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Portuguese cop: Met has finally caught up on McCann

Original Source: ITN News: 15 October 2013
11:07pm, Tue 15 Oct 2013
The man in charge of the Portuguese police investigation into Madeleine McCann's disappearance has said that Scotland Yard is at the same stage he was at in 2007.

Gonçalo Amaral, who was removed from the case after accusing the McCanns of involvement in their daughter's disappearance, told ITV News that the latest e-fits are promising.

"Every one of us on the investigation at the time found that lead important – as we see now that it is," he said.

ITV News' Europe Correspondent Emma Murphy reports from Praia Du Luz in Portugal:


By Nigel Moore

Julie Etchingham: [ITV News Presenter, not on this video] The detective who first led the investigation into Madeleine McCann's disappearance says the Scotland Yard review has made no more progress than he did.

Gonçalo Amaral told ITV News this evening the sightings, that the newly publicised e-fits were based on, were a key part of his investigation too.

Our Europe Correspondent Emma Murphy reports now from Portugal

Emma Murphy: [voice over] They've been without their eldest daughter for six years, maintaining a hope they will be reunited. It's a hope Kate and Gerry McCann say has been reinforced by the unprecedented response to the new investigation into Madeleine's disappearance. Both now say they're genuinely hopeful of a major breakthrough.

Kate McCann: [on Crimewatch] Well, the general pubic have been fantastic but please stay with us and come forward.

Emma Murphy: [voice over] The appeal and reconstruction of Madeleine's disappearance broadcast last night generated around a thousand phone calls. Crucially, a number of those calls gave the same name for this man, who was seen by a British family carrying a child, just like Madeleine, through the streets of Praia da Luz the night she vanished.

Chief inspector Gonçalo Amaral was in charge of the investigation at the time. He was taken off the case after accusing the McCanns of involvement in Madeleine's disappearance. He's now being sued by them for libel. However, he told me the sighting was one of the best leads and was missed. He says the child may well have been Madeleine.

Gonçalo Amaral: [through translator] Every one of us on the investigation found that lead important - as we see now that it is.

Emma Murphy: But if everyone thought it was so important, why was the sighting not properly pursued?

Gonçalo Amaral: When I left the investigation in Portimão there was a gap and the man who came to replace me discarded that hypothesis. He didn't want to follow that lead.

Emma Murphy: What do you feel about the British Inquiry?

Gonçalo Amaral: There are in the same place that we were back in 2007. That is, they have a man we see carrying a child in his arms. We got there in 6 months - British police took 2 years.

Emma Murphy: [voice over] For those to whom Madeleine matters the most, acknowledgment of unfollowed leads is unlikely to generate surprise but will surely add to the frustration which has dogged the past six years.

Emma Murphy, ITV News, Portugal


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