Madeleine McCann: Portuguese Police Protect The ‘Suspects’ From The Met
May 7, 2014:
Daily Record: “British cops arrive for Madeleine McCann hunt but officials ban them from searching suspects’ homes”
A team of British police hunting for Madeleine McCann flew into Portugal yesterday – only to be told they are banned from raiding the homes of three suspects they want to quiz. The team of seven detectives led by Det Chief Insp Andy Redwood, were pictured arriving at Faro Airport.
In a further blow the team have also had their hopes of probing the bank accounts of the trio, who worked at the resort where the child vanished, dashed by Portuguese officials.
As ever, the Portuguese are presented as the enemies.
Scotland Yard had wanted to see if there were any large payments to the suspects, suggesting they could have been paid to snatch Madeleine from the Praia da Luz resort. But a source close to the investigation said last night: “The Portuguese judge who examines the requests sent by Scotland Yard’s did not consider the arguments to be valid enough to warrant searching the workers’ homes…”
So. The police have not been “banned”. They have not been allowed because their case for searching is not considered strong enough. Can that case be strengthened?
“The judge is satisfied correct procedures were followed at the time Madeleine disappeared and there is no need to revisit that area of investigation.”
Who is the “source”. Why can’t the judge speak for themself?
Another source added: “The latest development is a blow to the Met Police. The relationship between the two international forces is on tenterhooks. Portuguese investigators have warned British detectives they will pull the plug on any joint operations if they do not toe their line. They will not be rushed into making decisions just because the Met want to be seen to make progress.”
Another nameless “source”.
The Standard adds:
According to local reports in Praia da Luz, where the toddler vanished on 3 May 2007, the Crown Prosecution Service had sent an International Letter of Request to Portuguese authorities on behalf of Scotland Yard wanting to interview the men and search their homes.
The workers were suspected of a string of break-ins at the Ocean Club before Madeleine went missing.
The Met are also thought to have requested access to their bank accounts.
The Times adds:
Jornal de Noticias, a respected Portuguese newspaper, reported: “The logistics necessary for the execution of all this work will be costly. It will be paid for by the UK, which has already spent nearly €7 million on this investigation.”
Mark Rowley, the Scotland Yard assistant commissioner, said on Tuesday: “The process is more bureaucratic and slower than we would wish.
Martin Brunt for Sky:
“Last night we saw what appears to be a developing row between the British authorities and the Portuguese authorities about essentially Scotland Yard giving out information to journalists about what is going to happen.
“The Portuguese are making it very clear that they were not happy with journalists being briefed. It’s not something that happens in this country and in fact, the Portuguese authorities, according to the Scotland Yard message last night, had threatened to stop any of the work once it begins if they hear that Scotland Yard are talking to reporters, or indeed if reporters are in any way disrupting the work.
“I get a sense that because of this developing row, that may put off what is going to happen soon, but maybe not in the next couple of days as we anticipated.”
“One day on and the Leicester Mercury has news:
Police searching for Madeleine McCann have confirmed they are on the point of a new phase of “activity” in the investigation. The Metropolitan Police spoke after a number of newspapers reported that Portuguese officers were to dig up areas of Praia da Luz, in the Algarve.
This sounds like progress.
… Yesterday, the Metropolitan Police said there would be “activity” within weeks. However, it did not confirm the reports that digs were about to begin.
Diggers will excavate locations in Praia da Luz if dogs and radar turn up potential burial sites.
But officials in Portugal have made it clear local police will take the lead and decide when and how the searches will be conducted.
A source said: “Police chiefs here will decide if the British can witness the work.”
The Mail says “a large wasteland yards from the complex will be dug up, as well as an area beside the beach and roads by the church in Praia da Luz where Gerry and Kate McCann prayed for the safe return of their daughter.”
The Independent wants to go back over the facts.
Madeleine McCann, from Rothley, Leicestershire, went missing on 3 May 2007, after she disappeared from her bed at the Ocean Club complex in the Portuguese resort of Praia da Luz. She was three-years-old when she vanished.
It could stop there.
Madeleine and her two younger siblings had been left asleep in a bedroom of the apartment while her parents dined with seven other friends at a Tapas restaurant 50 metres away.
She was discovered missing by her mother Kate McCann at 10pm that evening, who had gone for dinner with the group at 8.30pm and had returned to check on her children.
Police were called and staff searched and guests searched the apartments until daybreak. In June, Portuguese Chief Inspector Olegario Sousa admitted vital forensic clues may have been destroyed in the first hours after Madeleine’s disappearance, because the scene was not properly protected.
Such are the facts.