New police chief for Madeleine investigation.jpg

New police chief for Madeleine investigation

UPDATED 10.55 ON 09.10.07

PORTUGUESE police have appointed a new top man to lead the investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann.

Paulo Rebelo was unveiled as the new director in the Portimão office of Polícia Judiciária

late yesterday (Monday) by the national chief of Polícia Judiciária, Alípio Ribeiro, based in Lisbon.

Paulo Rebelo is said to have extensive experience in criminal investigation and “a natural capacity for leading his teams with tact.” He is also said to have “a strong attitude”.

Portuguese daily newspapers are reporting that the reaction to Paulo Rebelo’s appointment was positive in the Portimão office, with investigators pleased by the fact that this coordinator fits the old fashioned discretion style of the PJ, particularly where media coverage of difficult cases is concerned.

Described as a very diplomatic and prudent investigator, Paulo Rebelo worked for several years in the Drugs Combat departments, first in Porto and latter in Lisbon. He was nominated as PJ director in 2002 and rose quickly in the police hierarchy.

Unlike his predecessor, Gonçalo Amaral, who operated under the supervision of the Faro PJ department, headed by Guilhermino Encarnação, Paulo Rebelo will report directly to the national chief, Alípio Ribeiro.