da Luz.

 

11 June 2014 - The final search day

Scotland Yard detectives bring in sniffer dogs to scour two new areas of land to the east of Praia da Luz. One, an area of scrubland, near a near a water treatment plant, and the other, directly across the same Luz to Lagos road, an area known as Quinta da Luz. Video footage exists of GNR officers searching the same area in May 2007 with sniffer dogs.

Maddie cops keeping hol bars in business, 11 June 2014
 
Maddie cops keeping hol bars in business Daily Star (paper edition, page 17)

 
Daily Star, 11 June 2014

 

by JERRY LAWTON
Wednesday, June 11, 2014


BRITISH police hunting for Madeleine McCann are welcome in Portugal because they "drink lots of beer", a bar worker said yesterday.

As digging starts on a new patch of scrubland, the waiter urged: "Keep them here."

Many locals and holidaymakers in Praia da Luz have criticised the Met Police for carrying out searches during the tourist season. But bartender Joao admitted: "We're not complaining.

"They've had three days off work and are allowed to enjoy themselves.

"They are here to do a special job on orders of the British Prime Minister and the restaurants don't have a problem. They are not affecting us in a negative way."

Scotland Yard officers are teaming up with Portuguese officers for another three days of scouring wasteland.

They start on a new site, which has never been searched before, around a water treatment plant where suspect Euclides Monteiro, who died in 2009, worked.

The waiter added: "We wish the police luck and hope their new searches find the answers they are looking for.

"When they're not working they spend time in our restaurant and other bars drinking lots of beer. They are good for business and they tip us very well. They can stay here.

"They are very friendly but don't talk about Madeleine and we don't ask them."

A Scotland Yard spokesman said yesterday: "The officers have a job to do and they're keeping their heads down and getting on with it.

"What the officers do in their free time is their business."

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

Online:

Madeleine McCann: British cops are keeping Portugal's bars in business Daily Star

BRITISH police hunting for Madeleine McCann are welcome in Portugal because they "drink lots of beer", a bar worker said yesterday.

By Jerry Lawton / Published 11th June 2014

SEARCH: Police dig on waste land in search for Madeleine, right [REUTERS]

 

 As digging starts on a new patch of scrubland, the waiter urged: "Keep them here."

Many locals and holidaymakers in Praia da Luz have criticised the Met Police for carrying out searches during the tourist season. But bartender Joao admitted: "We're not complaining.

"They've had three days off work and are allowed to enjoy themselves.

"They are here to do a special job on orders of the British Prime Minister and the restaurants don't have a problem. They are not affecting us in a negative way."

Scotland Yard officers are teaming up with Portuguese officers for another three days of scouring wasteland.

MISSING: The search into Madeleine McCann has his a major stride [PA]

They start on a new site, which has never been searched before, around a water treatment plant where suspect Euclides Monteiro, who died in 2009, worked.

The waiter added: "We wish the police luck and hope their new searches find the answers they are looking for.

"When they're not working they spend time in our restaurant and other bars drinking lots of beer. They are good for business and they tip us very well. They can stay here.

"They are very friendly but don't talk about Madeleine and we don't ask them."

A Scotland Yard spokesman said yesterday: "The officers have a job to do and they're keeping their heads down and getting on with it.

"What the officers do in their free time is their business."

Maddie hunt police move to new sites, 11 June 2014
Maddie hunt police move to new sites Daily Mirror (paper edition, page 9)

Daily Mirror, 11 June 2014

BY MARTIN FRICKER in Praia da Luz
Wednesday 11.06.2014


TWO new sites will be dug up in Portugal today by Scotland Yard detectives looking for clues in the search for Madeleine McCann.

Specialist teams from Operation Grange are expected to turn their focus to the land on the outskirts of Praia da Luz.

The work resumes after a day off on Monday and national holiday yesterday.

It is believed the areas were singled out after experts compared satellite images from 2007 - when Madeleine vanished aged three - to 2014 and noticed changes to the terrain.

One plot is overgrown and opposite a restaurant.

Scrubland 300 metres from the apartment where Madeleine's family was staying has already been dug up but the search apparently proved fruitless.

Madeleine McCann Police To Search New Site, 11 June 2014
 
Madeleine McCann Police To Search New Site Sky News

6:47am UK, Wednesday 11 June 2014

Land behind a water treatment plant near Praia da Luz is taped off as police continue the Madeleine McCann investigation.

The search area is between Praia da Luz and the town of Lagos

A new site has been cordoned off as detectives continue their investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann.

The land just outside the resort of Praia da Luz on the Algarve was taped off early this morning by Portuguese police ahead of the British team's arrival.

The new area lies on the road between Praia da Luz and the town of Lagos and sits behind a water treatment plant.

Madeleine vanished from a holiday apartment in the resort in May, 2007, while her parents Gerry and Kate were dining with friends nearby.

The couple from Rothley, Leicestershire, said last week: "We are kept updated on the ongoing work in Portugal and are encouraged by the progress."

The new searches come after the initial scrubland site in Praia da Luz was wound down on Sunday evening.

Specialist teams had scoured the ground for seven days using radar equipment, police sniffer dogs and forensic archeologists, but it is not thought that they found anything of significance to the investigation.

One police officer told Sky News as he left the site that the new searches would be "more of the same".

Portuguese police sources have said a series of suspects will be questioned in the near future once the searches have concluded.

Scotland Yard has refused to reveal what intelligence led them to the search areas or to give any updates on their progress.

Madeleine McCann search switches to new area at Praia da Luz, 11 June 2014
 
Madeleine McCann search switches to new area at Praia da Luz The Guardian

British and Portuguese police cordon off patch of dense scrubland on outskirts of Algarve holiday town

Press Association
Wednesday 11 June 2014 09.10 BST

British policemen in the Madeleine McCann search work within a cordoned-off area in Praia da Luz. Photograph: Francisco Seco/AP

Police investigating the disappearance of Madeleine McCann have cordoned off a new area of land near where the youngster went missing seven years ago.

British police are expected to join their Portuguese counterparts on the patch of scrubland later on Wednesday as the search for clues in Praia da Luz on the Algarve enters a second week.

Police tape was stretched around the new area early on Wednesday morning with a number of armed local police on guard at intervals along it.

The new area is on the outskirts of the small resort and is more overgrown than the site searched last week, with long grass, trees and bushes.

Specialist teams spent last week investigating an area of land a few minutes walk from the Ocean Club resort where Madeleine was staying with her family in May 2007 when she disappeared aged three.

The operation was extended after British police applied to the judiciary to spend an extra seven days in the resort but no work has been carried out so far this week due to a Portuguese national holiday.

Graffiti has been scrawled on a wall overlooking the new site accusing British police of being stupid.

The message in large red letters reads: "Policia inglesa estupidos."

Madeleine McCann Police Bring In Sniffer Dogs, 11 June 2014
 
Madeleine McCann Police Bring In Sniffer Dogs Sky News (with video)

9:48am UK, Wednesday 11 June 2014

Scotland Yard detectives bring in sniffer dogs while scouring a new area near a water treatment plant outside Praia da Luz.

Video: The search area is between Praia da Luz and the town of Lagos

Land south of a water plant is being searched

 

By Tom Parmenter, Sky Correspondent, in Portugal

A new site has been cordoned off as detectives continue their investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann.

The land just outside the resort of Praia da Luz, in the Algarve, was taped off by Portuguese police early this morning ahead of the British team's arrival.

Within an hour, British police were back out on the ground and searching the new area, which lies on the road between Praia da Luz and the town of Lagos and sits behind a water treatment plant.

The vast field being searched is cordoned off by police

The vast field being searched is cordoned off by police

It is likely detectives will use many of the same techniques used last week in the other area they searched with sniffer dogs and radar equipment in their renewed efforts to help explain what happened to the youngster.

Madeleine vanished from a holiday apartment in the resort in May 2007 while her parents Gerry and Kate dined with friends nearby.

The couple from Rothley, Leicestershire, said last week: "We are kept updated on the ongoing work in Portugal and are encouraged by the progress."

The new searches come after the initial scrubland site in Praia da Luz was wound down on Sunday evening.

The area being combed by officers is near a water treatment facility

 

The area being combed by officers is near a water treatment facility

Specialist teams had scoured the ground for seven days using radar equipment, police sniffer dogs and forensic archaeologists, but it is not thought that they found anything of significance to the investigation.

One police officer told Sky News as he left the site that the new searches would be "more of the same".

Portuguese police sources have said a series of suspects will be questioned in the near future once the searches have concluded.

Scotland Yard has refused to reveal what intelligence led them to the search areas or to give any updates on their progress.

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

Screenshots

 
The search area between Praia da Luz and the town of Lagos

 
The search area between Praia da Luz and the town of Lagos

 
The search area between Praia da Luz and the town of Lagos

 
The search area between Praia da Luz and the town of Lagos

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

Transcript


By Nigel Moore

Tom Parmenter: [to camera] The Portuguese police setting up yet another cordon and now the British detectives are back out on the ground in Praia da Luz.

This is the road between Praia da Luz and the nearby town of Lagos. It's about a mile or so from that first site... first search site that we saw so much activity around, errr... last week.

And you can see, if you take a look over across this field which has been cordoned off - quite a large cordon this morning - the British detectives just starting the process of once again establishing what needs to be done on this site. We're likely to see many of the same techniques as we saw last week on the other area that they worked on with sniffer dogs, with radar equipment, to try and understand if there is anything in this location that could help explain what happened to Madeleine McCann, seven years ago.

Of course, people in Praia da Luz have certainly mixed feelings about the searches resuming at this time of year, at the start of their holiday season. A lot of people fed up with the ongoing police presence but this is a renewed attempt to see if there is anything here that can help explain what happened to Madeleine, in May 2007, when she vanished.

But, as we can see, the British police back out on the ground this morning continuing their work, continuing their searches. These are last... likely to last for at least a couple more days.

Sniffer dogs used at second site in McCann search, 11 June 2014
 
Sniffer dogs used at second site in McCann search ITV News

10:42am, Wed 11 Jun 2014

Sniffer dogs are being used on a new site being investigated by British police near where Madeleine McCann went missing in Portugal seven years ago.

 
Police use sniffer dogs to search a patch of scrubland just outside Praia da Luz. Credit: Nick Ansell/PA Wire

 

Police use sniffer dogs to search a patch of scrubland just outside Praia da Luz. Credit: Nick Ansell/PA Wire

A fresh area of land was cordoned off by police in the Algarve resort of Praia da Luz athis morning.

 
British police and their Portuguese counterparts search a second area of scrubland. Credit: Nick Ansell/PA Wire

 

British police and their Portuguese counterparts search a second area of scrubland. Credit: Nick Ansell/PA Wire

Two sniffer dogs from South Wales Police were seen with their handlers inside the cordon and appeared to be concentrating on a small area which has been marked out with police tape inside.

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

Graffiti near McCann search calls British police 'stupid' ITV News

10:50am, Wed 11 Jun 2014

 
Graffiti scrawled on a wall overlooking the new search site accuses British police of being stupid. Credit: Nick Ansell/PA Wire


 

Graffiti scrawled on a wall overlooking the new search site accuses British police of being stupid. Credit: Nick Ansell/PA Wire

Graffiti describing British police as "stupid" has appeared on a wall opposite an area being investigated as part of the search for Madeleine McCann.

Police 'unearth an object' at new McCann search site, 11 June 2014
Police 'unearth an object' at new McCann search site ITV News

11:58am, Wed 11 Jun 2014

ITV News Correspondent Martin Geissler reports from Praia da Luz:

 
Martin Geissler tweets, 11 June 2014

[Text version of above]

martin geissler
@mmgeissler


I understand police have unearthed "an object" at the new search site this morning, it's been sent away for analysis. #McCann

10:51 - 11 June 2014

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

martin geissler
@mmgeissler

Cordon at second search site now being removed. I'm told focus will shift to "location 3" this afternoon. #McCann

10:53 - 11 June 2014

Madeleine McCann Police Bring In Sniffer Dogs, 11 June 2014
 
Madeleine McCann Police Bring In Sniffer Dogs Sky News (with video)

12:33pm UK, Wednesday 11 June 2014

Scotland Yard detectives bring in sniffer dogs while scouring a new area near a water treatment plant outside Praia da Luz.

Video: The search area is between Praia da Luz and the town of Lagos

 

By Tom Parmenter, Sky Correspondent, in Portugal

A new site has been cordoned off as detectives continue their investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann.

Land south of a water treatment plant near Praia da Luz is being searched

 

Land south of a water treatment plant near Praia da Luz is being searched

The land just outside the resort of Praia da Luz, in the Algarve, was taped off by Portuguese police early this morning ahead of the British team's arrival.

Within an hour, British police were back out on the ground and searching the new area, which lies on the road between Praia da Luz and the town of Lagos and sits behind a water treatment plant.

The area being combed by officers is near a water treatment facility

Portuguese police taped off the area ahead of the British officers' arrival

Police sniffer dogs from South Wales Police were out on the land this morning and then search teams formed a line and systematically searched the ground with sticks.

Local handyman Candido Furtado told Sky News: "I can't understand why they are searching here, On this land they will only find bones from buried horses and donkeys.

