Wednesday, May 25, 2011

“No limits” on review of Madeleine McCann case says Met Police chief

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Paul Stephenson says Scotland Yard is putting no limits on its review of the investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann, reports the Leicester Mercury, a newspaper published in the English county where Madeleine was born and Kate and Gerry still live.     

The paper quotes Sir Paul as saying his force's re-examination of the case would be a "significant piece of work" that could produce recommendations about new lines of inquiry.

"We are not putting any limits on it at this moment in time," he said. "We have no time scales yet because we haven't produced the scoping. It will be a significant piece of work."

He said Scotland Yard's international reputation made it easier for his officers, compared with those of other organisations, to "open doors".

"Sometimes we need to remind ourselves this is about a vulnerable missing child," he said. "I am a professional police officer, and when you get a request to do something about a vulnerable missing child, you should take that request very seriously.

"And then you get into negotiations about, is it right that we do it? Can we bring added value to it? And if we can bring added value to it, what is the right circumstance to allow us to do it to make sure that we are making the best use of the operation resources here and giving a fair return to Londoners?"

While Sir Paul believes it is "the right thing to do," critics claim the review, which will be funded by Britain's Home Office, has diverted resources from other crime victims and is giving special attention to the McCanns not available to the families of many other British persons missing abroad.

Madeleine's parents were in Lisbon this week to publicise the Portuguese edition of Kate McCann's book. Asked about her decision to write and have the book published, Kate McCann told the Sic television channel: “I always wanted to, to write down the truth, really, for my three children, and I guess the reason, or the trigger reason why I actually, why it became a book and why it was published, is because we have to fund the search for Madeleine. And the fund was running low, so we needed to raise the money.”

Gonçalo Amaral, the former coordinator of the Portuguese police investigation, says he welcomes the Met's involvement, but he is bluntly critical of Kate McCann's book, claiming it is offensive to "Portuguese justice, the Polícia Judiciária, those who have searched for her daughter, the Portuguese people in general and the people of the Algarve in particular.”

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