MADELEINE McCann: Almost five years on and Our Maddie is still on the front pages. As ever, there is no news. There are no new facts. We are just watching the missing child’s parents and attacking funny foreigners, in this instance the Portuguese police.
The Sun (front page): “MADDIE COOP SNUB”
The missing child leads the Sun’s editorial of the world’s most important news moments. (What – no Rupert Murdoch, Leveson and all that hacking?)
ARROGANCE is piled on incompetence as Portuguese police snub pleas to reopen the Madeleine McCann inquiry. They say they will act only on “credible and relevant” new facts.
But the Met Police haven’t found any new facts. So how is it a snub?
Scotland Yard officers have established no fewer than 195 fresh lines of inquiry and say Madeleine may still be alive.
No. Not fresh leads. As the Met said:
The intention is to identify from that material investigative opportunities which we will then present to the Portuguese authorities who retain primacy for the investigation. Officers have so far identified around 195 such opportunities within the historic material, and are also developing what they believe to be genuinely new material.”
These so-called leads have not even been shown to the Portuguese yet. So, how can the Portuguese reopen the case on their strength?
Yet Portuguese detectives insultingly dismiss their work and wreck the hopes of Kate and Gerry McCann, who had been “hugely encouraged” by the Yard’s painstaking investigation.
What utter nonsense. The Portuguese police are conducting their own review.
When 195 new leads are discovered, lack of evidence seems an unlikely reason for this shameful decision.
There is no new evidence. The Met says it believes they might have new lines of investigation to pursue. They have found no new evidence.
Isn’t it more likely that Portugal is deeply embarrassed by the unprofessional way it bungled the search for Madeleine when she vanished five years ago?
The Portuguese made mistakes – a few big ones. But they are working with the Met.
In their eagerness to blame Kate and Gerry, local cops missed crucial clues. Now, despite so much important new information, they ignore what might be a genuine chance of finding Madeleine alive or discovering the truth.
No word on the fact that Sky - the Sun’s stablemate – paid out damages to the McCanns. The Portuguese police were not the only ones keen to make the parents suspects.
Have they no children themselves? And have they no consciences?
Be use only parents can care about a missing child. Because parents never harm children. (See Baby P.)
Page 7: “McCanns hoped Portuguese cops would see sense. They were wrong.”
We hoped the Sun wound wind its neck in and stick to the facts. We were wrong.
Meanwhile, the Met says:
Work of the team involves close collaboration with a senior investigating officer from the Policia Judaria and detectives have been to Portugal several times.
Daily Express (front page): “Madeleine: Parents ‘Hugely Encouraged’ by News Police Hunt”
Good. We all are. The Met will do a good job.
Daily Star (front page): “Maddie setback”
“BRIT POLICE TOLD: WE WON’T HUNT MADELEINE MCCANN”
POLICE in Portugal refused to reopen the Madeleine McCann investigation yesterday, claiming there was “no new evidence”.
The Met say there is no new evidence. So what’s the claim?
The Met says:
Officers are now methodically going through that material which they believe amounts to around 40,000 pieces of information equating to approximately 100,000 pages.
Why reopen the case when the review of existing material has not been completed?
British detectives are convinced Madeleine was abducted in the resort of Praia da Luz and could be found safe and well.
No. They are not. What they said was:
“…there is a possibility that she is alive”
“From the outset we have approached this review with a completely open mind, placing Madeleine McCann at the heart of everything we do. We are working on the basis of two possibilities here. One is that Madeleine is still alive; and the second that she is sadly dead.”
Clarence Mitchell, the McCanns family rep has a few words about the image of the missing child at age 9:
“They [McCanns] are very pleased that the new age-progressed image of Madeleine at nine was put out yesterday, which is getting wide publicity today. Of course, that is the girl that people should still be looking for. We need to remind people around the world that this is probably what Madeleine looks like today, not the very famous picture of her when she went missing. This is Madeleine as a young girl now. Kate particularly feels there is a very strong family resemblance. She sees Madeleine, Sean and Amelie, her brother and sister, and herself in the image.”
The parents helped the police create the image. It’s a best guess as to what she would now look like, were she still alive.
Daily Mirror (front page): “We won’t reopen case on Maddy”
“Maddy hunt stalls: Portuguese cops refuse to reopen case despite 195 new leads”
The Mirror persists with “Maddy”, whereas all other tabloids have chosen to rename Madeleine – the name her parents use – “Maddie”.
That word “despite” in that headline paints the Portuguese police in a dim light. But they are talking sense.
The hunt for Madeleine McCann stalled yesterday as Portuguese cops refuse to reopen the case.
Refuse. Not decline? Refuse makes them sound stubborn and belligerent.
Parents Kate and Gerry McCann were given renewed hope on Wednesday when British police said they believe Madeleine is still alive. But those hopes were dashed yesterday when Portuguese authorities ruled out reopening their botched original investigation.
Portugal’s Attorney General said new leads uncovered by Scotland Yard were nothing more than “mere speculation”.
Well, quite. The Met says as much. The Portuguese have ruled nothing out.
Pedro do Carmo, the deputy head of the criminal police department, said the investigation – which ended in July 2008 – would remain closed. His comments came just 24 hours after British police reviewing Madeleine’s disappearance said she could still be alive.
What is “could” if not speculation?
Scotland Yard detectives said they had uncovered 195 potential new leads while sifting through 40,000 pieces of information in the case.
Mr do Carmo is quoted:
“There are no new elements at the moment that would allow for the reopening of the inquiry.” Mr do Carmo said that a team of investigators would continue “to re-examine elements of the inquiry” in collaboration with British police.
He also revealed that the Portuguese police had received “no formal request for the reopening of the inquiry” from UK cops.
The police do the painstaking work while the media just shouts and demands.
Portugal’s Attorney General Fernando Jose Pinto Monteiro later backed up Mr do Carmo’s comments. A spokeswoman for his office said: “The case will only be reopened if there are credible and relevant new facts, not mere hypotheses or speculation. So far we have not received any request for the case to be reopened.”
Such are the facts.