Scotland Yard has asked for aerial photos of places in Praia da Luz and wishes to question eight “persons of interest”
by Marisa Rodrigues
The Judiciary Police (PJ) is about to discard the lead that has resulted in the reopening of the process in Portugal and that is Scotland Yard's main line of investigation. So far, there isn't any evidence to support the hypothesis that Madeleine was abducted by a sexual predator who attacked English children in the Algarve.
This is the firmly held position of the team of inspectors from the North Directorate of the PJ who has reviewed the investigation process that was archived in 2008.
After naming as probable suspect the late Euclides Monteiro, a former Ocean Club employee, the Portuguese investigators now believe that the intruder, in the cases that were reported to the authorities, could be British and that he does not reside in Portugal, since there were no new reports and those that were disclosed [see Metropolitan Police site] only targeted children of that nationality. “A sex abuser is someone who acts compulsively. If he only acted in the summer and has never attacked again it's because he does not live here”, explained a source close to the process.
Yesterday, the day was marked by an aerial photo-reconnaissance in Praia da Luz of the areas where searches and excavations are planned, using a helicopter of the Portuguese Air Force paid by the British authorities and by a meeting between the police forces of the two countries at the PJ headquarters in Faro.
One of the places where Scotland Yard wants to use the sniffer dogs and the georadar is on the 25 de Abril street, in the vicinity of the Ocean Club and by the church. The area, which the helicopter overflew three times, was undergoing construction works when Madeleine disappeared seven years ago. If anything suspicious is detected, it will be excavated.
Besides the searches, which were already allowed by the Public Prosecutor of Portimão, the letters rogatory also request for eight people to be questioned. Some used to work at the Ocean Club resort whilst others are not linked in any way. With all these initiatives, it seems likely that Scotland Yard has more than one line of investigation, of which the latest and most visible action yet indicates the hypothesis that the child was murdered and buried in Praia da Luz. When questioned, in Faro, DCI Andy Redwood refused to speak with the journalists.
Tension between the PJ and the English
The relationship between the police forces of the two countries is rather tense. The Judiciary Police has requested to the English police to stop disclosing information about the ongoing work in Portugal, otherwise they will not proceed with the steps that were requested. Scotland Yard wrote to the newspapers in the United Kingdom asking for “understanding”.
in Jornal de Notícias, paper edition (page 13), May 9, 2014