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Madeleine Mccann: The court will decide today

The court will decide today to extend the secrecy

The court of Portimão shall pronounce today on the request for the extension of the secrecy of Justice on the case concerning Madeleine McCann, the English girl that vanished last May 3, from the resort of Praia da Luz, in the Algarve, where she was spending her holidays with her parents.

The first suspect of the case, the Luso-British Robert Murat, has taken this legal status last year, in May 14, so it is today that the eight months deadline foreseen by the Law is ending. The Public Prosecution did advance the exceptional complexity of the process to justify the request for the extension of the deadline.

In addition to Robert Murat, the father and the mother of the child who are now in England, Gerry and Kate McCann were also made formal suspects.

New company questioned

Few days after having announced the replacement of the Spanish detectives, Metodo 3, by Hogan International, a British company, the McCanns are already criticized for their choice. It's the British company itself that reported to the British press that they have no experience in this type of investigation, being themselves almost exclusively devoted in the locating of missing heirs.

The McCanns bring in cold-case detectives to investigate

The McCanns have hired a detective who investigated a 7/7 suicide bomber. Noel Hogan is conducting a "cold case" review.
The former Met detective superintendent, who runs the agency Hogan International, in Farnham said: "I have been reinterviewing witnesses that were out in Portugal at the time."
It is understood these include friends of the McCanns.
Hogan International was investigating Jermaine Lindsay in the run-up to the 7 July attacks in London in 2005 after a bank became alarmed by his spending patterns

New detectives hired by the McCanns are criticized


A former Scotland Yard detective hired to search for Madeleine McCann is conducting a private murder investigation to discredit police evidence against her parents.
But last night fears were raised that Noel Hogan might not be up to the job.
Mr Hogan, who runs a private detective agency, has re-interviewed British witnesses including the McCanns holiday friends.

He is also understood to have gone through the McCanns’ own statements in minute detail with the couple.
In a startling twist, Kate and Gerry’s lawyers have ordered that their own inquiry into Madeleine's disappearance, while on holiday in Portugal last May, should focus on the theory that the three-year-old was killed and her body hidden.
Hogan International, which specialises in asset investigations, is taking over the case after the McCanns benefactors voiced dismay at the lack of tangible progress made by the Spanish agency Metodo 3.
Sources close to the inquiry say the two firms have a history of rivalry after previously clashing over conflicting investigations.

In an exclusive interview with the Sunday Express, Mr Hogan revealed that his previous experience of missing people cases was limited to tracing beneficiaries of wills. He also admitted that despite the high profile of the Madeleine investigation, his 12-strong team of former detectives and ex-SAS men were already handling around 5,000 cases.

Speaking from his office in a rundown tower block in Aldershot, Hants, Mr Hogan refused to say how much he was being paid. He said: ‘I don’t want to become part of the circus surrounding Madeleine. I am not allowed to go into operational detail and I just do what I am told.

‘We deal with all matters of investigation, but it is true that normally the missing people we deal with are those who have inherited something and then disappeared. We have never dealt with a missing child.

‘I am not going to boast about success rates like Metodo 3, because that did nobody a favour. We have one office and there are 12 people who work here. If I need to I can bring other people in.

‘When the police have a big case they do not stop investigating all the others they are working on.

‘I have a lot of people who I know who are ex-policemen and know how to handle a criminal investigation.

‘The Portuguese police have put a complete closedown on any facts. Normally in this country you would have a liaison officer with the family.’

Another former Scotland Yard officer, who has given unofficial advice to the McCanns, from Rothley, Leicestershire, last night voiced his concern at the appointment. He said: I cannot understand why they have chosen to go with Mr Hogan because he simply does not have the resources or the back-up to conduct a major investigation.

The advice I have given to the McCanns was to urge them to request a meeting with Scotland Yard and to ask them to take over the British side of the investigation. The Yard has a very sophisticated and well-resourced kidnap squad, which deals with more than 300 abductions a year, far more than any other force in Britain. Forces from around the world turn to them for advice.

My view is that the McCanns should not waste money with private investigators but should get the best police in Britain on the job.

I think the role of Leicestershire Police is confused. At first they sent officers to Portugal to offer liaison assistance to the McCanns but now it appears they are investigating them on behalf of the Portuguese. It has become a mess.

Last night Mr Hogan retorted: I was in Surrey Police for four years and the Met after that. I finished top of my CID course but decided to leave to start my own business.

I am not a disgraced former policeman. I deal in professional investigations and I have been doing this a long time.
Control Risks Group, which is advising the investigation on behalf of the McCanns billionaire backer Brian Kennedy, are also reported have taken on a larger role.
But no significant new lines of inquiry are being examined and, despite an overwhelming response to their Christmas appeal, the McCanns have been advised to focus on their own defence.
A source close to the family said: The investigation is working towards a resolution and we have to consider that Madeleine may have been murdered.
We have been working to the theory she may have been killed and all the possible scenarios are being considered.
Of course we hope very much that she is alive but nothing can be ruled out.

Eight months after Madeleine vanished, Portuguese detectives have made it clear they think Kate and Gerry staged an abduction in an attempt to provide a smokescreen for a more sinister crime.

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