13 Apr 2010
McCanns want to re-open in Portugal and Rubbish in UK!B LOG STATISTICS DEMONSTRATE THIS IS THE MOST POPULAR POST EVER ON THIS BLOG WITH ALMOST 3000 PAGE VIEWINGS. I COULD HAZARD A GUESS WHY!
Home Office launches secret review into Madeleine McCann's disappearance
The Home Office has secretly begun a review that could lead to a fresh police inquiry into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann. Says who? Clarence Mitchell?
By Robert Mendick
Published: 9:00PM GMT 06 Mar 2010
Missing Madeleine McCann Photo: PA The move follows the release of 2,000 pages of evidence last week which Portuguese detectives are accused of having failed to fully investigate.
According to sources close to the McCanns, Alan Johnson, the Home Secretary, has ordered officials to examine the 'feasibility' of British or Portuguese detectives looking afresh at all the evidence.
'Madeleine McCann leads ignored' Kate and Gerry McCann met with Mr Johnson last year to plead for help in their search for Madeleine, who vanished without trace in May 2007 from a holiday apartment in Praia da Luz, Portugal.
The couple have also met with John Yates, the Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner, who has headed up a number of high profile inquiries in recent years.
He is said to be "sympathetic" and to have made "general offers of assistance".
The source said (Clarence Mitchell presumably): "The latest we have heard from the Home Office is officials are undertaking a 'scoping exercise' to look into the possibility of a review of the case.
"They are looking at all the options. It is basically a feasibility study.
"Kate and Gerry met with Alan Johnson to request a review is done. Hopefully any political intervention can unlock obstructions that might be in the way."
Pressure is now being put on Portuguese authorities to agree in the first instance to a three-day review of the case that could be held at Interpol's headquarters in Lyon in France.
The McCanns will hope the Home Office can persuade their Portuguese counterparts to co-operate in a case review.
The review – were it to go ahead – would involve British police working with Portuguese counterparts as well as experts in child abduction across other European forces.
The Portuguese police have been heavily criticised for their handling of the case which led to detectives naming the McCanns, both doctors from Leicestershire, as arguidos – or suspects – in the case and accusing them of involvement in her disappearance.
Their arguido status was subsequently lifted and the police investigation shelved.
But with the senior officer in charge Goncalo Amaral now widely discredited and facing financial ruin after being sued for libel by the McCanns over a book he wrote, it may become harder for the Portuguese to refuse the request for a thorough review.
The revelation that possible leads – many passed to Portuguese police by the McCanns' own private detectives – had apparently been ignored will add to the clamour.
Last week, details emerged of a series of possible sightings of Madeleine, who was just three when she vanished.
Guilhermino Encarnacao, who was in charge of the Policia Judiciaria in the Algarve, died two weeks ago from stomach cancer.
Mr Encarnacao was convinced Madeleine had died in her parents' apartment and was a major source of a series of off the record briefings to journalists against the McCanns.
A Home Office spokesman said: "We can confirm that the Home Secretary had a private meeting with Kate and Gerry McCann.
"Leicestershire Police stand ready to co-ordinate and complete enquiries if further information comes to light in the UK; or if requested to do so by the Portuguese authorities, who continue to lead on the overall investigation."
The spokesman refused to discuss what talks took place at the meeting or whether there was the chance of a review of the evidence at Interpol.
The spokesman added: "We are not going to comment on the outcome of any private meeting with the McCanns."
Then we had a series of articles in the Yorkshire press saying West Yorkshire Police were to take over the case and then we get this:
By Lucy Panton
British police are to launch a new probe into missing Madeleine McCann after massive failures were found in the Portuguese investigation.
Our top child protection cop Jim Gamble has completed a fresh look at the three-year-old investigation for the Home Office.
He told ministers there were huge holes in the original inquiry that need to be revisited if they want to "come close" to reaching UK standards.
It will come as a bitter pill for Portuguese investigators who have fended off criticism since Maddie disappeared in 2007.
But parents Kate and Gerry McCann, both 41 and both doctors, are "delighted" at the move.
Failures in the original investigation are said to be "so gaping" that British authorities feel it is their duty to look at it again.
This time police will review all the leads using technology and standards expected in a homicide or kidnap case in the UK.
Mr Gamble, head of the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre, found a basic failure to collate information and join up links that should have been made.
Telephone records were not properly analysed, missing early opportunities for leads.
And Kate and Gerry McCann were named as Arguidos, or formal suspects, by Portuguese police - something that the review says would not have happened if the probe had been carried out in the UK.
Mr Gamble found no evidence sufficient to make them suspects. His findings have now been formally submitted to the Home Office with recommendations to re-investigate.
The damning review has now set the Association of Chief Police Officers the difficult task of trying to decide who takes on the mammoth task. It is already predicted to be "an extremely costly" investigation that, even if done properly, will probably never be solved.
A source said: "It is something that has to be reviewed. It is only right that the McCanns are given the satisfaction that everything that could be done has been done. It now comes down to who is up to the job."
The Home Secretary Alan Johnson is expected to announce that the new probe will NOT be carried out by Leicestershire police, the McCanns' local force. The review has highlighted failures within their handling of the case and ruled them out of the review.
Instead ACPO are now asking around their top cops to see who could take on the very difficult and complex investigation.
The source added: "It will be extremely costly and sadly is unlikely to result in a positive outcome.
"As much as we would all like this to end with good news for the McCanns, the fact is there have been a lot of missed opportunities and no-one will ever be able to reclaim the time and evidence lost."
Two thousand pages of evidence released earlier claimed Portuguese detectives failed to follow up leads.
Home Secretary Alan Johnson ordered officials to examine the "feasibility" of British detectives having a fresh look at all the evidence back in March.
Kate and Gerry McCann, of Rothley, met Mr Johnson to plead for help in their search for their daughter who vanished aged three from a holiday apartment in Praia da Luz, Portugal.
in: News Of The World, 11.04.2010