A team of Scotland Yard investigators appointed to investigate the
disappearance of British toddler Madeleine McCann was in
Portugal this week to exchange information with its
Portuguese counterparts at the Polícia Judiciária (PJ).
The British inspectors arrived in Oporto on Monday where they
reportedly discussed the current status of the
Operation Grange, the name of the investigative review into the
case, commenced in May 2011, but only started in
Portugal last winter.
At the time, it was decided the Oporto-branch of the PJ, led by
Helena Monteiro, would be the best option to liaise with
Previously, the case had been handed to the PJ in Portimao, then in
Faro, and later in Lisbon.
In the UK, a murder team within the Homicide and Serious Crime
Command was tasked to conduct the review and is led by
Detective Chief Inspector Andy Redwood. Estimates are
the review has cost British taxpayers close to 2.5
Work of the team involves close collaboration with a senior
investigating officer from the PJ and detectives have
been to Portugal several times.
Throughout the course of the review officers have been in close
contact with the McCann family who have been assigned a
Family Liaison Officer.
The review team say they are in a unique position in that their
task is to compile and review material from three
separate strands - the Portuguese investigation,
inquiries by UK law enforcement agencies, and the work
of private investigators/agencies.
Officers have been going through that material which they believe
amounts to around 40,000 pieces of information equating
to approximately 100,000 pages.
The objective of the review team is to work with the Portuguese
authorities with a view to having the case, which has
remained closed since 2008, re-opened in due course,
Scotland Yard said.
“From the outset we have approached this review with a completely
open mind, placing Madeleine McCann at the heart of
everything we do. We are working on the basis of two
possibilities here. One is that Madeleine is still
alive; and the second that she is sadly dead”, DCI Andy
Redwood said last year.
Meanwhile, the defamation case the McCann family launched against
former PJ inspector Goncalo Amaral was this week
reportedly suspended by a Lisbon court.
Kate and Gerry McCann have sued Amaral for 1.2 million euros in
damages, but reports by the Lusa News Agency stated this
week the case has been put on hold due to an apparent
attempt by the McCanns to reach an out-of-court
The case centres around the publication of a best-selling book by
Amaral, The Truth of the Lie, which was later
transformed into a television documentary shown on
In a related story, it was reported this week that more than 1.2
million euros was made from Kate McCann’s book about her
“Income from the book has significantly improved the position”, of
the funds’ accounts, its directors said this week, who
added: “This will continue as a result of publication in
other countries and the release of the paperback.”
Madeleine’s Fund climbed to around 2.5 million euros in the
immediate months after her disappearance in May 2007,
but in 2009, Gerry McCann told The Portugal News, “We
are in danger of running out of money by the end of the
While the Fund has admitted it has scaled back following UK Prime
Minister David Cameron’s creation of Operation Grange,
it revealed that it still pays for “a 24-hour, 7 day a
week telephone line to receive and capture information
from around the world which may assist the investigation
while also supporting a small investigation team,
including a Portuguese speaker to help with the above
and with campaign activities.”
* Story updated 28 January at 11:02