British police to help in McCann case

13th May 2011, Comments 0 comments

Britain on Thursday ordered London police to "bring their expertise" to the search for British girl Madeleine McCann, who went missing on a family holiday to Portugal four years ago.

Prime Minister David Cameron responded to requests for help from the toddler's parents, Kate and Gerry McCann, and negotiations are underway with Portuguese police over how the fresh review of evidence will be conducted.

"The prime minister and the home secretary have today agreed with Sir Paul Stephenson that the Metropolitan Police will bring its particular expertise to this case," a Home Office statement said, in reference to the head of the London police.

The couple earlier made an emotional plea for a "comprehensive review" of the information about their daughter's disappearance and for Cameron to ask his Portuguese counterpart Jose Socrates for assistance in the matter.

"I'm hopeful but we want to see action from the government. I'm sure, if the public get behind the campaign, (Cameron) will do it," Gerry said.

Portuguese police wound up their investigation after 14 months, but her parents say they will not stop their search until they have found Madeleine.

"The issue is that since the files have been closed everything has been deemed irrelevant without any further enquiries and that is not acceptable."

"It is a fact that no law enforcement agency has been looking for Madeleine for years," Gerry McCann told a news conference in London held on his daughter's eighth birthday.

Four years after she vanished from a holiday apartment in the Portuguese resort of Praia da Luz, Kate and Gerry McCann launched a book about the case and said they feared the authorities had given up on Madeleine.

A visibly emotional Kate, who spoke with a trembling voice, said it had been a difficult decision to write the book, "Madeleine", which went on sale in Britain on Thursday.

"What tipped the balance in our decision (to write the book) is the continuing need to fund the search for Madeleine," said the 43-year-old doctor.

"We hope we'll find Madeleine before the money runs out."

Madeleine went missing from the holiday apartment on May 3, 2007, a few days before her fourth birthday, as her parents and a group of friends dined at the restaurant in the holiday complex.

In the book, entitled "Madeleine", Kate reveals that while she appeared composed in the days after the disappearance, she was actually so grief-stricken that she wanted to commit suicide by drowning in the sea.

© 2011 AFP

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