Sniffer dogs have been brought in to help with the search

 

Sniffer dogs have been brought in to help with the search

"I have always worked here and I never seen anything suspicious or any disturbed ground."

Madeleine vanished from a holiday apartment in the resort in May 2007 while her parents Gerry and Kate dined with friends nearby.

English police are criticised for renewing their search for the youngster

English police are criticised for renewing their search for the youngster

The couple from Rothley, Leicestershire, said last week: "We are kept updated on the ongoing work in Portugal and are encouraged by the progress."

The new searches come after the initial scrubland site in Praia da Luz was wound down on Sunday evening.

The previous search area near the Ocean Club Resort in Praia da Luz

 

The previous search area near the Ocean Club Resort in Praia da Luz

Specialist teams had scoured the ground for seven days using radar equipment, police sniffer dogs and forensic archaeologists, but it is not thought that they found anything of significance to the investigation.

One police officer told Sky News as he left the site that the new searches would be "more of the same".

Portuguese police sources have said a series of suspects will be questioned in the near future once the searches have concluded.

Scotland Yard has refused to reveal what intelligence led them to the search areas or to give any updates on their progress.

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

Screenshots

 
Scotland Yard detectives bring in sniffer dogs while scouring a new area near a water treatment plant outside Praia da Luz.

 
Scotland Yard detectives bring in sniffer dogs while scouring a new area near a water treatment plant outside Praia da Luz.

 
Scotland Yard detectives bring in sniffer dogs while scouring a new area near a water treatment plant outside Praia da Luz.

 
Scotland Yard detectives bring in sniffer dogs while scouring a new area near a water treatment plant outside Praia da Luz.

 
Scotland Yard detectives bring in sniffer dogs while scouring a new area near a water treatment plant outside Praia da Luz.

 
Scotland Yard detectives bring in sniffer dogs while scouring a new area near a water treatment plant outside Praia da Luz.

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



Transcript


By Nigel Moore

Tom Parmenter: [to camera] The Portuguese police were out at first light this morning to cordon off this second search area.

You'll remember that last week, back in the resort of Praia da Luz - that you can see behind me - we saw a very large police search that went on for seven days. They've had two days break and the detectives from the Metropolitan Police, and this team of specialists that they've assembled for these searches, are back out in the field.

If you take a look down, you can see the site that they are working on. This is, as I say, the second area of grassland to be searched within Praia da Luz, just on the outskirts of the resort and you can see down there, cordoned off, an area of specific interest for the officers. These are officers largely from the Metropolitan Police in London, who are scouring through the undergrowth there.

We've been speaking to one of the local handymen who lives just very close to this site. He says this is an area where hor... many horses have been buried over the years. So, it is likely that we will see these police officers again finding things that potentially could be of interest to this investigation but it will be perhaps some time before they assess and make that judgement as to whether or not there is anything here that can help explain what happened to Madeleine McCann, seven years ago.

A postcard from Praia da Luz, summer 2014

Scotland Yard detectives bring in sniffer dogs while scouring a new area near a water treatment plant outside Praia da Luz.

Madeleine McCann search: 'stupid' British police face backlash from Portuguese locals, 11 June 2014
Madeleine McCann search: 'stupid' British police face backlash from Portuguese locals The Telegraph

Graffiti describing British police as 'stupid' and accusing Kate and Gerry McCann is scrawled on a wall after officers began searching a second site

British police and their Portuguese counterparts search a patch of scrubland just outside Praia da Luz Photo: Nick Ansell/PA

By Alice Philipson
1:02PM BST 11 Jun 2014


The Madeleine McCann investigation is facing a backlash from Portuguese locals as officers begin searching a second site.

Graffiti slurring the McCann family and describing British police as "stupid" appeared scrawled on a wall opposite a new site being investigated.

Sniffer dogs are being used on the area near where Madeleine McCann went missing in Portugal seven years ago after a fresh area of land was cordoned off by police in the Algarve resort of Praia da Luz at first light this morning.

The words "policia ingesa [sic] estupidos" appeared on a nearby wall, as well as accusations against the McCanns, alleging they were responsible for her disappearance.

Two dogs from South Wales Police were seen with their handlers inside the cordon and appeared to be concentrating on a small area which has been marked out with police tape inside.

A third officer could be seen with them examining notes.

The new area is on the outskirts of the town, around 15 minutes walk from the Ocean Club resort where the McCann family were staying when the child went missing in May 2007, aged three.

Specialist teams spent last week scouring an area of land closer to the holiday apartment where they were staying.

The operation was extended after British police applied to the judiciary to spend an extra seven days in the resort but no work had been carried out previously this week due to a Portuguese national holiday.

A spokesman for the McCann family said they declined to comment on the graffiti, which was written in large letters in Portuguese overnight.

Further officers arrived at the new site this morning and stood around having discussions and surveying the large area.

Further tape was marked out inside the square area within the cordon, appearing to highlight specific areas of interest to police.

Nine officers lined up and began carrying out a methodical search inside the smaller cordoned-off area.

They moved slowly forwards, poking the grassy area with sticks as they studied the ground for anything suspicious, with some of them bending over to take a closer look at times.

Officers began using a pickaxe and shovel to dig within the small section, while others stood in a group watching them work.

They spent a few minutes digging at the earth, which is very dry due to the warm climate.

'Parents killed Maddie, English police are stupid' - The full message censored by most of the UK media, 11 June 2014

'Parents killed Maddie, English police are stupid'

Photo credit: Marisa Rodrigues published first here

Madeleine McCann: Site Was Identified In 2007, 11 June 2014
Madeleine McCann: Site Was Identified In 2007 Sky News

2:49pm UK, Wednesday 11 June 2014

The site searched by UK police on Wednesday was first pinpointed by an ex-detective seven years ago after Madeleine disappeared.

Gallery: Madeline Police Search New Site

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

 
British police are searching a second site in Portugal outside the resort of Praia da Luz, in the Algarve, where Madeleine McCann disappeared in May 2007.

British police are searching a second site in Portugal outside the resort of Praia da Luz, in the Algarve, where Madeleine McCann disappeared in May 2007.

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

 
Scotland Yard detectives bring in sniffer dogs to search the new area.

Scotland Yard detectives bring in sniffer dogs to search the new area.

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

 
The new site lies between Praia da Luz and the city of Lagos.

The new site lies between Praia da Luz and the city of Lagos.

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The search area has been taped off to allow officers to get to work.

The search area has been taped off to allow officers to get to work.

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

 
The new site is near a water treatment plant.

The new site is near a water treatment plant.

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

 
A view showing Praia da Luz and the new search site just outside of the resort town.

A view showing Praia da Luz and the new search site just outside of the resort town.

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

 
English police have come under criticism for renewing the search for the British youngster.

English police have come under criticism for renewing the search for the British youngster.

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

By Martin Brunt, Crime Correspondent

The new Madeleine McCann search site is in an area where a private investigator, working with her parents' support, said he found "evidence" of the missing girl soon after she vanished.

But at the time his report was dismissed by a UK police adviser as "likely to be of low value" and Madeleine's parents Kate and Gerry agreed with that view.

Former South African policeman Danie Krugel said he was disappointed that no one followed up his work.

The area was searched by police on horseback in the early days of the investigation.

The new search area lies east of the resort town of Praia da Luz

The new search area lies east of the resort town of Praia da Luz

The McCanns agreed to meet Mr Krugel in Praia da Luz in July 2007, two months after Madeleine disappeared, at a time when they were desperate for help.

With the consent of the Portuguese police they gave him one of their daughter's hairs, which he said he could use to pinpoint her whereabouts.

Mr Krugel used a mysterious hand-held device he claimed to have developed, but which he would not reveal or discuss with anyone.

After spending several days in the resort he concluded that Madeleine was or had been in the area of scrubland now being examined.

Police have been using sniffer dogs while scouring the scrubland for clues

Police have been using sniffer dogs while scouring the scrubland for clues

It is a desolate piece of land, only half-a-mile from the beach, popular with joggers and dog-walkers and linked by a series of footpaths to the McCanns holiday apartment.

Mark Harrison, who was a national search advisor for the UK police, was dismissive in his analysis of Mr Krugel's report at the time.

Mr Harrison wrote: "We feel he may have been attempting to give the impression he had developed and was using 'a remote laser-based gas-sensing device'.

"However, his claims regarding the distance of detection, up to 20km and the use of a hair sample are highly unlikely and would be a great innovation in the scientific world."

Mr Harrison concluded: "As Krugel was not prepared to allow the device to be viewed or provide any specification data of readings or equipment and the fact that no known device currently exists commercially or academically, then I can only conclude that the information he has provided is likely to be of low value."

Mr Krugel said from his South Africa home today: "I am so glad to hear of the new search. If only we could be there to make it easier.

"UK police are great. If they were there seven years ago it could have been solved."

McCann police search old farm grounds, 11 June 2014
 
McCann police search old farm grounds ITV News

3:37pm, Wed 11 Jun 2014

ITV News Correspondent Martin Geissler reports from Praia da Luz:

 
McCann police search old farm grounds

[Text version of above]

martin geissler
@mmgeissler


#McCann police beginning work at location 3. In the grounds of an old farm, very close to location 2.

14:07 - 11 June 2014

Madeleine McCann Police Search A Third Site, 11 June 2014
 
Madeleine McCann Police Search A Third Site Sky News

4:28pm UK, Wednesday 11 June 2014

A fresh cordon is set up around a new field after officers spent the morning scouring scrubland east of the Praia da Luz resort.

Video: Madeleine Police Search Moves On

 

By Tom Parmenter, Sky Correspondent, in Portugal

Detectives investigating the disappearance of Madeleine McCann have switched their focus to a third site.

At lunchtime, a cordon around scrubland just outside the resort of Praia da Luz, in the Algarve, which had earlier been set up by Portuguese police and searched by a British team, was taken down.

Instead, a new area was taped off in a field directly opposite the second search site.

The new search area lies east of the resort town of Praia da Luz

 

Areas east of Praia da Luz have been the focus of Wednesday's searches

Sky News has also learned an object recovered during the first searches last week has been sent away for analysis.

A Portuguese police source confirmed the object was being examined at a laboratory.

The source was unable to confirm what it was, but said the results from the laboratory should be known within days.

It comes after British police were back out on the ground this morning to search an area off a road between Praia da Luz and the town of Lagos behind a water treatment plant.

Police sniffer dogs from South Wales Police were out on the land and then search teams formed a line and systematically searched the ground with sticks.

Police used sniffer dogs while scouring the second site earlier

 

Police used sniffer dogs while scouring the second site earlier

Madeleine vanished from a holiday apartment in the resort in May 2007 while her parents Gerry and Kate dined with friends nearby.

The couple from Rothley, Leicestershire, said last week: "We are kept updated on the ongoing work in Portugal and are encouraged by the progress."

The new searches come after the initial scrubland site in Praia da Luz was wound down on Sunday evening.

Specialist teams had scoured the ground for seven days using radar equipment, police sniffer dogs and forensic archaeologists.

-----------------
Screenshots

 
A fresh cordon is set up around a new field after officers spent the morning scouring scrubland east of the Praia da Luz resort.

 
A fresh cordon is set up around a new field after officers spent the morning scouring scrubland east of the Praia da Luz resort.

 
A fresh cordon is set up around a new field after officers spent the morning scouring scrubland east of the Praia da Luz resort.

 
A fresh cordon is set up around a new field after officers spent the morning scouring scrubland east of the Praia da Luz resort.



Transcript


By Nigel Moore

Tom Parmenter: This is the road between Praia da Luz and the nearby town of Lagos. You can perhaps see the rooftops of the houses - just on the outskirts of Praia da Luz - which shows you that we are just a little way out of town.

And we saw this morning, on land over to this side, on my right hand side, errr.... search teams moving in very early indeed and once again police sniffer dogs, British dog handlers and also search teams going through a very specific area of ground that they wanted to search.

And this afternoon, we are seeing that search move on - the cordons have already dropped on this side of the road - and if you have a look, just on the other side of the road here, you can see that the police tape has already been put up. It stretches all the way down to that wall on the edge of the frame there, just where that white car is going through.

And so the police moving on to a third site now. You remember that last week they had a week long search of scrubland much closer to the centre of Praia da Luz. Now, a brief search this morning of one, and then another one lined up for this afternoon.

This is the police moving through their investigation, almost perhaps going through a list, ticking them off as they go through. What that list is based on.. the intelligence that they have gathered over the course of the past year, or so, looking again into this disappearance of Madeleine McCann.

The Portuguese police have confirmed to us today that one object that was recovered during those searches last week has been sent to a laboratory, in Portugal, for further analysis, and the results of that will be made known, errr... perhaps later today.

So, some progress at least. Whether or not is... it is just ruling things out in the investigation, we don't yet know at this stage. The British police remaining quite coy about exactly what their intelligence is; why specifically they are choosing these locations.

But they are still here working in the sun, here in Portugal, trying to ensure that they make sure that there is nothing left behind through these search areas that may help explain what happened to Madeleine McCann here, seven years ago.

