THE parents of missing Madeleine McCann yesterday welcomed the decision by the Portuguese authorities to reopen the investigation into their daughter’s disappearance.
Kate and Gerry McCann said they were “very pleased” the case will be looked at again after police shelved it in 2008, the year after Madeleine vanished.
In a statement the couple said: “We are very pleased that the investigation to find our missing daughter Madeleine has been officially reopened in Portugal.
“We hope that this will finally lead to her being found and to the discovery of whoever is responsible for this crime.”
Yesterday Portugal’s attorney general confirmed the case would be reactivated more than five years after it was closed.
Officers based in Porto are understood to have presented compelling new leads to law chiefs, separate to those being worked on by British police conducting their own investigation.
A spokesman for the attorney general’s office issued a statement yesterday which read: “Portugal’s attorney general has determined the reopening of the inquiry relating to the disappearance of Madeleine McCann following a request from the Polícia Judiciária. The decision follows the presentation of new material justifying the reopening of the investigation.”
Public prosecutors in Portimão, who were part of the original inquiry into Madeleine’s disappearance in May 2007, will be put in charge of the reopened inquiry. Police in the town, where disgraced former police chief Gonçalo Amaral was based, are expected to be asked to work under their supervision.
Detectives in Porto, who have been conducting a review of the Madeleine McCann case for the past two years, are thought to have requested the reopening.
They are believed to have made the request so colleagues can formally interview potential key witnesses they have approached informally.
The Portuguese daily newspaper, Correio da Manhã, has reported that the officers have been looking at the possibility a foreign paedophile gang took Madeleine.
A spokeswoman for the attorney general’s office said she was unable to comment on the new lines of inquiry.
Earlier this month Scotland Yard spoke of a possible breakthrough after it emerged officers were analysing the phone records of people who were in Praia da Luz when Madeleine vanished.
Officers said they had identified 41 persons of interest, including several Britons.
Britain’s top policeman, Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, said this week that Scotland Yard detectives, who began a review of the case in 2011, now have the “best chance” of solving the mystery.