The Portuguese criminal investigation police today confirmed they are
fully committed to co-operating with the Metropolitan Police review of
the Madeleine McCann case and to re-opening the investigation if the Met
come up with credible new evidence.
The National Assistant Director for the Polícia Judiciária (PJ), Pedro
do Carmo, told me: “We are in contact with the Metropolitan Police. They
have informed us what they want to do, to recheck the files. Our
colleagues in the UK are fully aware of our commitment and interest in
trying to solve this case, to know what happened that night. At this
point we have talked and we have a very open relationship. Let's see
what comes next.”
The PJ investigation was shelved in July 2008, but Pedro do Carmo made
it clear it would be re-opened if the Met comes up with sufficient
grounds for doing so. But, he cautioned, "one step at a time. Let's see
Reports in Portugal at the weekend suggested that not all PJ officers
feel at ease with Scotland Yard's involvement. Some are hostile to it,
saying they believe the PJ did everything possible to solve the mystery
of Madeleine's disappearance and that their professionalism was now
being called into question. “The British policemen are not better than
our own,” was one sentiment quoted in the Portuguese press.
There has been strong criticism in the UK and within the Metropolitan
Police Authority itself of Scotland Yard's involvement.
Criticism aside, the way seems open for a thorough re-examination of the
case so far.