The PJ inspectors point out that in “international cooperation there is no room for states of mind.”
by Carlos Diogo Santos
The different PR strategies between the Portuguese and English authorities in the Maddie case are bothering the PJ [Judiciary Police]. The discomfort reached a point where the Judiciary Police had to warn the Metropolitan Police that they refuse to carry out the investigation through the press. Since the English police decided to investigate on their own the disappearance of Madeleine McCann, the English press began to publish frequently about steps of the ongoing investigation. Much of this news turned out to be unfounded, increasingly alienating the possibility of cooperation with the PJ. At stake is the fact that the two police forces have different lines of investigation and that their media communication policies are opposite, stated some PJ inspectors to i, who preferred to remain anonymous.
According to sources well-acquainted with the process, the PJ has already informed their English counterparts that it “wants to continue to do their own investigation in the process and not in the newspapers.” A reminder, in order to make it clear, that they do not want English police sources to make comments on alleged facts of the Portuguese investigation. Especially because, they say, it is something that the English have no knowledge about. In Portugal there is an ongoing investigation led by a team from Oporto, but it has been a team from the PJ of Portimão who have responded to the letters rogatory sent by the English, that is, the requests for judicial assistance to the investigation in London.
The strategy of the Portuguese - of not making public information about their investigation - was already known to the British, but some news stories citing Metropolitan Police anonymous sources have forced this warning. “The PJ will carry on with the necessary discretion, something that is of the knowledge of its British counterpart. The media are out of our equation during the investigation. And if it was never told that there are suspects it is because there is nothing sufficiently strong”, explained a police source.
Just last week a news story was published in Portugal reporting that the English had received a secret dossier about burglars who lived in the Algarve and that crimes against children could have been committed. To i, the same source assures that such information is false: “No secret dossier was ever sent to the Metropolitan Police”. Another source close to the process explained, however, that what the English have called of secret dossier might just be a list of people with criminal record that lived near Praia da Luz, sent by the PJ within the scope of fulfilling a letter rogatory.
In the last few months, the English media have reported about each Scotland Yard suspect, they have published the e-fits of the English police - which i had previously revealed that they had, after all, been made by detectives paid by the parents of the child - and they brought to the public eye the sending of the English investigators' letters rogatory even before the Portuguese authorities were aware of those requests for international judicial assistance.
A reconstruction of the night of the crime was done - and it wasn't shot in Portugal - it was broadcast in England, Germany and Netherlands [T.N./in Ireland as well]. After the “thousands of leads” that the Metropolitan Police told the media they had received following the broadcast of the [Crimewatch] TV show, their strategy continues to be tracing of mobile phone records of those who were near the tourist resort Ocean Club on the night of May 3, 2007, the day when the child disappeared.
For the PJ officers contacted by i, these behaviours will not affect the cooperation between the two police forces. “The letters rogatory will be fulfilled in the most committed way as possible, because in international cooperation there is no room for states of mind”, concluded the PJ source.
in i online, March 3, 2014
Maddie: PJ asks Scotland Yard to not disclose information
There have been successive leaks in British newspapers
TVI 24, broadcast March 3, 2014
Marisa Rodrigues - In the meetings between the Portuguese and the British police, information of the two investigations to the disappearance of Madeleine McCann is exchanged. But what is happening in the Scotland Yard's investigation ends up in the newspapers and it has happened so often that the Judiciary Police was forced to ask the English detectives for silence, so they don't tell the [English] press about the steps of the investigation in the hands of the Oporto PJ.
It was an informal request, reminding them that here the rules are different, and what rules is the silence of Justice. To TVI the National Deputy Director of the PJ, Pedro do Carmo, confirmed that this was one of the issues debated in the last meetings between the two police authorities. He also stated that what has been published in the [English] press does not translate what is in the Portuguese process.
The meetings have also been used to discuss the three letters rogatory, already sent to Portugal. One has already been fulfilled, in the other two, Scotland Yard requests that former Ocean Club workers are questioned, house searches, analyses to bank accounts and mobile phone records are done.