The Public Ministry announced the reopening of the inquest regarding the disappearance of the English child Madeleine McCann, after the Judiciary Police presented new elements.
One of the leads that the Scotland Yard is following is a sighting [Smith sighting pointing to Gerald Mccann] that took place on the night of May 3 2007, of a man that was carrying a child in Praia da Luz, close to the tourist resort from where the child disappeared.
The e-fit of a man, Caucasian, short brown hair and average height, age between 20 and 40 years and a beardless face was divulged on October 14, as part of a public appeal broadcast by the English TV channel BBC.
At the same time, the police ruled out another identikit of a man seen near the apartment by a friend [Jane Tanner's dismissed sighting] of the McCann family and who was until recently considered as a possible abductor.
The possibility of "a pre-planned abduction, which would require a previous reconnaissance" of the area is supported by the presence of several men of "light hair" in the vicinity of the apartment on the day of Maddie's disappearance, and days before, described by witnesses as having Scandinavian looks and speaking German or Dutch.
Besides the pictures of two of these men, two other were released who would be part of a group that collected donations for charity along or within the complex, and that the British detectives believe to be fraudulent.
These were or appeared to be Portuguese: one would have medium length curly hair, aged 25-30 years and spoke a good English, while the other would have between 40 to 50 years old, short dark hair, slightly gray on the sides, who showed an identification card, a notebook and a book of receipts.
The scenario of a robbery disturbed by Madeleine is also being considered by Scotland Yard, who wants to collect information and talk to victims of a series of thefts from apartments within the tourist resort between January and April 2007, including two in the same building where the McCann family stayed.
The British investigation began in 2011, following a public appeal by the parents of Madeleine McCann to the British Prime Minister, David Cameron, to launch an "independent, transparent and comprehensive" review of all the information concerning the disappearance of their daughter.
On May 12, 2011, the Home Office secretary, Theresa May, with the support of Cameron, requested to the Metropolitan Police to initiate a review of the case, invoking the "high public interest" and the "international dimension".
In August of the same year, Scotland Yard officers travelled to Portugal to meet with Portuguese officers.
In April 2012 the British police announced the early investigation results, by identifying "195 new investigative leads" after analysing a quarter of about 40 [sic/thousand perhaps?] documents and leads that were gathered.
On June 4 it was announced the opening of a formal investigation and the desire to inquire "38 persons of interest", that number rose to 41, including 15 British and five other persons from other countries, including Portugal.
With the "full support of the British government", the English police asked to the Crown Prosecutor to send an international rogatory latter to the Portuguese authorities to request assistance in obtaining statements concerning the lines of inquiry that they wished to follow.
On October 4, Scotland Yard has affirmed that they were working with a PJ team in the Madeleine McCann's disappearance, a team of six officers from the directorate of Faro.
They also revealed that they have sent rogatory letters to 30 other countries in order to obtain information about people who owned cell phones whose signal was identified in the area and at the moment of Maddie's disappearance, in the night of June 3, 2007 [sic, May].
Following these public appeals, the Metropolitan Police stated that they have received more than 2.400 phone call and emails.
It is estimated that the British operation has already cost about five million pounds (5.86 million euros).
Lusa (unsigned)/Jornal de Notícias, October 24, 2013
Extract from Público, signed by Mariana Oliveira and Pedro Sales Dias, titled 'McCann couple was in Portugal and was informed by the PJ about the plans to reopen the process'
«PUBLIC reported in its printed edition this Thursday that the Portuguese authorities pondered the reopening of the process. The Judiciary Police's [PJ] request was the work of more than two years of review of the process undertaken by a PJ team in Porto, that was created in March 2011. A group of four inspectors led by the coordinator of the investigation, Helena Monteiro - had never contacted with the investigation, thus avoiding any contamination in the appreciation - would have identified witnesses who were never questioned while the process was ongoing, until July 2008.
This is confirmed in a statement released on Thursday by the PJ. “That reanalysis task, which took place during the last two and a half years, helped identify new evidence, which by imposing further investigation, meet the requirements set (...) for the reopening of the investigation,” reads the note. The PJ also said that, similarly to what happens with all cases of missing children, despite the formal archival of the investigation, they continued to “be attentive to any and all information likely to enable the understanding of the whereabouts of the minor Madeleine McCann, the circumstances in which her disappearance occurred and the identity of its author(s).”
Público knows that elements from the PJ of Porto have travelled several times to the Algarve, to gather evidence and conduct informal investigations, which would sustain the necessity to reopen the case. The reopening is the only way the PJ has to formally inquire those witnesses.
The reanalysis of the process focus back the investigation on the abduction theory, the main line followed by Scotland Yard, which has also opened an investigation into Maddie's disappearance. The PJ team from Porto would have been convinced of this theory following the careful observation of all the information contained in the process.
A PJ source made a point to stress to Público that the request to reopen the process exclusively derives from the work of the PJ team in Porto and not from evidence gathered by the Scotland Yard, which has also opened an investigation into Maddie's disappearance. This work should also not be confused with another team of six inspectors from the PJ delegation in Faro, who have, for over a month, being carrying out the steps requested by the British authorities, within the scope of a request for international cooperation. The PJ National Directorate refuses to give any details about the new evidence gathered so far and even to say who will be responsible for the investigation, trying to protect the work of the inspectors.
The English Police confirms in their note, that the line of investigation followed by the Portuguese is different from the one that is being explored by the Scotland Yard. “At the request of The Policia Judiciara, AC Mark Rowley and DCI Andy Redwood attended a meeting with senior officers on 17 October, in Lisbon, to discuss this significant development, and for a comprehensive briefing on the new lines of enquiry which, at this point, are separate to the lines of enquiry being followed by the MPS. [At the conclusion of that meeting, the group were joined by Kate and Gerry McCann who were briefed on the plans to apply to reopen the investigation.], reads the press statement.”»