Maddie case: English police to meet with Portuguese forensic experts
Redwood's team arrival at PJ headquarters in Faro yesterday | photo Luís Forra/Lusa
by Marisa Rodrigues
Scotland Yard (SY) wants to know whether the samples collected in the apartment from where Madeleine McCann disappeared seven years ago may be subject to further forensic tests. This is one of the questions the English detectives will ask to the forensic experts in a meeting, today, at the Portuguese National Institute of Forensic Medicine (INML) in Coimbra.
In the meeting, scheduled for 10am, the English police will also receive the results of the analyses done by INML to the material [see] that was found during the searches and excavations in the terrains of Praia da Luz, last June. Like JN reported at the time, part of the material was sent to the INML and another part to the Forensic Science Laboratory of the Judiciary Police (PJ). The meeting in Coimbra will also be attended by the coordinator of the South Directorship of the PJ, Luís Mota Carmo besides the English detectives and the technicians of the Forensic Sciences institute.
Luís Mota Carmo received yesterday in Faro Andy Redwood's team for another routine meeting to assess Scotland yard's investigation progress, that was started in 2011, four years after the child's disappearance. In the meeting it was also addressed the next steps the English detectives intend to take, which are still awaiting for the Public Ministry's green light.
JN was able to establish the Judiciary Police has not yet received from the Public Ministry the fifth letter rogatory, in which Scotland Yard requests for at least seven people considered of interest to the investigation to be questioned, including some of the four arguidos [formal suspects], and that searches are done to the suspects' homes.
in Jornal de Notícias, 15 Oct. 2014, paper edition
Read as well: Maddie Case: English Detectives are back in the Algarve
Broadcast by TVI, 14 Oct. 2014 (sound volume is extremely low)
Marisa Rodrigues - Without speaking to the journalists, with a rushed pace for a meeting at the Judiciary Police, it's the return of the Scotland Yard to Faro for another assessment of the British investigation into Madeleine's disappearance. An analysis of what was done and the planning of the next steps that were requested in the fifth letter rogatory which is currently being evaluated by the Public Ministry.
The English police wishes to summon to the PJ headquarters some of the arguidos that were questioned in July. In total there are seven persons considered of interest that are now in the police's crosshairs. In the letter rogatory searches to the houses owned by the suspects are requested, which have not yet been authorized.
The process that changed hands due to the reorganization of the judicial chart will remain at the court of Portimão and was recently attributed to a prosecutor that has never been involved with this case.
At the PJ's South Directorship the meeting lasted less than two hours. In a ruse to escape the journalists waiting outside, the English entourage was the last to leave the PJ headquarters, following the exits of the Judiciary Police coordinators of Faro and Portimão.
From here, the English detectives will travel to Coimbra, where they are going to have a meeting at the National Institute of Forensic Medicine to get the results of the analyses to the vestiges [material] collected in the terrains of Praia da Luz during the searches and excavation that took place in June.
They also want to know if the samples in the apartment from where Madeleine disappeared in 2007, can be subjected to other types of forensic examination.
Broadcast by SIC, 14 Oct. 2014
Conceição Ribeiro - It was a reduced entourage sent by Scotland Yard to Portugal this time. Andy Redwood and two colleagues returned to Faro at a time when, due to the new judicial chart, the Madeleine McCann process was given to a new prosecutor.
(reporter at location) - Mr Redwood, what do you expect from the new prosecutor?
Andy Redwood - Sorry, I've got no comments to make this morning, sorry.
Without speaking to the journalists, the English inspectors went on to another meeting with the Judiciary Police. On the table, the results of the samples collected in Praia da Luz at the start of the Summer season, following the excavations in two terrains.
Another one of the issues Scotland Yard wishes to see clarified has to do with some cell phone owners, whom, for various reasons are at the British authorities' crosshairs. Left out of the meeting were the matters concerned with the planning of the future investigative steps, at a time when there isn't yet any reply given to the fifth letter rogatory, which contains new requests to the Portuguese authorities.
Before they return to London, the Metropolitan Police team will travel to Coimbra. A meeting is scheduled for this Wednesday with the National Institute of Forensic Medicine. The English inspectors want to know, from an expert point of view, if the progress of the last seven years justifies carrying out new tests to the old samples.
The eventual cross-checking of DNA profiles collected during the last investigative steps taken in Portugal may also be discussed. It should be recalled that last July, three men were constituted as arguidos at the request of the English authorities and almost a dozen witnesses were questioned.
According to the British media, the investigation to the Maddie case will cost to London, until the end of the year, more than 12 million euros [10 million pounds +/-].