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Portuguese authorities question credibility of new leads

By SOPHIE MCCARRICK – [email protected]

Five years after Madeleine McCann disappeared from her family’s holiday apartment in Praia da Luz, the case continues to be a mystery for the authorities.

With the passing of the fifth anniversary of her disappearance on May 3, it has been revealed by Scotland Yard detectives that throughout their current review of her case a further 195 potential leads have been discovered.

However, Portuguese authorities believe these leads not to be credible and have so far shown no willingness to re-open the case officially unless evidence providing substantial clues is found.

Regarding the potential leads, Gonçalo Amaral, former PJ officer for the case, told Correio da Manhã: “These leads are only assumptions from mediums and psychics, and people who have reported sightings. Plus, do not forget that British police have to justify the money that is being spent in this investigation. They must give something to the public.” The Scotland Yard review is expected to cost €2 million in its first year.

One day before the anniversary that marks her daughter’s disappearance, Kate McCann spoke to presenter Lorraine Kelly on ITV´s Lorraine show. She said: “We don’t know what has happened but we know that there is a very good chance that she could still be alive – there is no evidence to the contrary.”

While on air with her husband Gerry, Kate gave praise to the new age-progression photograph released by the Metropolitan Police.

The new image of what Madeleine is thought to look like now, approaching her ninth birthday on May 12, was released last week.

In addition, an alternative photograph was also released by American detectives that drew attention to how her resemblance to her mother would have developed.

Leading the Scotland Yard review, detective chief inspector Andy Redwood said last week that his team of 37 officers are developing what they believe to be “genuinely new material”, adding that they think she could still be alive and has been the victim of a stranger abduction.

He went on to say that he believed that this case can be solved and appealed to the public for fresh information.

Throughout the review his team has step by step sifted through 40,000 pieces of information, which is where the 195 “investigative opportunities” were found. During their interview with Lorraine, the McCanns said they hoped the Portuguese police would now re-open the case.

Kate will release her paperback edition of her book Madeleine on May 10.