The English decision to reopen the Maddie case is generating controversy and ill being within the Portuguese Judiciary Police (PJ), even with officers that recall that “the English are not better than the Portuguese”.
The English Prime Minister, David Cameron, decided to have the investigation into the Maddie case reopened, but PJ officers point out that “the English need authorization from the Portuguese authorities to investigate in our country, because they do not have competence to act in Portugal”.
Some high-ranking officers of the British police have equally criticized this decision, arguing that the money that is to be spent is more necessary for other cases. This situation has even been criticized by Lord Harris, a member of the Metropolitan Police, who peremptorily states: "It again embroils their officers in a high-profile investigation, where the chances of success are unclear, and which will divert limited investigative resources away from other matters."
In fact, some 30 English detectives and many million pounds will be involved in the reopening of the investigation into the case of the disappearance of Madeleine McCann, in 2007, in Praia da Luz, in the Algarve. The English decision was made after the child’s parents, Kate and Gerry McCann, sent a letter to the English Prime Minister, David Cameron, in which they asked for a review of the case.
According to members of the PJ that were contacted by O Diabo, the reopening of this case questions “the professionalism of our officers, who did everything that was possible to solve the child’s disappearance”, recalling that the English policemen are not better than our own.
Our sources recall that, despite “us having good criminal investigation labs”, a political decision was made to have the tests carried out in English labs, launching the suspicion over whether or not they were manipulated. “We let the English do everything that they want”, they say, recalling that this case “suffered various political influences, due to the missing child’s parents’ social and political status”.
The officers that were contacted by O Diabo recognize that “some mistakes were made in the investigation, namely inside the apartment”, but they recall, in defence of their honour, that there are many identical cases that remain unsolved in England.
The Judiciary Police – they reveal – had already been warned that the Scotland Yard had the intention to analyse the case again. This does not mean, however, that the criminal process, which is under the Public Ministry’s tutelage, will be reopened. This process may be picked up again if new facts that contribute to the investigation’s development are discovered.
Contrary to the general feelings within the PJ, Pedro do Carmo, joint national director at the Judiciary Police, cited by “I” newspaper, states that the PJ is available to cooperate in this case, and committed to finding out the “credible, consistent and relevant factors that may contribute to clarify what happened to Madeleine McCann”.
Meanwhile, British newspaper “The Telegraph” reports that some of the officers that are involved in the investigation into the disappearance of Maddie McCann, four years ago in Praia da Luz, are close to retirement or about to present a voluntary leave, stressing that the English investigators will face major difficulties, because the documents are nearly all in Portuguese.
When the little girl disappeared, on the 3rd of May, 2007, Leicestershire police helped the Portuguese police in the investigation, but in July 2008, the case was archived. Until last week, precisely when Maddie’s mother, Kate McCann, published a book, the Scotland Yard decided to restart the investigation, after the British Prime Minister, David Cameron, intervened.
In her recently published book, Kate McCann, with the purpose to collect money for the “find Madeleine” fund, harshly criticises the Portuguese police system. Kate mentions the slowness that followed the first hours of Maddie’s disappearance, and the proposal that was made by the PJ, for the child’s mother to confess to concealing her daughter’s body, after her death, which was caused by an accident in the apartment in Praia da Luz. She says that this offer was an attempt by the Judiciary Police to make the sentence more benevolent.
In her book, Kate also tells about her suffering and the depression after her daughter’s disappearance, about her suicidal tendencies and the problems that she experienced in her marriage to Gerry.
The book was launched yesterday (May 23rd) in Lisbon, edited in Portugal by Edições Asa, from the Leya group, and by Transworld Publishers in the United Kingdom.
in: O Diabo, 24.05.2011, paper edition only