Operation Grange update, 11 June 2014
Operation Grange update Metropolitan Police

Last updated on 11-Jun-2014 17:50

Operation Grange officers working alongside experts in their field from around the UK, the Policia Judicial and the Guarda Nacional Republicana today, Wednesday 11 June completed an eight day period of work searching specific areas of land in Praia da Luz.

At this time no evidence relating to Madeleine McCann has been identified. However it has given us an essential understanding of the activity on and people that have used this piece of land.

This was the first phase of this major investigation which has been agreed with the Portuguese following the four International Letters of Request submitted to date. More activity has been agreed and we expect that to commence shortly. In addition further requests are being compiled and will be submitted in due course.

The decision to search the "horse shoe" shaped piece of waste ground to the west of Praia da Luz and other sites was as a specific result of the UK's investigation work to date.

The total area of land searched and surveyed was of approximately 60,000 sq metres and included all utilities, drainage channels and derelict buildings. 41 ground anomalies were identified initially by both aerial survey and ground analysis which were then investigated fully. These included three outside of the original area.

This deployment which was the largest ever undertaken by UK police overseas in a case of this type, highlighted the effective nature of the assistance given by the Portuguese authorities, for which the investigation team and family are very grateful.

The media's understanding and co-operation following Assistant Commissioner Rowley's pre deployment briefing has also been noted and appreciated.

There is still a substantial amount of work yet to be completed in the coming weeks and months, which again should be viewed as no more than normal operational activity in a case of this size and complexity. This recent work is part of ensuring that all lines of enquiry are progressed in a systematic manner and covers just the one hypothesis that she was killed and buried locally. This is the same as would be done in the UK for a murder or high risk missing person enquiry. The scientific support staff involved were there to provide the highest level of assurance that this area was searched to the highest possible standards.

FOI Act request about the cost of searches for Madeleine McCann in Portugal, 29 May 2014 [MPS response 11 June 2014]
FOI Act request about the cost of searches for madeleine McCann in Portugal What Do They Know?

 
From: Anthony Bennett
29 May 2014

Dear Metropolitan Police Service (MPS),

I write re Operation Grange.

It was reported in newspapers in Britain and in Portugal at the beginning of May 2014 that the cost charged by the Portuguese authorities for hiring a Portuguese Alouette Mark III helicopter in connection with the ongoing search for Madeleine McCann was being met by the Metropolitan Police.

It has again been reported in newspapers in Britain and in Portugal at the end of May 2014 that the cost of what has been described as a series of 'digs' (said to include ground-penetrating radar and excavations) at up to 5 sites around Praia da Luz will also be, in part at least, the subject of charges rendered by the Portuguese Police and, again, will be paid for by the Metropolitan Police.

Having regard to the fact that this is an ongoing investigation, apparently by two police forces - but also having regard to the fact that the fact that the Portuguese authorities are rendering bills to the Metropolitan Police and that this has been confirmed on the record by the Portuguese authorities and made public in many newspapers in both countries - I confine my FOI Act questions merely to establishing the available data relating to these costs:

1. In relation to each separate item of expenditure (a) the helicopter searches and (b) the digs:

A. On what date was each formal request for assistance made to the Portuguese authorities?

B. On what date did the Portuguese agree each set of searches?

C. On what date (in each case) did the Portuguese authorities notify you of their proposed charges for these searches?

D. How much was the bill in each case?

E. Has either of the bills been paid yet, if so when?

2. Were International Letters Rogatory sent in respect of either request?

A. If so, on what date was each ILOR sent?

B. On what date was each request granted by the Portuguese authorities?

Yours faithfully,

Anthony Bennett

Metropolitan Police Service (MPS)

11 June 2014


Dear Mr Bennett

Freedom of Information Request Reference No: 2014050002606

I respond in connection with your request for information which was received by the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) on 29/05/2014. I note you seek access to the following information:

I write re Operation Grange. It was reported in newspapers in Britain and in Portugal at the beginning of May 2014 that the cost charged by the Portuguese authorities for hiring a Portuguese Alouette Mark III helicopter in connection with the ongoing search for Madeleine McCann was being met by the Metropolitan Police. It has again been reported in newspapers in Britain and in Portugal at the end of May 2014 that the cost of what has been described as a series of 'digs' (said to include ground-penetrating radar and excavations) at up to 5 sites around Praia da Luz will also be, in part at least, the subject of charges rendered by the Portuguese Police and, again, will be paid for by the Metropolitan Police. Having regard to the fact that this is an ongoing investigation,
apparently by two police forces - but also having regard to the fact that the fact that the Portuguese authorities are rendering bills to the Metropolitan Police and that this has been confirmed on the record by the Portuguese authorities and made public in many newspapers in both countries - I confine my FOI Act questions merely to establishing the available data relating to these costs: 1. In relation to each separate item of expenditure (a) the helicopter searches and (b) the digs: A. On what date was each formal request for assistance made to the Portuguese authorities? B. On what date did the Portuguese agree each set of searches? C. On what date (in each case) did the Portuguese authorities notify you of their proposed charges for these searches? D. How much was
the bill in each case? E. Has either of the bills been paid yet, if so when? 2. Were International Letters Rogatory sent in respect of either request? A. If so, on what date was each ILOR sent? B. On what date was each request granted by the Portuguese authorities?

DECISION

Before I explain the reasons for the decisions I have made in relation to your request, I thought that it would be helpful if I outline the parameters set out by the Freedom of Information Act 2000, (the Act), within which a request for information can be answered.

The Act creates a statutory right of access to information held by public authorities. A public authority in receipt of a request must, if permitted, confirm if the requested information is held by that public authority and, if so, then communicate that information to the applicant.

The right of access to information is not without exception and is subject to a number of exemptions which are designed to enable public authorities to withhold information that is not suitable for release. Importantly, the Act is designed to place information into the public domain, that is, once access to information is granted to one person under the Act, it is then considered public information and must be communicated to any individual should a request be received.

I have considered your request for information within the provisions set out by the Act and can confirm that some of the requested information is held by the MPS.

Having identified and considered the relevant information, I am afraid that I am not required by statute to release all the information requested. This response serves as a Refusal Notice under Section 17 of the Act.

Please see the legal annex for the sections of the Act that are referred to in this response.

REASONS FOR DECISION

The investigation of the disappearance of Madeleine McCann is being conducted by the MPS under the name 'Operation Grange'. The Home Office is funding the operation from a Special Grant budget. The MPS and the Home Office together review the value and the cost of the work at each stage.

You have asked for information related to the costs incurred regarding searches being made in  Portugal for Madeleine McCann.

The MPS refuses access to the requested information by virtue of the following exemptions:

Section 27 - International Relations
Section 30 - Investigations

Under Section 27(1) of the Act, Public Authorities are able to withhold information where its release would, or would be likely to, have an adverse effect upon International Relations.

Section 27 International Relations

Evidence of Harm - International Relations

It would not be in the best interests of the public to possibly disrupt relations between the United Kingdom and Portugal due to information being released in response to this request. Any disruption of relations between this country and Portugal may have an adverse effect on the ongoing investigation of the disappearance of Madeleine McCann, some of which is being conducted in Portugal.

Public Interest Test - International Relations

The public interest is not what interests the public but what will be of greater good if released to the community as a whole. It is not in the public interest to disclose information that may compromise the MPS's relationship with international Police Services and international courts.

International Relations Public interest considerations favouring disclosure

There is a public interest in this high profile case and disclosure could provide the public with an insight into how international Police Services cooperate.

International Relations Public interest considerations favouring non-disclosure

The British Government develops and maintains a robust relationship with other nation states which can promote mutual interest in trade, defence, environmental issues, human rights and the fight against terrorism and
international crime.

There is the prospect that should the MPS release information which was detrimental to its relationship with one country, other countries or international organisations would reconsider their affinity with the UK.

This would consequently affect the UK's international abilities relating to its overseas citizens, consular and commercial interests.

It could also influence the sharing of information provided during the course of political and diplomatic exchanges.

Section 30 Investigations

Under Section 30(1)(a) of the Act, Public Authorities are able to withhold information relating to investigations where its release would or would be likely to, have an adverse effect upon other investigations or the prosecution of offenders.

This exemption can be applied following completion of a Public Interest Test (PIT). The purpose of the PIT is to establish whether the 'Public Interest' lies in disclosing or withholding the requested information. Details of the resources allocated to enquiries before their completion provides insight into the scale, nature and methodology applied to such operations. This has the effect of undermining that methodology.

Information relating to an investigation will rarely be disclosed under the Act and only where there is a strong public interest consideration favouring disclosure.

Section 30 being a qualified exemption there is a statutory requirement to carry out a PIT when considering any disclosure and this is detailed below.

Public Interest Test - Investigations

The public interest is not what interests the public but what will be of greater good if released to the community as a whole. It is not in the public interest to disclose information that may compromise the MPS's ability to complete any future criminal investigations.

Evidence of Harm - Investigations

In considering whether or not this information should be disclosed we have considered the potential harm that could be caused by disclosure.

Under the Act we cannot and do not request the motives of any applicant for information. We have no doubt the vast majority of applications under the Act are legitimate and do not have any ulterior motives, however in disclosing information to one applicant we are expressing a willingness to provide it to anyone in the world.

This means that a disclosure to a genuinely interested applicant automatically opens it up for a similar disclosure to anyone, including those who might represent a threat to individuals or any possible criminal and/or civil process.

The MPS does not generally disclose information from investigations except through our Directorate of Media & Communication to the media. This is so potential witnesses are not discouraged to come forward and provide statements in relation to investigations.

The manner in which investigations are conducted is usually kept in strict secrecy so that the tactics and lines of enquiry that are followed do not become public knowledge thereby rendering them useless.

Detailing the resources allocated to a specific area of an investigation will give a clear insight into the nature and scope of any enquiry. Should the public be given such information suspects or potential suspects not yet arrested or interviewed could be alerted to police interest or the extent of police interest. As such while such information may seem innocuous there is the potential  for that information to frustrate the operational enquiry team by alerting suspects or giving then prior notice of police activity.

Sect 30 Investigations Public Interest considerations favouring disclosure

Details relating to the costs of investigating the disappearance of Madeleine McCann have been periodically published by the MPS and the Home Office.

The public therefore have a genuine interest in being informed as to the nature and circumstances of this case.

Sect 30 Investigations Public interest considerations favouring non-disclosure

During the course of any investigation enquires are made to secure evidence. These enquires are made for the duration of the case and are based upon proven methods as well as the judgement and experience of the officer(s) in charge of the investigation.

The MPS is reliant upon these techniques to conduct its investigations and the public release of the modus operandi employed during the course of this enquiry could prejudice the ability of the MPS to conduct further, similar
investigations.

As this is an ongoing investigation, the MPS would not wish to jeopardise the outcome by providing an ongoing commentary.

Additionally, there is already a large amount of information in the public domain related to Operation Grange. It is public knowledge that a team of MPS officers has recently been deployed to Portugal to conduct a strand of
the investigation there.

The MPS and the Home Office regularly publishes information about the investigation of the disappearance of Madeleine McCann. Information regarding Operation Grange has been published by the MPS in previous Freedom of Information Act request responses. Additionally, the Home Office publishes information related to the costs of Operation Grange.

Please find below internet links of examples of such disclosures:
http://www.met.police.uk/foi/pdfs/disclosure...
http://www.met.police.uk/foi/pdfs/disclosure...
http://www.met.police.uk/foi/pdfs/disclosure...
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications...

Balance Test

Release of the requested information may cause harm to the international relations between the UK and Portugal and the ongoing investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann.

Disclosure under the Act is a disclosure to the world not just to the individual making the request. The release of the requested information may disclose the level of policing interest in a particular area of policing and may give criminals an insight into the nature and scope of an investigation.

The public's interest would not be served in releasing information if its release could compromise this or any future policing investigation. Our decision is that the public interest favours withholding this information.

COMPLAINT RIGHTS

If you are dissatisfied with this response please read the attached paper entitled Complaint Rights which explains how to make a complaint.

Should you have any further enquiries concerning this matter, please contact me on 0207 230 6267 or via return E-mail, quoting the reference number above.

Yours sincerely

Yvette Taylor
Information Manager

In complying with their statutory duty under sections 1 and 11 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 to release the enclosed information, the Metropolitan Police Service will not breach the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. However, the rights of the copyright owner of the enclosed information will continue to be protected by law. Applications for the copyright owner's written permission to reproduce any part of the attached information should be addressed to MPS Directorate of Legal Services, 1st Floor (Victoria Block), New Scotland Yard, Victoria, London, SW1H 0BG.

COMPLAINT RIGHTS

Are you unhappy with how your request has been handled or do you think the decision is incorrect?

You have the right to require the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) to review their decision.

Prior to lodging a formal complaint you are welcome to discuss the response with the case officer who dealt with your request.

Complaint

If you are dissatisfied with the handling procedures or the decision of the MPS made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the Act) regarding access to information you can lodge a complaint with the MPS to have the
decision reviewed.

Complaints should be made in writing, within forty (40) working days from the date of the refusal notice, and addressed to:

FOI Complaint
Public Access Office
PO Box 57192
London
SW6 1SF
[email address]

In all possible circumstances the MPS will aim to respond to your complaint within 20 working days.

