24 Oct 2013

Portuguese police re-open Madeleine McCann inquiry

The Metropolitan Police confirm a Portuguese police inquiry into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann is to be re-launched after new lines of inquiry emerged from an internal review.

Madeleine McCann inquiry re-opened in Portugal (Getty)

Portuguese police had shelved their investigation into what happened to the missing child in 2008, the year after she vanished. They continued to support the British-run inquiry that was launched earlier this year.

However they have now re-opened an investigation after some new “developments.” Detective Chief Inspector Andy Redwood, who leads the Scotland Yard team and Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley were joined by Madeleine’s parents in Lisbon to be briefed on the Portuguese case.

The new lines of inquiry are separate to those being currently being pursued by the Met. Mr Rowley reported that the meeting was “very positive” noting the Met and Policia Judiciara have a shared determination to do discover what happened to Madeleine.

New developments

“Colleagues in Portugal fully shared with us the developments in their review, and the fact that they were taking the significant step of applying for the investigation to be formally reopened,” he explained.

“This is a welcome development, but both sides of the investigation are at relatively early stages, with much work remaining to be done.

“This new momentum is encouraging, but we still have a way to go, and as with all major investigations, not all lines of inquiry that look promising will yield results.

“Today’s development is good news. Combined with the formal reopening of the Portuguese investigation today, and our ever closer working relationship, I believe that we have the best opportunity yet to finally understand what happened to Madeleine.”

Speaking yesterday Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe defended how Portuguese police handled the initial investigation.

He said it was “very difficult” for officers in Praia da Luz to know they were dealing with a serious crime just after the girl vanished.