by Marisa Rodrigues
New witnesses of the English investigation to Madeleine McCann's disappearance are going to be questioned at the request of Scotland Yard (SY). The fifth letter rogatory is already in the hands of the Judiciary Police (PJ), who will now have to schedule the questionings.
The new Public Ministry prosecutor, to whom the Maddie process was recently attributed, authorized the questionings and forwarded the letter to the South PJ Directory, in Faro, so they can be carried out. JN was able to establish that there are about ten witnesses and that all of them are going to be questioned for the first time within the scope of the English investigation. Some of them are, however, already known to the Portuguese investigation and they had nothing relevant to say regarding the English child who disappeared seven years ago in Praia da Luz, in the Algarve.
Even though the English police has expressed their interest in questioning again the four men constituted as arguidos [formal suspects], that had been questioned back in July, the English ended up leaving them out of this letter rogatory, which arrived to the Public Ministry in August. These new investigative steps should take place in the very same manner as it happened three months ago, with a notice for the witnesses to appear at the PJ headquarters. When the date is set, Scotland Yard may then request to the National PJ Directory to be present, without being able to intervene, just as before.
Last time they were in Portugal, on the 14th October, the English police expressed their desire to make a new letter rogatory (the sixth) requesting for the re-analyses of the samples that had been collected in the apartment from where Madeleine disappeared, namely hair samples and the fabric belonging to a curtain.
In a meeting at the National Institute of Forensic Medicine (INML), in Coimbra, which gathered detectives and forensic experts, Andy Redwood's team also spoke about the possibility that some of the samples could be taken to England and analysed in a private lab. Until the end of the afternoon, yesterday, no request had been made in that sense to the Public Ministry of Portimão, whose role is to assess and decide on the letters rogatory.
in Jornal de Notícias, paper edition, November 4, 2014