The Information Commissioner

After lodging a complaint with the MPS if you are still dissatisfied with the decision you may make application to the Information Commissioner for a decision on whether the request for information has been dealt with in accordance with the requirements of the Act.

For information on how to make application to the Information Commissioner please visit their website at http://www.informationcommissioner.gov.uk.Alternatively

Alternatively, phone or write to:

Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF
Phone:  01625 545 700

LEGAL ANNEX

Section 17(1) of the Act provides:

(1) A public authority which, in relation to any request for information, is to any extent relying on a claim that any provision of Part II relating to the duty to confirm or deny is relevant to the request or on a claim that information is exempt information must, within the time for complying with section 1(1), give the applicant a notice which-

(a)states that fact,
(b)specifies the exemption in question, and
(c)states (if that would not otherwise be apparent) why the exemption applies.

Section 27(1)(a)(c)(d) of the Act provides:

(1) Information is exempt information if its disclosure under this Act would, or would be likely to, prejudice-

(a) relations between the United Kingdom and any other State,
(b) relations between the United Kingdom and any international organisation or international court,
(c) the interests of the United Kingdom abroad, or
(d) the promotion or protection by the United Kingdom of its interests abroad.

Section 30(1)(a) of the Act provides:

1) Information held by a public authority is exempt information if it has at any time been held by the authority for the purposes of-

(a) any investigation which the public authority has a duty to conduct with a view to it being ascertained-

(i)whether a person should be charged with an offence, or
(ii) whether a person charged with an offence is guilty of it,

Total Policing is the Met's commitment to be on the streets and in your communities to catch offenders, prevent crime and support victims. We are here for London, working with you to make our capital safer.

Consider our environment - please do not print this email unless absolutely necessary.

NOTICE - This email and any attachments may be confidential, subject to copyright and/or legal privilege and are intended solely for the use of the intended recipient. If you have received this email in error, please notify the sender and delete it from your system. To avoid incurring legal liabilities, you must not distribute or copy the information in this email without the permission of the sender. MPS communication systems are monitored to the extent permitted by law.  Consequently, any email and/or attachments may be read by monitoring staff. Only specified personnel are authorised to conclude any binding agreement on behalf of the MPS by email. The MPS accepts no responsibility for unauthorised agreements reached with other employees or agents.  The security of this email and any attachments cannot be guaranteed. Email messages are routinely scanned but malicious software infection and corruption of content can still occur during transmission over the Internet. Any views or opinions expressed in this communication are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS).

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Madeleine McCann cops searching new site behind prime suspect's flat, 11 June 2014
 
Madeleine McCann cops searching new site behind prime suspect's flat Daily Mirror

Jun 11, 2014 18:07 | By Martin Fricker

New Maddie dig site is behind a water treatment plant where prime suspect Euclides Monteiro is believed to have worked.

Scotland Yard detectives have begun fresh searches in Portugal for clues into Madeleine McCann's disappearance

 

Scotland Yard detectives have begun fresh searches in Portugal for clues into Madeleine McCann's disappearance.

Forensic teams and specialist UK sniffer dogs scoured two overgrown areas of land close to the Praia da Luz apartment where she vanished in 2007.

Experts singled out the search areas after comparing satellite images from 2007 and 2014 and noticed changes in the terrain.

One cordoned off site was behind a water treatment plant where prime suspect Euclides Monteiro is believed to have worked.

The other was directly opposite the plant in the grounds of an empty gated estate situated on the main road to nearby Lagos.

Map: Police search areas

 

Scotland Yard are refusing to comment on a possible link between the search area and prime suspect Monteiro.

He was working at a water and sewage plant in nearby Lagos when Madeleine vanished from the Ocean Club complex.

But his ex-colleagues said the former heroin addict and convicted burglar's duties included visiting other local treatment plants.

Monteiro used to work as a waiter at the Ocean Club but was sacked for stealing tips a year before Madeleine disappeared.

Prime suspect: Euclides Monteiro

 

Prime suspect: Euclides Monteiro

He died in a tractor accident, aged 40, in 2009, and his widow Luisa Rodriguez insists her late husband is innocent.

Officers from Operation Grange arrived at the first search area at 7am, one hour after a large cordon was set up by their Portuguese counterparts.

Forensic archaeologists and anthropologists scoured the land as temperatures soared to 30C.

UK sniffer dogs that were involved in the hunt for tragic April Jones were again seen working in specific areas inside the cordon.

The site is half a mile from the apartment complex where the McCanns were staying when Madeleine disappeared without trace.

It is situated at the bottom of a large rocky hill and is close to barren headland overlooking the Atlantic Ocean.

Det Chief Insp Andy Redwood, the officer in charge of the case, was spotted at the site overseeing the fresh searches.

The main activity was concentrated on a taped-off area roughly the size of two tennis courts inside the cordon.

At one point nine uniformed Met Police officers lined up and began carrying out a methodical search using sticks to poke at the undergrow Portuguese police sources said at least one "item of interest" was taken away from the scene for scientific analysis.

Officers used a pick axe and shovel to dig within the small section, while others stood in a group watching them work.

Search: Andy Redwood in Portugal as British police search land in Praia da Luz

Search: Andy Redwood in Portugal as British police search land in Praia da Luz

The search teams lifted the cordon shortly after midday and later turned their attention to a second site directly across the road.

The scrubland is part of an empty gated estate called 'Quinta da Luz' and is covered in long grasses and bushes.

According to Portuguese sources the searches could come to an end as early as Thursday.

The new digs came after British cops spent seven apparently fruitless days searching wasteland close to where the youngster vanished.

Madeleine's parents are being kept informed throughout the work and said last week they are bracing themselves for "significant news".

The youngster was nearly four-years-old when she vanished while her parents dined with friends in a nearby tapas restaurant.

The Portuguese police case - which was criticised after the McCanns were named formal suspects - was shelved the following year.

Operation Grange was set up in 2011 to investigate the disappearance after David Cameron ordered Scotland Yard to review all the evidence in the case.

British detectives have identified eight male suspects they want to quiz in connection with Madeleine's disappearance.

Madeleine McCann: no fresh evidence uncovered in scrubland search, 11 June 2014
Madeleine McCann: no fresh evidence uncovered in scrubland search The Guardian

British police end unprecedented ground-level operation after scouring 60,000 square metres of wasteland in Praia da Luz

Josh Halliday and Brendan de Beer in Praia da Luz
Wednesday 11 June 2014 19.01 BST

British police with sniffer dogs check an area of scrubland during the search for Madeleine McCann in Praia da Luz. Photograph: Philip Toscano/PA

Detectives investigating the disappearance of Madeleine McCann have uncovered no fresh evidence after searching scrubland in Portugal, Scotland Yard has said.

A team of British police officers ended the unprecedented ground-level operation on Wednesday after scouring 60,000 square metres of wasteland in Praia da Luz, the holiday resort where she was last seen alive seven years ago.

In a statement, Scotland Yard said the meticulous searches were based on the hypothesis that Madeleine was murdered and buried locally, but stressed that all lines of inquiry remained open.

The major police search, which began last Monday, was the first to be undertaken in Praia da Luz since the then three-year-old girl disappeared from a holiday apartment on 3 May 2007.

The force described the operation as the largest overseas deployment ever undertaken by British police and said it was the "first phase of this investigation" into Madeleine's disappearance. Although the eight-day searches turned up no fresh evidence, the Met said detectives had gained an "essential understanding of the activity on and people that have used this piece of land".

The force added in a statement: "There is still a substantial amount of work yet to be completed in the coming weeks and months, which again should be viewed as no more than normal operational activity in a case of this size and complexity.

"This recent work is part of ensuring that all lines of inquiry are progressed in a systematic manner and covers just the one hypothesis that she was killed and buried locally. This is the same as would be done in the UK for a murder or high-risk missing person inquiry. The scientific support staff involved were there to provide the highest level of assurance that this area was searched to the highest possible standards."

Detectives identified 41 ground anomalies after surveying the site by air and land, police said, but further investigations failed to turn up any relevant evidence.

Metropolitan police DCI Andy Redwood, the senior officer investigating the case, was earlier seen at the third and final search site just outside Praia da Luz. A team of British police officers and two trained sniffer dogs searched the grounds of a large property after using bolt croppers to open the tall metal gates outside.

Across from the site, graffiti in big red letters has been scrawled across a wall, stating "Polícia inglesa estupidos" (stupid English police) with Madeleine's named written alongside it, but spelt as "Meddi".

After the searches had drawn to a close, Scotland Yard confirmed that "more activity has been agreed" and would be commenced shortly.

It is understood that Portuguese police are preparing to question several suspects on behalf of their British counterparts. The suspects are all believed to reside locally and are "mostly Portuguese", Portuguese police sources said.

Madeleine McCann search ends without any evidence being uncovered, 11 June 2014
Madeleine McCann search ends without any evidence being uncovered Daily Mirror

Jun 11, 2014 19:46 | By Martin Fricker

Scotland Yard detectives are expected to fly home tomorrow and return to Portugal at a later date to quiz eight suspects under supervision of Portuguese police

British police continue searches

Hopes of a breakthrough in the Madeleine McCann case have been dashed as searches in Portugal ended without any evidence being uncovered.

The missing youngster's parents Kate and Gerry had been bracing themselves for "significant news" during the unprecedented eight-day operation.

But Scotland Yard admitted no evidence linked to the long-running case had been found after searching 60,000 sq metres of land in Praia da Luz.

The news will be a devastating blow for the couple, who hoped clues to their daughter's disappearance seven years ago could finally emerge.

British teams searched two new sites on the outskirts of the resort - but came away empty-handed. A week-long search of scrubland close to the apartment where Madeleine vanished in 2007 also failed to throw up any clues.

Scotland Yard detectives are expected to fly home tomorrow and return to Portugal at a later date to quiz eight suspects.

In a statement the force insisted the investigation was still in its early stages and said further activity in Portugal will commence "shortly".

It read: "At this time no evidence relating to Madeleine McCann has been identified.

Map: Police search areas

Map: Police search areas

"However it has given us an essential understanding of the activity on and people that have used this piece of land.

"This was the first phase of this major investigation which has been agreed with the Portuguese following the four International Letters of Request submitted to date.

"More activity has been agreed and we expect that to commence shortly.

"In addition further requests are being compiled and will be submitted in due course.

"The decision to search the "horse shoe" shaped piece of waste ground to the west of Praia da Luz and other sites was as a specific result of the UK's investigation work to date.

"The total area of land searched and surveyed was of approximately 60,000 sq metres and included all utilities, drainage channels and derelict buildings.

"Forty one ground anomalies were identified initially by both aerial survey and ground analysis which were then investigated fully.

"These included three outside of the original area.

"There is still a substantial amount of work yet to be completed in the coming weeks and months.

"This recent work is part of ensuring that all lines of enquiry are progressed in a systematic manner and covers just the one hypothesis that she was killed and buried locally.

Missing: Madeleine McCann

Missing: Madeleine McCann

"This is the same as would be done in the UK for a murder or high risk missing person enquiry.

"The scientific support staff involved were there to provide the highest level of assurance that this area was searched to the highest possible standards."

Forensic teams and specialist UK sniffer dogs scoured two overgrown areas of land close to the apartment where she vanished.

Experts singled out the search areas after comparing satellite images from 2007 and 2014 and noticed changes in the terrain.

One cordoned off site was behind a water treatment plant where prime suspect Euclides Monteiro is believed to have worked.

The other was directly opposite the plant in the grounds of an empty gated estate situated on the main road to nearby Lagos.

Officers from Operation Grange arrived at the first search area at 7am, one hour after a large cordon was set up by their Portuguese counterparts.

Forensic archaeologists and anthropologists scoured the land as temperatures soared to 30C. UK sniffer dogs that were involved in the hunt for tragic April Jones were again seen working in specific areas inside the cordon.

Search: Scotland Yard flew in dogs used in the search for April Jones

Search: Scotland Yard flew in dogs used in the search for April Jones

The main activity was concentrated on a taped-off area roughly the size of two tennis courts inside the cordon.

Search teams lifted the cordon shortly after midday and later turned their attention to a second site directly across the road.

The scrubland was part of an empty gated estate called 'Quinta da Luz' and is covered in long grasses and bushes.

But after searching for just two hours they left empty-handed and said farewell to Portuguese detectives and police officers at the scene.

Madeleine was nearly four-years-old when she vanished while her parents dined with friends in a nearby tapas restaurant.

The Portuguese police case - which was criticised after the McCanns were named formal suspects - was shelved the following year.

Operation Grange was set up in 2011 to investigate the disappearance after David Cameron ordered Scotland Yard to review all the evidence in the case.

British detectives have identified eight male suspects they want to quiz in connection with Madeleine's disappearance.

Madeleine McCann search bring no leads for 'stupid English', 11 June 2014
Madeleine McCann search bring no leads for 'stupid English' Metro

Wednesday 11 Jun 2014 11:19 pm

 
General view of the location where British police officers search the ground for missing British girl Madeleine McCann

General view of the location where British police officers search the ground for missing British girl Madeleine McCann in Praia da Luz, Algarve, Southern Portugal (Picture: EPA)

Searches of scrubland have thrown up no new evidence relating to missing Madeleine McCann, British police confirmed.

