Madeleine McCann: Police 'looking at eight important new leads'
Published 15/12/2011 | 05:00
SCOTLAND yard detectives are examining eight new leads in the search for British child Madeline McCann, missing from Portugal since 2007.
Spanish private detectives claim they have handed over eight "very important leads" in the search for Madeleine who would now be eight-years-old.
Four Metropolitan Police officers held talks with Barcelona firm Metodo 3, which investigated her disappearance on behalf of the family, sources said.
Officers travelled to Spain yesterday to pick up around 30 boxes of documents, investigator Francisco Marco Fernandez told Spanish TV.
Mr Fernandez, who was hired by parents Kate and Gerry for six months, told the 'Ana Rosa' programme he provided police "with all the documents and information we have collated worldwide about Madeleine's disappearance".
"I think there are six, seven or eight very important leads in there," he added.
A Scotland Yard spokesman refused to confirm the meeting took place.
"We will not be providing a running commentary," he added.
Family spokesman Clarence Mitchell added: "Kate and Gerry will simply not be commenting whilst the Metropolitan Police review of Madeleine's case is under way.
"They remain pleased that the Met team is continuing its work and that progress is being made."
It is the second time officers are understood to have visited the Spanish city.
A team also spent three days with Spanish colleagues in Barcelona last month discussing the girl's disappearance across the border in Portugal.
Madeleine was nearly four when she went missing from her family's holiday flat in Praia da Luz on May 3, 2007.
Police have also travelled to Portugal three times in connection with the fresh review.
The Metropolitan Police force has said there would be no limits in its re-examination of the search. A total of 30 people are now working on the force's Operation Grange.
Her parents hired Metodo 3 to find her four months after she vanished.
The agency sent a team to Morocco to follow leads that she might have been smuggled out of Portugal.
Metodo 3 director Francisco Marco said he still believed that was "very possibly" what happened to her but he refused to give more details.
The files taken by Scotland Yard include investigations the agency carried out into Raymond Hewlett, a convicted British paedophile who was in Portugal when Madeleine went missing and left for Morocco three weeks later.
Hewlett died of throat cancer aged 64 in Germany last year having refused to talk to detectives about Madeleine's disappearance.