Friday, May 13, 2011

Met police to bring “new perspective” to Madeleine McCann case.

Whatever you may think of Kate and Gerry McCann's parenting skills while on holiday in the Algarve in May 2007, you have to admit their efforts to keep their missing daughter in the public eye have been remarkably successful. Four years on, the welter of publicity garnered for Kate's book, Madeleine, has been astonishing. To cap it all, the McCanns have now persuaded the British Prime Minister and Home Secretary to ask the Metropolitan Police to review the case.

One aspect of the publicity that seems strange when viewed from Portugal is the degree to which the British press and government officials believe Madeleine was abducted. The McCanns have insisted all along that their daughter was taken from the Algarve holiday apartment while they were dining out in a nearby restaurant and that she may be still alive. The more prevalent belief in Portugal is that she was not abducted, that she died in the apartment.

Led by book serialisations in The Sun and the Sunday Times this week, the British press has been pumping out stories that accept Madeleine was abducted, not as a possible or even probable scenario, but as an established fact.

For example: “Kate McCann has revealed the devastating abduction of her daughter Madeleine caused her to question her faith,” reported the London Evening Standard. “Kate McCann has revealed that she was plagued with depression and suicidal thoughts after the abduction of her daughter four years ago,” said the Guardian. “Kate McCann has laid bare her shock and outrage after Portuguese police officials made her and husband Gerry suspects in the abduction of her daughter Madeleine,” according to the Daily Telegraph.

The Government’s primary concern has always been and remains the safe return of Madeleine,” said a Home Office spokesman yesterday. But is she still alive?

Perhaps Madeleine really was abducted, but the truth is we simply don't know for sure what happened to the almost four-year-old back in May 2007 because conclusive evidence has yet to be found.

Said British Home Secretary Theresa May last night: "I am pleased to announce that the Prime Minister and I have agreed with the Metropolitan Police Commissioner that the Met will now be using its particular expertise to review the case. The Met have skills, techniques and know-how which we hope can bring a new perspective to the case."

No doubt that know-how will mean the Met will remain unbiased, ignore the hype, cut through the conjecture, look for solid evidence and focus on facts. Meanwhile, the British government has felt obliged to say its decision to send in Scotland Yard was not driven by tabloid headlines.

Apparently there have already been high-level talks between the British Foreign Office and the Portuguese authorities on how a joint review of the case might best be conducted. The British Embassy in Lisbon says the UK and the Portuguese authorities have been in close contact from the start, and this will continue.  

Although the official Portuguese police inquiry formally ceased in July 2008, the Portuguese authorities will retain the lead responsibility for the case. The Pólicia Judiciáia have been repeatedly accused in Britain of botching the investigation, but only with their close co-operation can the Met hope to help solve this mystery.  


  1. The parenting skills of these 2 persons is not what is at stake, after the proper authorities failed to do their job - charging them for neglect and endangerment, and the intervention of the children's protection services in order to take the poor twins to a more secure environment -, what should be the concern now is to find out all the schemes they have put out in order to compromise an investigation over the disappearance of a small child.
    This last plot is over the board. Involving that naive Prime Minister into an action that is not only illegal but seriously damaging from a diplomatic point of view, tells it all. Those narcissistic persons will do everything in order to maintain their high profile and live from donations from the public.
    They are the face of the worst that the world is turning into: unresponsability and harassement.
    It doesn't surprise me, after all Britain did not hesitate to embark in wars against innocent civilians based on falsehoods, so why wouldn't its subjects do the same?!
    Farewell Britons.

  2. My understanding is that somewhere in the region of 300 children go missing in the U.K. every year. Why is this one so different (albeit in a different country) and of such high profile? The rest are "forgotten", lost without trace, and never heard of or referred to again.


  3. You raise an interesting question, Colin. The following is from the Guardian of 14 May:
    Kerry Needham, the mother of Ben Needham, the British toddler who was abducted on Crete 20 years ago, said: "I am pleased for the McCann family and look forward to the government offering the same support to all the families with children missing abroad."