Three barren sites have been scoured near the Portuguese resort of Praia da Luz. Scotland Yard said 'more activity has been agreed' for the coming days.

Investigators from both countries have covered 60,000sq m of land, including drains and derelict buildings.

'This work is part of ensuring that all lines of inquiry are progressed in a systematic manner and covers just the one hypothesis that she was killed and buried locally,' a Yard spokesman said.

Once the search has been completed, officers are expected to question several suspects who are 'of interest'.

The police's presence in the town has not been welcomed. On a wall opposite one of the areas searched by specialist teams, graffiti has been scrawled which slurs the McCann family and describes British police as 'stupid'.

Locals who rely on tourism to make a living have expressed anger that new searches are taking place at the start of the summer.

Although the Portuguese have also reopened their inquiry into Madeleine's disappearance seven years ago, they have refused to set up a joint investigation with the Met. The search is the 'largest ever undertaken by British police overseas in a case of this type'.

The first phase of the operation took eight days in total.

Quinta da Luz - 7 years on, 11 June 2014
Quinta da Luz - 7 years on

With thanks to Jon for video spot

Quinta da Luz was the second area searched by British police officers on 11 June 2014 (third area in total).

It had been previously searched by Portuguese GNR officers, with sniffer dogs, in May 2007. The scrolling Sky News logo indicates the footage was broadcast at 12:36, on 14 May 2007.

GNR officers, with sniffer dogs, search Quinta da Luz, May 2007
GNR officers, with sniffer dogs, search Quinta da Luz, May 2007

General view of the location where British police officers search the ground for missing British girl Madeleine McCann
British officers search Quinta da Luz, 11 June 2014

Maddie: Locals hit out at Brit police, 12 June 2014
Maddie: Locals hit out at Brit police Daily Star (paper edition, page 19)

 
Daily Star, 12 June 2014 (paper edition, page 19)

 

Graffiti raps Yard search

by PAUL ROBINS
Thursday, June 12, 2014


ANGRY locals turned on British police hunting for Madeleine McCann in Portugal yesterday.

Graffiti branding Scotland Yard officers "stupid" was daubed on a wall overlooking one of the search sites.

The operation is causing increasing anger in the resort of Praia da Luz on the Algarve.

Businesses have accused police of driving holidaymakers away at the start of the busy summer tourist season.

Last night Scotland Yard confirmed they had now completed their eight-day search of three areas in the small seaside town.

No evidence relating to the missing youngster has been identified, but "more activity has been agreed", and it is expected to begin soon.

Scotland Yard said there was "still a substantial amount of work yet to be completed in the coming weeks and months".

It said: "This recent work is part of ensuring that all lines of inquiry are progressed in a systematic manner and covers just the one hypothesis that she was killed and buried locally.

"This is the same as would be done in the UK for a murder or high-risk missing person inquiry."

Yesterday detectives scoured two sites of interest close to the resort where Madeleine vanished in May 2007, aged three.

Sniffer dogs were sent in as officers combed a field overgrown with long grass, trees and bushes on a site that included a large vegetable patch and a derelict farmhouse.

Earlier, police scoured scrubland behind a water treatment plant 500 yards from the resort.

Drug addict Euclides Monteiro, one of the prime suspects who has since died, was working at the plant at the time.

The search using radar and forensic archaeologists turned up junk but few clues.

British money, pet bones, a sock and two cannabis plants were among the items found.

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

Online:

Madeleine McCann search: Locals hit out at British police Daily Star

ANGRY locals turned on British police hunting for Madeleine McCann in Portugal yesterday.

By Paul Robins / Published 12th June 2014

ANGER: The wall is daubed with red graffiti labelling British police as stupid [PA]

Graffiti branding Scotland Yard officers "stupid" was daubed on a wall overlooking one of the search sites.

The operation is causing increasing anger in the resort of Praia da Luz on the Algarve.

Businesses have accused police of driving holidaymakers away at the start of the busy summer tourist season.

Last night Scotland Yard confirmed they had now completed their eight-day search of three areas in the small seaside town.

No evidence relating to the missing youngster has been identified, but "more activity has been agreed", and it is expected to begin soon.

Scotland Yard said there was "still a substantial amount of work yet to be completed in the coming weeks and months".

It said: "This recent work is part of ensuring that all lines of inquiry are progressed in a systematic manner and covers just the one hypothesis that she was killed and buried locally.

"This is the same as would be done in the UK for a murder or high-risk missing person inquiry."

Yesterday detectives scoured two sites of interest close to the resort where Madeleine vanished in May 2007, aged three.

Sniffer dogs were sent in as officers combed a field overgrown with long grass, trees and bushes on a site that included a large vegetable patch and a derelict farmhouse.

Earlier, police scoured scrubland behind a water treatment plant 500 yards from the resort.

Drug addict Euclides Monteiro, one of the prime suspects who has since died, was working at the plant at the time.

The search using radar and forensic archaeologists turned up junk but few clues.

British money, pet bones, a sock and two cannabis plants were among the items found.

Met officers under fire for failed Madeleine searches, 12 June 2014
Met officers under fire for failed Madeleine searches The Times (paper edition, page 5)

 
The Times, 12 June 2014

David Brown
Thursday June 12 2014


Scotland Yard admitted last night that officers investigating the disappearance of Madeleine McCann had failed to find any evidence relating to her during searches of three Algarve sites.

Officers arrived at the final site yesterday on the outskirts of Praia da Luz to be greeted with graffiti criticising the "stupid" English police.

The failure to find any evidence in the search sites will raise questions about the £5 million British investigation ordered by David Cameron after the Portuguese police closed the case.

Officers searched wasteland close to the Ocean Club resort where Madeleine disappeared in May 2007 and two sites to the west of the town.

A Scotland Yard spokesman said: "At this time no evidence relating to Madeleine McCann has been identified.

"However, it has given us an essential understanding of the activity on - and people that have used - this piece of land."

A spokesman for Madeleine's parents, Kate and Gerry McCann, from Rothley, Leicestershire, said: "In the absence of any evidence to the contrary, Kate and Gerry continue to believe that Madeleine is still alive"

Search teams used sniffer dogs and ground-penetrating radar to examine 60,000 square metres of land including all utilities, drainage channels and derelict buildings.

Scotland Yard has asked the Portuguese authorities to speak to three "people of interest", believed to be former workers at the Ocean Club. They have been told that they will be allowed to sit in during the interviews but cannot intervene.

The British investigators are seeking information about a man who sneaked into bedrooms to assault young girls holidaying with their families on the Algarve on at least 12 occasions.

Vile yob slurs at Maddie parents, 12 June 2014
Vile yob slurs at Maddie parents The Sun (paper edition, page 9)

SICK GRAFFITI NEAR DIG SITE

[see below for image]

Search cops find no evidence

From GARY O'SHEA in Praia da Luz, Portugal
Thursday, June 12, 2014


SICKOS have sprayed messages attacking Madeleine McCann's parents and British cops - at the latest site of the hunt for clues to find the missing youngster.

The graffiti, in Portuguese and sprayed in red paint, said: "The parents killed Maddie. Stupid English police."

The untrue smears were daubed on a wall near scrubland hours before searching in Praia da Luz, where the three-year-old vanished in 2007.

And last night Met officers admitted their eight-day trawl of the holiday resort had so far failed to turn up any evidence.

But Scotland Yard chiefs said months of painstaking work lies ahead as police examine fresh theories.

A spokesman said: "At this time no evidence relating to Madeleine McCann has been identified."

He said of the searches: "This was the first phase of this major investigation which has been agreed with the Portuguese.

"More activity has been agreed and we expect that to commence shortly.

"Further requests are being compiled and will be submitted in due course."

The spokesman revealed: "The total area of land searched and surveyed was approximately 60,000 sq metres and included all utilities, drainage channels and derelict buildings."

He said 41 "ground anomalies" - potential burial plots - had been probed.

And he added: "This recent work is part of ensuring that all lines of enquiry are progressed in a systematic manner and covers just the one hypothesis that she (Madeleine) was killed and buried locally."

The youngster's mum and dad - Kate, 46, and Gerry, 45, of Rothley, Leics - were cleared as suspects in their daughter's disappearance in July 2008.

They refused to comment about the malicious graffiti last night. But a spokesman for the couple said: "In the light of what Scotland Yard have said, Kate and Gerry continue to have full confidence in Operation Grange and remain very grateful to all the officers for the work they have been doing on the ground in Portugal.

"In the absence of any evidence to the contrary, they continue to believe that Madeleine is still alive and out there waiting to be found."

Vile yob slurs at Maddie parents, 12 June 2014

The Sun, 12 June 2014 (paper edition, page 9)
The Sun, 12 June 2014 (paper edition, page 9)

11 June, 2014 - Statement from Gerry and Kate, 12 June 2014
Note:

Although dated 11 June 2014, this statement from the McCanns appeared online on 12 June 2014 - both on the Official Find Madeleine Campaign Facebook page and the official Find Madeleine website.

They appear to have got themselves mixed up with the number of days Scotland Yard have been searching for their daughter. Initially, they plumped for 'significant activity has taken place...over the last 10 days' - which is actually correct, given the statement was published on 12 June (work started 02 June).

They then decided to edit it to 'significant activity has taken place...over the last 8 days' - possibly as a consequence of reading the update statement from Operation Grange. However, what the Met referred to was 'an eight day period of work' (this being 02-08 June + 11 June) taking place within a 10 day period of time, not work over the last eight days.

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

 
11 June, 2014 - Statement from Gerry and Kate Official Find Madeleine Campaign - Facebook

 
11 June, 2014 - Statement from Gerry and Kate Official Find Madeleine Campaign - Facebook

 
11 June, 2014 - Statement from Gerry and Kate Official Find Madeleine Campaign - Facebook

 

Original version, with '10 days':

Official Find Madeleine Campaign

Thursday, 12 June 2014 at 12:05

11 June, 2014 - Statement from Gerry and Kate

We are very pleased that significant activity has taken place in Praia da Luz over the last 10 days with police officers and support teams from the UK working closely with the Policia Judicial and the Guarda Nacional Republicana. We are further encouraged that, despite the intensive searches, no trace of Madeleine has been found and this reinforces our belief that she could still be alive. As parents of a missing child, we have always wanted all reasonable lines of enquiry to be followed and it is gratifying to know that a substantial amount of work will take place over the coming months with close cooperation of the British and Portuguese authorities. We would like to thank all those involved for their efforts and the members of the public who have come forward with information.

Gerry and Kate

findmadeleine.com

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

Edited version, with '8 days':

Official Find Madeleine Campaign

Thursday, 12 June 2014 at 12:38

11 June, 2014 - Statement from Gerry and Kate

We are very pleased that significant activity has taken place in Praia da Luz over the last 8 days with police officers and support teams from the UK working closely with the Policia Judicial and the Guarda Nacional Republicana. We are further encouraged that, despite the intensive searches, no trace of Madeleine has been found and this reinforces our belief that she could still be alive. As parents of a missing child, we have always wanted all reasonable lines of enquiry to be followed and it is gratifying to know that a substantial amount of work will take place over the coming months with close cooperation of the British and Portuguese authorities. We would like to thank all those involved for their efforts and the members of the public who have come forward with information.

Gerry and Kate

findmadeleine.com

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

Statement also appears here:

11 June, 2014 - Statement from Gerry and Kate findmadeleine.com

 
findmadeleine.com update, placed online12 June 2104

Updates

11 June, 2014 - Statement from Gerry and Kate

We are very pleased that significant activity has taken place in Praia da Luz over the last 8 days with police officers and support teams from the UK working closely with the Policia Judicial and the Guarda Nacional Republicana. We are further encouraged that, despite the intensive searches, no trace of Madeleine has been found and this reinforces our belief that she could still be alive. As parents of a missing child, we have always wanted all reasonable lines of enquiry to be followed and it is gratifying to know that a substantial amount of work will take place over the coming months with close cooperation of the British and Portuguese authorities. We would like to thank all those involved for their efforts and the members of the public who have come forward with information.


Gerry and Kate

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

11 June, 2014 - Update from Operation Grange

Operation Grange officers working alongside experts in their field from around the UK, the Policia Judicial and the Guarda Nacional Republicana today, Wednesday 11 June completed an eight day period of work searching specific areas of land in Praia da Luz.

At this time no evidence relating to Madeleine McCann has been identified. However it has given us an essential understanding of the activity on and people that have used this piece of land.

This was the first phase of this major investigation which has been agreed with the Portuguese following the four International Letters of Request submitted to date. More activity has been agreed and we expect that to commence shortly. In addition further requests are being compiled and will be submitted in due course.

The decision to search the "horse shoe" shaped piece of waste ground to the west of Praia da Luz and other sites was as a specific result of the UK’s investigation work to date.

The total area of land searched and surveyed was of approximately 60,000 sq metres and included all utilities, drainage channels and derelict buildings. 41 ground anomalies were identified initially by both aerial survey and ground analysis which were then investigated fully. These included three outside of the original area.

This deployment which was the largest ever undertaken by UK police overseas in a case of this type, highlighted the effective nature of the assistance given by the Portuguese authorities, for which the investigation team and family are very grateful.

