Friday, March 9, 2012

#McCann:Oporto PJ goes through Madeleine McCann case with a fine toothed comb

  • Special team joins the English people from Scotland Yard
  • 2.2 million spent to investigate in the UK alone

by Nuno Miguel Maia and Óscar Queirós

Almost four years after being archived by the Public Ministry, the case of the disappearance of the little English girl Madeleine McCann in the Algarve is being re-analysed with a fine toothed comb. In Portugal, a team of investigators from the PJ [Judiciary Police] in Oporto has been chosen.

On the United Kingdom’s side, the Scotland Yard does not haggle the means to find out what happened to little Maddie, whose disappearance in 2007 was archived by the Portuguese Public Ministry in July of 2008. In 2011 alone, 2.2 million euros were spent. And the team comprises 37 people.

Nonetheless, the investigators concluded that nothing would be done without an articulation with Portugal. Therefore, a partnership was established with the PJ, that investigated the case during 14 consecutive months – first under the leadership of Gonçalo Amaral, at the PJ in Portimão; afterwards, under the leadership of the PJ’s former joint national director Paulo Rebelo.

This time, the PJ’s national directory chose to nominate a team that had nothing to do with the case to work on it. The choice fell on the Oporto PJ’s Regional Section for Criminal Investigation and Prevention, headed by chief coordinator Helena Monteiro.

This is a brigade that is experienced in disappearance cases. One example of success involved a girl from Lamego, Carina Ferreira, whose body was found in a highway ravine after one month of searches.

The goal is to search for leads to follow and to fill any gaps in the initial investigations, using a fresh look on the case.

“Although it was formally archived, we still have a disappearance without explanation. The archiving does not mean that the Judiciary Police is less interested in clarification and in searching for answers”, Pedro do Carmo, a joint national director, explains to JN. more..

This diligence was not carried out because – it should be recalled – the McCann couple and six of their friends refused to participate. “The British authorities’ interest values all of the work that was developed by the Portuguese police and questions the reason for a hasty and abrupt archiving. The material truth still has to be established”,