Missing Madeleine
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Daily Express Report

Post  Panda on Fri 24 Jan - 7:40

Police prepare to arrest the prime suspects in Madeleine investigation

POLICE investigating the disappearance of Madeleine McCann moved a step closer to arresting potential suspects yesterday.

By: David PilditchPublished: Fri, January 24, 2014
Madeleine McCann disappeared in 2007 Madeleine McCann disappeared in 2007 [PA]

Scotland Yard detectives are understood to have urged the Portuguese authorities to track down three burglars and detain them.

Yesterday a spokesman for Portugal’s attorney general’s office confirmed it was in receipt of an international letter of request from the Crown Prosecution Service, thought to ask for access to three “prime suspects”.

Scotland Yard wants to question the local burglars blamed for a string of break-ins in the Algarve holiday resort of Praia da Luz where Madeleine, then just three, was staying with her family in May 2007.

In what could be a breakthrough in the inquiry, detectives focused on the three men after a painstaking trawl through mobile phone records.

It is understood there was significant phone traffic between them around the time Madeleine vanished.

The development follows a first international letter of request allowing detectives from Scotland Yard’s Operation Grange to access the mobile phone data.

Following the request, Portuguese detectives discovered the men were very close to the scene of Madeleine’s disappearance in the hours after she vanished.

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Authorities in London and Lisbon are working to set up a joint investigation team which would take advantage of European law to speed up cross-border inquiries
A spokesman for Madeleine’s parents Kate and Gerry said the move was “a significant development”.

Portugal’s attorney general’s announced in October its inquiry, shelved six years ago, was being reopened at the request of police in Porto who have spent the past three years reviewing the case.

Jose Magalhaes e Menezes, the public prosecutor in charge of the original investigation, is overseeing the reopened inquiry.

He was damning of the original investigation and claimed officers under disgraced former police chief Goncalo Amaral achieved “very little” during their 15-month probe.

Authorities in London and Lisbon are working to set up a joint investigation team which would take advantage of European law to speed up cross-border inquiries.

A Yard spokesman confirmed an international letter of request was sent to the Portuguese last week but declined to discuss the contents.

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