The media's understanding and co-operation following Assistant Commissioner Rowley's pre deployment briefing has also been noted and appreciated.

There is still a substantial amount of work yet to be completed in the coming weeks and months, which again should be viewed as no more than normal operational activity in a case of this size and complexity. This recent work is part of ensuring that all lines of enquiry are progressed in a systematic manner and covers just the one hypothesis that she was killed and buried locally. This is the same as would be done in the UK for a murder or high risk missing person enquiry. The scientific support staff involved were there to provide the highest level of assurance that this area was searched to the highest possible standards.

McCanns 'encouraged' by searches, 12 June 2014
 
McCanns 'encouraged' by searches Press Association

Press Association – 12 June 2014 | 12:36

A British police officer scrambles over a wall as British and Portuguese officers investigate the disappearance of Madeleine McCann from Praia da Luz

Press Association - A British police officer scrambles over a wall as British and Portuguese officers investigate the disappearance of Madeleine McCann from Praia da Luz

Madeleine McCann's parents have said that the fact police have found no evidence relating to their missing daughter has reinforced their belief that she could still be alive.

Kate and Gerry McCann said they were "very pleased" with the significant activity that had taken place in Praia da Luz and it was "gratifying" to know that a substantial amount of work will take place over the coming months.

Detectives found no evidence relating to the missing child during searches of three areas of land over the past 10 days, but have said more will be carried out "shortly".

In a statement released through spokesman Clarence Mitchell today, Mr and Mrs McCann said: "We are very pleased that significant activity has taken place in Praia da Luz over the last 10 days with police officers and support teams from the UK working closely with the Policia Judiciaria and the Guarda Nacional Republicana.

"We are further encouraged that despite the intensive searches, no trace of Madeleine has been found and this reinforces our belief that she could still be alive.

"As parents of a missing child, we have always wanted all reasonable lines of inquiry to be followed and it is gratifying to know that a substantial amount of work will take place over the coming months with the close co-operation of the British and Portuguese authorities.

"We would like to thank all those involved for their efforts and the members of the public who have come forward with information."

Scotland Yard last night said there is "still a substantial amount of work yet to be completed in the coming weeks and months" and the recent activity was only the "first phase of this major investigation which has been agreed with the Portuguese".

The British officers were believed to be flying home today and tomorrow and it is not clear when they will return.

Their departure comes as residents and business owners in the Algarve resort spoke of their frustration at learning the police activity is set to go on, with one telling British police to "go home".

Today, locals in the town suggested they should sue the British police for the loss of earnings they have incurred, with another claiming the investigation was "killing" the small resort.

Waiter Fernando Pereira said the timing of the searches, at the start of the tourist season was a "bloody nuisance".

He added: "Praia da Luz is not a very big place. There are very narrow roads. It's a pain.

"If they are going to be doing even more digging up and closing roads it's going to disturb everyone.

"Everyone's opinion here - and even the British people who live here - is that it's a bit too much now. The British police should just go home."

A local estate agent, who gave his name only as Pedro, said the police investigation was putting off potential buyers when he showed them around properties.

He said: "Suddenly they see a huge police operation and you have to explain. Some people take it very lightly and don't care but others, you can see that they feel very uncomfortable.

"What happened is nothing to do with the people of Praia da Luz but it will always be associated with Madeleine."

He added that the local feeling was that the police investigation was a "waste of time".

"More and more you feel that people have no faith in the police," he said.

Expats also spoke of their anger, with one saying: "Enough is enough".

The British woman, who did not want to be named, said: "Praia da Luz is surrounded by scrubland - when's it going to stop? I don't know what they're going to find - a big fat zero I should think.

"It's a family resort but this investigation is killing it."

Searches in the Portuguese resort saw officers from Scotland Yard's Operation Grange working alongside specialists from around the UK including Sussex Police and South Wales Police, with the Portuguese police.

The force said the decision to search the horseshoe-shaped piece of scrubland close to the Ocean Club resort where Madeleine went missing aged three in May 2007, with the two sites investigated yesterday, was a specific result of the UK's investigation work to date.

The three areas were identified as places to be surveyed after 41 ground anomalies were identified by both aerial survey and ground analysis.

British officers, accompanied by their Portuguese counterparts, spent seven days carrying out a methodical search of the first site last week, with TV crews and press from around the world descending on the resort as the new development in the lengthy investigation took place.

Specialist teams including forensics officers, sniffer dogs and officers using ground-penetrating radar equipment were used on the large site, with the two areas searched yesterday being smaller and on the outskirts of the town.

As police prepared to search the second two areas, graffiti slurring the McCann family and describing British police as "stupid" was scrawled on a nearby wall overnight.

A spokesman for Mr and Mrs McCann, from Rothley, Leicestershire, said they declined to comment on the graffiti, which was written in large red letters in Portuguese.

The new operation in Portugal is only being carried out at the request of the British authorities after they submitted four International Letters of Request.

There have also been unconfirmed reports last week that Scotland Yard has been granted permission to question three suspects about the case.

The Portuguese have also reopened their inquiry into Madeleine's disappearance but, while they are working with the UK force, they have refused to set up an official joint investigation.

Madeleine – UK police announce more activity as searches unearth "nothing relevant", 12 June 2014
Madeleine – UK police announce more activity as searches unearth "nothing relevant" The Portugal News

BY BRENDAN DE BEER · 12-06-2014 14:49:00

Police looking to explain the disappearance of Madeleine McCann on Wednesday concluded an eight-day long search in three separate areas of scrubland and rugged terrain in and around the resort of Praia da Luz. Minutes after the final search was called off, British police issued a statement to the press promising substantial work in coming months and weeks. But following these searches, Portuguese PJ police said "nothing relevant had been unearthed."

 
DCI Andy Redwood and team in Praia da Luz


 

Searches that had previously taken place for seven consecutive days were completed on Wednesday, the eighth and final day, when detectives moved to two separate sites on a road leading out of Praia da Luz.

Police scoured a total of 60,000 square metres during their eight-day search for clues.

Most search days commenced with the use of two sniffer dogs, Tito and Muzzie from the South Wales police, before detectives and forensic experts moved in.

On the final day of searches, within sight of British detectives, graffiti in big red letters was scrawled across a wall, which read “Polícia inglesa estúpidos” (stupid English police) with Madeleine’s named written alongside it, but spelt “Meddi”. Similar graffiti was posted on a second access road to Praia da Luz.

Sources close to the case have meanwhile confirmed that they were preparing to question “several suspects” or arguidos on behalf of the Metropolitan police, but said this would take some time before starting.

The suspects are all believed to reside locally and are “mostly Portuguese”, police sources said.

Sources close to the case explained that these suspects will be taken in for questioning and will immediately be read their rights and constituted formal suspects, which will afford them legal protection, such as the right to remain silent or the right a to lawyer.

Regarding the searches, detectives from Operation Grange, appointed to investigate Mad-eleine’s disappearance explained on Wednesday evening that no evidence relating to Madeleine McCann had been identified.

“However it has given us an essential understanding of the activity on, and people that have used, this piece of land”, the statement read.

Metropolitan police added that these searches amounted to the first phase of this major investigation which has been agreed with the Portuguese following the four International Letters of Request submitted to date.

“More activity has been agreed and we expect that to commence shortly. In addition further requests are being compiled and will be submitted in due course.”

The Metropolitan police added that this deployment was the largest ever undertaken by UK Police overseas in a case of this type, and said it “highlighted the effective nature of the assistance given by the Portuguese authorities, for which the investigation team and family are very grateful.”

The media were also praised for their behaviour throughout the searches.

The statement continued to explained that “this recent work is part of ensuring that all lines of enquiry are progressed in a systematic manner and covers just the one hypothesis that she was killed and buried locally.”

But as searches drew to a close, it was announced that the civil trial in which the parents of Madeleine McCann are demanding 1.2 million euros for alleged libellous claims made by former PJ (Polícia Judiciária) detective Gonçalo Amaral, is set to recommence next Monday (16 June).

Proceedings will take place at a Lisbon Civil Court at the Justice Palace (Palácio da Justiça) after they were suspended last October in order to allow Kate and Gerry McCann to seek an out-of-court settlement with Gonçalo Amaral.

As no agreement was reached, the judge decided to revive legal proceedings.

Lawyer for the McCann family Isabel Duarte confirmed that proceedings would commence on Monday, but failed to state whether Kate and Gerry would be present.

Isabel Duarte did however say that “Kate and Gerry will now finally be given the opportunity to provide oral evidence.”

Madeleine McCann went missing seven years ago from a holiday apartment in Praia da Luz while her parents dined in the company of seven friends at a nearby Tapas restaurant.

Maddie 'hope', 13 June 2014
 
Maddie 'hope' The Sun (paper edition, page 38)

 
Maddie 'hope' - The Sun, 13 June 2014 (paper edition, page 38)


 

Parents' relief as police search draws a blank

By GARY O'SHEA
Friday, June 13, 2014


MADELEINE McCann's parents have said cops' fruitless hunt for evidence has boosted their hopes that she is still alive.

Met detectives found no clues in painstaking searches of three sites around Praia da Luz - where Madeleine vanished aged three in 2007.

But they insisted more searches are due "shortly" and Kate and Gerry McCann said yesterday: "We are very pleased significant activity has taken place over the last ten days.

"We are further encouraged that, despite the intensive searches, no trace of Madeleine has been found and this reinforces our belief that she could still be alive."

They added: "It is gratifying to know a substantial amount of work will take place in the coming months."

Scotland Yard said its efforts in Portugal were just the "first phase" of a major investigation. Meanwhile, Mr and Mrs McCann are due to fly to Lisbon on Monday to tell a libel trial how Portuguese cop Goncalo Amaral wrecked their lives by accusing them of a cover-up.

Amaral's vile book The Truth of the Lie included baseless claims the couple staged an abduction.

Dismal Spectacle, 13 June 2014
 
Dismal Spectacle Correio da Manhã

Carlos Anjos

The investigation of the last two weeks, if it can be called an investigation, was surreal.

By Carlos Anjos
President of the Committee for the Protection of Crime Victims, former president of PJ Union
13 June 2014
With thanks to
Joana Morais for translation

If there were doubts about the PJ investigation, lo and behold, the English police conferred legitimacy to it.

The investigation that we have witnessed in the last two weeks, if it can be called investigation, was at best, surreal. While watching Andy Redwood, I've missed Gonçalo Amaral.

The English police had no idea what they were doing, in addition to the spending of money. In two years they have already spent over €8 million, the operating budget of the PJ in one year.

In two weeks, they told us that Maddie was abducted by an abuser who used to lay down in a bed with minors. And when the girl woke up, she was killed and buried.

Then there were three Portuguese, but could have been six, that were committing burglaries. Maddie woke up, she was killed and buried.

Then, at the searches, they found two cannabis plants and look: Maddie was killed by drug traffickers who were robbing her house.

Objective fact: the English have no doubt that there was a robbery.

Problem: there was no break-in, the doors were locked and nothing was stolen.

So how did they get in? Another mystery.

And then they went, as they came, after that dismal spectacle.

Maddie blank, 14 June 2014
Maddie blank Daily Star (paper edition, page 17)

Maddie blank - Daily Star, 14 June 2014 (paper edition, page 17)

 
By NADEEM BADSHAH
Saturday, June 14, 2014


POLICE are returning to Britain after their probe into missing Madeleine McCann proved fruitless.

Officers including DCI Andy Redwood carried out eight days of searches in Praia da Luz, Portugal, at sites where she was last seen alive in May 2007.

The Met's investigation is thought to have cost £5million so far. But it said the searches were just the first phase of Operation Grange.

It is expected that several suspects will be questioned by Portuguese police in the next few weeks.

The Met said: "This recent work is part of ensuring all lines of inquiry are progressed in a systematic manner and covers just the one hypothesis that she was killed and buried locally.

"This is the same as would be done in the UK for a murder or high-risk missing persons inquiry."

Maddie's parents Kate and Gerry said they were encouraged nothing was found as it reinforced their belief that she could still be alive.

They said: "As parents of a missing child, we have always wanted all reasonable lines of inquiry to be followed and it is gratifying to know that a substantial amount of work will take place over the coming months."

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

Online:

Madeleine McCann dig proves fruitless: Brit cops fly home Daily Star

POLICE are returning to Britain after their probe into missing Madeleine McCann proved fruitless.

By Nadeem Badshah / Published 14th June 2014

MYSTERY: Specialist cops have turned up a blank after their dig in Portugal [PA]

Officers including DCI Andy Redwood carried out eight days of searches in Praia da Luz, Portugal, at sites where she was last seen alive in May 2007.

The Met's investigation is thought to have cost £5million so far. But it said the searches were just the first phase of Operation Grange.

It is expected that several suspects will be questioned by Portuguese police in the next few weeks.

The Met said: "This recent work is part of ensuring all lines of inquiry are progressed in a systematic manner and covers just the one hypothesis that she was killed and buried locally.

"This is the same as would be done in the UK for a murder or high-risk missing persons inquiry."

Maddie's parents Kate and Gerry said they were encouraged nothing was found as it reinforced their belief that she could still be alive.

