'No limits' on review of McCann investigation
Scotland Yard is putting no limits on its review of the investigation into Madeleine McCann's disappearance, Britain's top policeman has said.
Metropolitan police commissioner Paul Stephenson said his force's re-examination of the case would be a "significant piece of work" that could produce recommendations about new lines of inquiry.
Critics claim the decision to bring in metropolitan detectives to review the evidence about what happened to the little girl has undermined the force's independence and diverted resources from other crime victims.
But Mr Stephenson said it was "the right thing to do" and pledged that Scotland Yard would carry out a thorough appraisal of the original investigation into Madeleine's disappearance in Portugal more than four years ago.
"We are not putting any limits on it at this moment in time," he said.
"We have no time-scales yet because we haven't produced the scoping. It will be a significant piece of work."
No metropolitan police officers have travelled to Portugal so far but they are in talks with the Portuguese authorities.
Mr Stephenson said Scotland Yard's international reputation and expertise made it easier for his officers to "open doors" than other organisations.
"Sometimes we need to remind ourselves this is about a vulnerable missing child," he said. "You get into negotiations about: Is it right that we do it? Can we bring added value to it? And if we can bring added value to it, what is the right circumstance to allow us to do it to make sure that we are making the best use of the operation resources?"