The Portuguese criminal investigation police today confirmed they are fully committed to co-operating with the Metropolitan Police review of the Madeleine McCann case and to re-opening the investigation if the Met come up with credible new evidence.
The National Assistant Director of the Polícia Judiciária (PJ), Pedro do Carmo, told me: “We are in contact with the Metropolitan Police. They have informed us what they want to do, to recheck the files. Our colleagues in the UK are fully aware of our commitment and interest in trying to solve this case, to know what happened that night. At this point we have talked and we have a very open relationship. Let's see what comes next.”
The PJ investigation was shelved in July 2008, but Pedro do Carmo made it clear it would be re-opened if the Met comes up with sufficient grounds for doing so. But, he cautioned, "one step at a time. Let's see what happens."
Reports in Portugal at the weekend suggested that not all PJ officers feel at ease with Scotland Yard's involvement. Some are hostile to it, saying they believe the PJ did everything possible to solve the mystery of Madeleine's disappearance and that their professionalism is now being called into question. “The British policemen are not better than our own,” was one sentiment quoted in the Portuguese press.
There has been strong criticism in the UK and within the Metropolitan Police Authority itself of Scotland Yard's involvement.
Criticism aside, the way seems open for a thorough re-examination of the case so far.