They said: "As parents of a missing child, we have always wanted all reasonable lines of inquiry to be followed and it is gratifying to know that a substantial amount of work will take place over the coming months."

Maddie's disappearance - English follow different leads from PJ, 15 June 2014
 
Maddie's disappearance - English follow different leads from PJ CMTV

 
Debate with Gonçalo Amaral, journalist Tânia Laranjo moderated by João Ferreira

Debate with Gonçalo Amaral, journalist Tânia Laranjo moderated by João Ferreira

Broadcast by CMTV on Sunday, 15 June 2014 at 23h00
With thanks to Joana Morais and Textusa for transcript/translation/image

João Ferreira, CMTV News Anchor - Tânia Laranjo, CMTV journalist, who has followed this case since the beginning and Gonçalo Amaral, who headed the initial investigation are our guests, in the first half of tonight's CMTV's special broadcast. Good evening to both, thank you for being here.

Tânia Laranjo, CMTV/CM journalist - Good evening, thank you.

João Ferreira, CMTV News Anchor - Gonçalo Amaral, I'll start with you. These investigations by the British police are just a show-off? [idiomatic expression, "for the English to see"]

Gonçalo Amaral, former coordinator of the PJ of Portimão - No, these investigations of the British police have much to do with what is taking place. Notice that Monday [the following day, 16th of July] the trial will proceed where the McCanns ask for damages and none of this happens coincidentally. So, now I am the target of a lawsuit in which it is essential - as Moita Flores explained a few days ago in the newspaper Correio da Manhã - not to attribute blame but to find excuses, and this is what the British police are doing. The British police, with the support of the Portuguese police, is at the moment worried with my trial. Don't even doubt it. They are troubled and are attempting in some way to exert pressure on the trial...

João Ferreira - So you, Gonçalo Amaral, don't have any doubts about that?

Gonçalo Amaral - No, I don't have any doubts about that, because coincidences only exist when we want them to happen. In fact it has always been this way. If we look at the history, if we create a flowchart of the years since the trial began and see when the investigation peaks, all these peaks of when the investigation goes on to the field and media, don't you doubt it will correspond with the eve of a hearing session of the trial, and this next session is important...

João Ferreira - Why?

Gonçalo Amaral - This hearing on Monday is important, it would be the closing arguments. It would begin with the statements of the parties, of all the parties involved in the lawsuit, of the couple who appealed against the judge's decision to not hear them. I also hope I'm allowed to speak, let us see if I'll have that right, if they give me the right to be heard seeing those who accuse me will also be heard. Deep down it has all to do with this. It does not have as much to do with the possible declaration of death in legal terms in England but with the trial that is taking place. And it has to do with something that is very important. It's not known what happened to Maddie, it's not known what happened...

João Ferreira - Gonçalo Amaral, my apologies for interrupting but... yes?

Gonçalo Amaral - ...But more importantly in the middle of all this is to understand what the mystery is that lies behind all this and is protecting this couple.

João Ferreira - Don't you find it excessive that the British police, in an investigation that already has expenses of about 5 million euros, is doing all this - if I may say so, inferring from your own words - in association with Maddie's parents solely to undermine you?

Gonçalo Amaral - It doesn't have only to do with solely undermining me, it has to do with the everything. Note that it's not only Maddie's parents, the parents of this child, who are at stake, it's also all those friends who are all doctors. It's the mystery that lies behind all this. Why this protection? Why isn't David Payne investigated, nor the denunciation that was done related to David Payne for paedophilia by a couple, also doctors...

João Ferreira - [interrupts and talks simultaneously] One of the friends of the inner circle of Maddie's parents who were with them in the Algarve, is that right?

Gonçalo Amaral - There is a mystery which brings a perspective here that we need to understand. The parents of this little girl, who brought the legal action against me, have been saying that the trial outcome will help to exonerate them, and everything has been done to exonerate them. Take notice of the reopening of the case, of the de-archiving the case, for instance. The Portuguese Attorney General, the Prosecutor of the Republic always said the process would only be reopened if and when there are new and credible evidence. Well, I ask you, why was the case reopened? What are the new facts and which ones are credible? Zilch. And what happened at that moment [of the reopening]? A meeting takes place in Lisbon, with the British police and, as was alleged, where the couple was also present. They come out from that meeting and state they had been cleared, based on a reconstruction made by actors. All done with the purpose of them being exonerated, the case is reopened and they are exonerated and there's nothing which connects them to anything. I'm not talking here about the responsibility for the death or anything of the sort. I'm just speaking about the responsibility for the disappearance. And note that...

João Ferreira - [interrupts again and talks simultaneously] Is there any concrete information in the investigation that points to the responsibility of the parents in the disappearance?

Gonçalo Amaral - I don't have any doubts about it. Look, those children were under whose protection? Of the parents, were they not? They were alone for 5, 6 or 7 nights, and by whose fault? Of the parents. That child would she have cried because of a burglary that didn't take place at all - she cried two days earlier, was there a burglary on that day also? By whose fault? Of the parents who were away more than 2 or 3 hours. So, if that child disappeared she and her siblings were negligently placed in that situation, thus the responsibility is of the parents...

João Ferreira - [interrupts again] The statement that we heard in the initial news segment of a Luz resident that lives about 100 metres from the Ocean Club resort, who saw - as he said to CMTV - about three hours later, after Maddie's disappearance her father, Gerry McCann, supposedly drunk, wandering around....

Gonçalo Amaral - Well, that statement is not in the case files, I don't know that statement, now I can tell you that...

João Ferreira - [interrupts once again] Isn't it strange that this comes out only now? That the police didn't have access to this statement before?

Gonçalo Amaral - Maybe because that person didn't speak at the time when he should have said something and is just speaking out now.

João Ferreira - Was that a failure of the investigation?

Gonçalo Amaral - Well, it could have been a failure of that person itself, who didn't speak. He only said something years later.

João Ferreira - Or a failure of the investigation?

Gonçalo Amaral - There are several people who have spoken out years later. There was even a man who carried a child in his arms, speaking on his cell phone and so on - these are statements that can't be taken at face value seven years later. I'm talking about what had happened at the time. A little while ago, while the news segment [with the fisherman story] was on, I asked you where did that man see Gerald McCann...

João Ferreira - In the surrounding area of the Ocean Club Resort.

Gonçalo Amaral - ...Because there is an information, an information that reached the police at the time, to which little credibility was given due to the fact that we were moving in the opposite direction. And when it was necessary to retrieve that data, it had vanished. It was a tip-off given by the English police, of a British tourist who stated she saw Gerry McCann, on that night, at about 10-11pm, in the beach... in the beach area. The same area towards which a man was seen walking, carrying a child in his arms by the Smith family. We only learned about the Smith's statements much later on, so when this information was passed on, it wasn't given the importance it deserved. However all this should have been on file, and when we tried to retrieve that data that was in the domain of the English police, it had simply vanished. To this day we still don't know who that British witness is and no one knows where that document [statement] is.

João Ferreira - Do you think the English police destroyed that evidence?

Gonçalo Amaral - I don't know if they destroyed it or not, it simply disappeared. This is a well known fact.

João Ferreira - Of course.

Gonçalo Amaral - There were colleagues working on the investigation at the time and they know for a fact that this happened.

João Ferreira - Tânia Laranjo, you've been following this case from the start, for Correio da Manhã firstly and now for CMTV. These statements that we revealed to the viewers in tonight's special report [about the Portuguese fisherman and the female British tourist's alleged sightings of Gerry McCann] that we showed earlier on, can they be considered of particular importance for the solution of this puzzle?

Tânia Laranjo - Like Gonçalo said, there were a series of statements that weren't known at the time, for example, the Smith family statements weren't known at the time, that's the family that sees a man carrying a child in his arms, alleged to have been Gerry McCann, and who now, at this stage of the investigation, they [English police] say is a young man suspect of drug trafficking [e-fit released by Met in October 2013]. This is a new statement [fisherman sighting], what this man says is contrary to the statement that Gonçalo was speaking about [of the female British tourist], that is, it places the person that was sighted in an opposite direction, it places Gerry on the other side of Luz...

João Ferreira - A statement which essentially speaks of seeing Gerry McCann about three hours later...

Tânia Laranjo -... and drunk.

João Ferreira -.... and drunk, and who didn't want to call the police.

Tânia Laranjo - In any case...

João Ferreira -... who didn't want to call the police.

Tânia Laranjo - Yes, three hours later, but over time... - we're talking about a statement done seven years later, this witness statement should have been taken at the time, this process also...

João Ferreira - [interrupts again, talks simultaneously] He said he saw him about 1am.

Tânia Laranjo - But at 1am, I believe, and Gonçalo should know it better than me, the police was already there, several police forces.

Gonçalo Amaral - The GNR, the Judiciary Police.

João Ferreira - [simultaneously] There might a discrepancy between the hours.

Gonçalo Amaral - Seven years have passed.

Tânia Laranjo - Seven years have gone by since then, right? Seven years change completely the perception of time. At 1am the police was already there, so... Actually, soon after Kate screamed the police appeared. What is not known is if the disappearance of the little girl took place a long time before that alarm was raised or not, since there is a time difference between the last time the child was seen [in the afternoon] and the time when Kate starts screaming, alerting to her disappearance [at about 22pm].

Translation note [Joana Morais]: ongoing/so far only audio available waiting for CMTV to upload video

(...)

Translation note [Textusa]: The programme continues about the hypothesis of the body having been put inside a coffin, together with another corpse and cremated in Ferreira do Alentejo in late June/early July.

We continue the present transcript at the point in which Mr Amaral is questioned if the fact the body may have been incinerated, more than a month after Maddie's disappearance, showed a weakness in the Portuguese investigation as in that time it was unable to find the body)

João Ferreira - Gonçalo, sorry, sorry to insist on this point because it is important, to have happened something like this, does it not reveal in a considerable weakness of the police, the Portuguese police that for a month could not find a body?

Gonçalo Amaral - What weaknesses? The major weakness of the Portuguese police was to have allowed itself to be pressured by the British diplomacy, don't forget that the normal thing is to...

João Ferreira - Were you pressured in that sense?

Gonçalo Amaral - I was pressured with the purpose to advance in the abduction thesis, don't have any questions about that. The visit of the British ambassador and the meeting that happened in the PJ in Portimao with those responsible for the investigation is with the purpose that there's an abduction. Soon after, the Faro Director came...

João Ferreira - But was inspector Amaral, with experience he has, pressured directly by someone?

Gonçalo Amaral - Say again?

João Ferreira - Were you pressured directly by someone?

Gonçalo Amaral - You know, pressures aren't exactly with a gun in the hand, right? Pressures are... there is, there is the ambassador there all the ambassador's retinue, it's the British ambassador to Portugal...

João Ferreira - But where did you feel, what evidence did you have...

Gonçalo Amaral - What evidence was there?

João Ferreira - ...to say that, to feel pressured?

Gonçalo Amaral - Look, mind you, until that moment, there were no certainties. We are talking about 24 hours after the disappearance, not that much or a little more so, around that, so Friday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday the ambassador was in Portimão. Until that moment we had not pointed towards that it was an abduction, if it was a homicide or what it was at stake. In fact the case was registered as an abduction. I have explained several times why and it even had 3 question marks in front of it, only like that could we proceed with the following process and use all the means that are necessary in a criminal investigation. And when ambassador goes there, goes with that purpose, with the purpose that there is an abduction and immediately after the meeting, the Faro Director, who is also the Portimão Director, responsible for the PJ in Faro, comes to give a statement to say there is an abduction and immediately after that is that the couple, there in Praia da Luz, comes out with the first statement also with the ambassador or someone from the embassy next to them... You understand? So that is the pressure that happens...

Marcos Pinto - And you have also told me that once that there were people inside the PJ itself that advised you...

Gonçalo Amaral - That is more in the final part.

João Ferreira - ...to follow another...

Gonçalo Amaral - To wind down the process, until letting the process be archived as it was archived. So note that this was not a normal investigation, it was an investigation that from the beginning there was the issue of political correctness, and that is what is happening now. This, this farce of these searches, because they are a farce, they are a farce because they don't have a solid basis, don't have the probability of... There was a burglary? There was a robbery on a house? But where are the traces of the robbery? They took what? Nothing. Sophisticated thieves are frightened with a 3 yr old girl, they kill or she dies, and are frightened with that, they take her... they are so, look...

João Ferreira - We have to finish quickly, Gonçalo Amaral

Gonçalo Amaral - ...they are so... they are so intelligent that they even remove the body from there, they don't leave it there to blame the parents, because there was no trace of theft, and then go and place it near the house, which also by international standards the norm is when I don't know a place, that I don't know, I don't have means of transportation for... the body that is under my guard appears close. So, somehow they could have left it to blame the parents, or those who had the guardianship, they could have left it inside the apartment. Because there were no traces!...

João Ferreira - Tell me something Gonçalo Amaral...

Gonçalo Amaral - ...do you understand? There were no traces of theft so no one knew if there was theft or not. But they put it outside which was let's not raise suspicions about... but then later, later they move it again. Wait there that I now take the body from here because it can be found... this doesn't make sense, it doesn't.

João Ferreira - Gonçalo Amaral, we have to finish, let me just ask you a question, I ask you to answer as briefly as possible, at this moment can this case only be solved if there’s confession from someone

Gonçalo Amaral - At this moment for me, the case is only solved when it is known the mystery that leads to protection of not only this couple but of all those friends.

The mystery of the McCann family, 18 June 2014
 
The mystery of the McCann family SOL

Vitor Rainho | 18/06/2014 08:03:53
With thanks to Astro for translation

 
Madeleine McCann


 

Maddie McCann disappeared more than seven years ago, but continues to make the news.

The story has inexplicable contours since the beginning. Starting with the swiftness with which her disappearance was reported in a British newspaper, only hours after the alert was raised with the Portuguese authorities.

Without wishing to enter conspiracy theories, it is still strange that the daughter of two British medics attracts so much attention on global scale. Remember that Maddie's parents were even received by the Pope and, if memory doesn't fail me, by the British prime minister.

But what is most surprising is how seven years later Maddie's parents manage to mobilise a contingent of Scotland Yard inspectors and several PJ and GNR agents to perform new searches to grounds close to where the child disappeared from. Seven years later? What did they expect to find?

I suppose that these new diligences cost several thousand euro. If Maddie's parents weren't very influential, would these new searches ever have taken place? It's not that the truth shouldn't be sought for, but in Portugal it's not common to see so many means involved in a story that is more than seven years old...

Searching for a dead Maddie, 23 June 2014
Searching for a dead Maddie Sábado

Eduardo Dâmaso
23 June 2014

For those whom have spent seven years demonising the Portuguese investigation into Maddie’s disappearance, the investigations carried out by the English police in Praia da Luz are eloquent. Everyone is free to think whatever they want, but these excavations give rise to an undeniable fact: Scotland Yard has gone around the world and back but is now looking for Maddie's body. From now on it becomes almost impossible to fantasise about the search for a girl who “appeared” in thousands of sites around the world and could be alive.

The only difference between the two investigations lies in the question of who was the author of the crime. The English point to burglars, drug traffickers, whatever, and exclude the possibility that anything bad could have happened within that so united group, which was accompanying the McCann family during their Algarve holiday. On the other hand, the Portuguese investigation, admits that the latter is an inevitable object of investigation. Seven years later, it can be agreed, not only that the PJ was right when they searched for a dead person, but also that all those who dismissed the Portuguese effort on the basis of a horrible snobbish conviction, that it would be impossible to for such a perverse thing to happen within that high class English group, were wrong. There is no need to resort to quoting Malraux in order to know that the human condition involves all kinds of anomalies...

What it's like to holiday at the beach resort where Madeleine McCann went missing, 24 June 2014
What it’s like to holiday at the beach resort where Madeleine McCann went missing Adelaide Now

WENDY FITZGIBBON IN PRAIA DA LUZ | JUNE 24, 2014 7:30AM

In recent weeks, police converged on a search site near the Praia da Luz beach in an attempt to finally solve the mystery of what happened to Madeleine McCann. Source: Supplied

In recent weeks, police converged on a search site near the Praia da Luz beach in an attempt to finally solve the mystery of what happened to Madeleine McCann. Source: Supplied

THE warm Mediterranean sun shines down on the blinding white sands of the popular Portuguese holiday resort of Praia da Luz as holiday makers laze under thatched umbrellas and children paddle in the shallow turquoise waters of the protected little bay with the spectacular but imposing Rocha Negra (Black Rock) looming in the background.

The scene is idyllic, but just kilometres up the road scores of British police and sniffer dogs have spent the last three weeks digging up and scouring the sandy red soil on the outskirts of the picturesque Algarve village for long-buried clues to finally solve one of Europe's biggest mysteries.

Holiday-makers have begun streaming into Praia da Luz for the busy summer season.

 

Holiday-makers have begun streaming into Praia da Luz for the busy summer season.

It was in this picture-perfect family holiday setting that the now famous British toddler Madeleine McCann went missing from her family's holiday villa just over seven years ago and became the focus of the most heavily reported missing person case in modern history.

The details of the final hours before Madeleine's disappearance on the evening of May 3, 2007 are well documented, but despite an intense seven-year investigation conducted by law enforcement authorities on both the Portuguese and British side of the Atlantic, as well as private investigators hired by the McCann family, the fate of the cherubic-looking three-year-old remains a mystery.

The seemingly cold case of the missing youngster reared its head again a month ago when Scotland Yard sought permission from the local Portuguese authorities to probe a previously unsearched area of scrubland just a few minutes' walk from the Ocean Club resort where the McCann family were staying on the night of their daughter's disappearance.

It is unclear what new clues or evidence the British police were basing their latest search on, but once again, the now-familiar foreign police, forensic officers, sniffer dogs, radar equipment, and of course the attendant media pack, have invaded the small holiday town.

For Praia da Luz locals, this latest development is just another chapter in the never-ending story of Madeleine McCann, which for the past seven years has turned their previously quiet, unassuming hometown into an international circus and destroyed its reputation as a safe, peaceful family holiday destination.

The case has become Portugal's Azaria Chamberlain case - the crime that has everyone talking but no one knows the answers.

The restaurant in the courtyard where the McCanns dined that fateful night has now been moved.

 

The restaurant in the courtyard where the McCanns dined that fateful night has now been moved.

The friendly hospitality staff at the local hotels and restaurants are happy to chat about the weather, the catch of the day and the best local tourist attractions, but just don't mention the M word.

But like everyone else that has ever read, listened or watched any media coverage about the case, they too, have their theories about Maddie's disappearance.

One resident who ran another holiday resort in the town at the time of Maddie's disappearance tells of one local theory that was doing the rounds when the case first came to light.

Drainage work was taking place to pipes in the town around the time and deep holes were dotted around the town. Some of the drains were filled in and covered over a day after Madeleine went missing. Some locals believe the toddler either wandered out of her room in search of her parents and tumbled into one of the pits, others think whoever attempted to abduct her may have panicked and dumped her body into one of the holes in an attempt to cover their tracks and then absconded.

The latest search seems to give weight to these theories, with ground-penetrating radar equipment being deployed to search a hole which was previously hidden by thick undergrowth.

But as the search enters its next phase and no major clues materialise, life goes on for the locals and visitors down the road in Praia da Luz.

Although it is only early June and the beginning of the Northern hemisphere summer holiday season, Europeans, mainly Brits, have already begun trickling into town.

During the days, the beach is dotted with sun-seeking holiday makers swimming, sunbathing and paddle boarding in the still-chilly Mediterranean Sea, and by night the many restaurants, cafes and bars along the waterfront are filling up with foreign visitors drinking jugs of sangria and bottles of Sagres (the local beer), eating the delicious fresh local sardines, clams and prawns and cheering their respective teams on in the World Cup.

Most seem oblivious to the excavation work taking place nearby, or if they are aware of it, they don't appear bothered. Parents with toddlers still walk the cobblestone streets at night, I even saw a blonde-haired little girl in pink pyjamas bearing a strong resemblance to Madeleine being pushed down the beachside promenade in a stroller one night.

Before 2007, the beach resort town of Praia da Luz had a reputation as a peaceful family holiday destination.

Before 2007, the beach resort town of Praia da Luz had a reputation as a peaceful family holiday destination.

But just a few blocks back from the beach, the Ocean Club seems a little quieter. Out by the main pool, the courtyard that previously housed the infamous tapas restaurant where the McCanns and their travelling companions dined that fateful night while their children slept over the other side of the pool has now been converted into a bar and the restaurant moved to another location.

When asking for a cocktail around the 7pm one balmy night, the barman tells us the bar is closed for the evening and to perhaps head to the resort's other bars, The Mill Pond or the Mirage, for a drink instead. The pool is empty and all the deckchairs are deserted even though it is still 25C and the sun doesn't go down til 9pm in these parts at this time of year.

Other than an unmanned desk with a sign on the front door that announces: "Welcome to the Garden. Please show your Ocean Club passes to reception before entering the pool area" there is nothing to suggest anything more sinister than a bad sunburn or ant bite has ever taken place inside the resort walls.

The Ocean Club resort was where the McCann family was staying on the night of Maddie's disappearance.

The Ocean Club resort was where the McCann family was staying on the night of Maddie's disappearance.

Despite the relative calm in town, the long-running investigation has nevertheless taken its toll on the relationship between the local Portuguese residents and the British police.

Graffiti sprayed on a wall on the southern outskirts of town sums up the local sentiment: "Policia Ingesa estupidos". Translated into English, it reads: "English police are stupid".

Matters weren't helped early on in the case when the British media accused the Portuguese police of bungling the initial investigation.

But it is a catch 22 for local businesses and tourism operators. Most of their business comes from the British tourism market, evidenced by the fact that almost all locals speak fluent English and all restaurant menus and even road signs are also in English. They can't afford to lose this sector of the market.

So the search for Maddie goes on and life in Luz goes on.

I asked a female employee of a local riding school who was a schoolgirl at the time of Madeleine's disappearance what her thoughts were on the case.

She shrugged her shoulders and said: "I don't know, no one knows. We just want it to be over."

Words that I am sure the McCann family and everyone else involved the case would agree with.

But it seems this story won't have a happy fairy tale ending.

Petition against hotel planned for Madeleine dig site, 27 June 2014
Petition against hotel planned for Madeleine dig site Portugal Resident

Posted by PORTUGALPRESS on June 27, 2014

 
Overhead view of the Ocean Club


 

Praia da Luz residents are up-in-arms yet again. After the start of the summer was marred by battalions of police digging up the village in their searches for clues on the fate of Madeleine McCann, villagers are now concerned that a three-storey hotel could spring up on the main dig site.

Known locally as the Miradouro, the project is an old one - but nonetheless an ongoing concern.

Local association Miradouro da Luz has raised a petition which it hopes will persuade the local council to think again.

Said a member: "We are not objecting to the fact that Luz needs a new hotel, just that it doesn't need one on this plot which has always been earmarked for leisure areas".

“Just imagine driving into Praia da Luz from Burgau, and seeing a huge building completely out of place with its surroundings?”

Lagos council would not comment on the story, nor confirm or deny whether they were considering a hotel on land earmarked as green space.

The site shot to fame for five long days earlier this month as the world's media focused on the Metropolitan police-led excavations as part of their mega-million pound investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann. Sundry digs yielded animal bones and a man's sock.

For now, the Miradouro petition has amassed 350 signatures. Anyone interested in signing it can find it on www.peticaopublica.com/?pi=P2011N10084

EXCLUSIVE: MI5 spies know what happened to Maddie McCann, claims Portuguese detective, 29 June 2014
EXCLUSIVE: MI5 spies know what happened to Maddie McCann, claims Portuguese detective Sunday Express

MI5 AGENTS know what happened to missing Madeleine McCann but are covering it up, claims former Portuguese detective Goncalo Amaral.

By: James Murray
Published: Sun, June 29, 2014

Kate and Gerry McCann, in Praia da Luz the year Madeleine vanished, are suing Goncalo Amaral (left) [TIM CLARKE/PA]

The disgraced detective made the bombshell claim in a Portuguese television documentary that openly mocked Scotland Yard's new investigation. When asked if people will ever learn what really happened, Mr Amaral responded: "Yes, we will, when MI5 opens the case files, we will find out.

"Don't forget that the British secret services followed the case right from the beginning. I don't know if that information will be made available but if it's like the United States, it takes years to have access to confidential information."

Mr Amaral, 56, was the officer who co-ordinated the Portuguese police investigation from May 3, 2007, when three-year-old Madeleine vanished from her family's holiday apartment at Praia da Luz on the Algarve.

After criticising British police he was kicked off the case four months later.

In his latest interview he claims that after two British police dogs were used to searched the McCann's apartment at the Ocean Club, his team had to take the British person responsible for the operation to Faro Airport.

Amaral, now retired and working as a crime writer, went on: "He's at the airport waiting for a plane to return to England and he receives a phone call. Then he explains to our colleague that a member of MI5 was at the airport, waiting to talk with him about the result of the investigation.

"Someone has the information, so make the information available."

There has been suspicion in the senior ranks of Portugal's police that US and/or British intelligence chiefs have satellite images of the area that could be helpful but have never passed them on.

The latest Scotland Yard squad is apparently working on the theory that Madeleine was abducted by burglars who were also involved in drug trafficking. Mr Amaral said the same theory was put forward by a Yard detective seconded to his team seven years ago.

"It was discussed and completely set aside because it made no sense," he said. "Nobody has proved the house was broken into, that there was a theft, there are no traces of a break-in. No money, cameras or anything else was taken."

He said he expects the latest Yard inquiry to wind down soon, without a breakthrough, adding: "They are getting to the point of saying that she is dead.

"They will reach the point of saying that the cadaver can't be found and the case can't be solved."

Mr Amaral will face Madeleine's parents Kate and Gerry McCann, from Rothley, Leicestershire, at a civil court in Lisbon on July 8.

The couple, who cling to the hope their daughter might be alive, are suing him for £1million for libel over his claim that Madeleine died in the apartment, made in his book The Truth Of The Lie.

 

With thanks to Nigel at McCann Files

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