Former police officers to take over responsibility for Maddie's investigation

Madeleine McCann PIs In Fee Controversy

posted by Staff October 16th, 2008

US-based firm Oakley International was taken on by the Find Madeleine Fund earlier this year on a £500,000 six-month contract.

The company was chosen by double-glazing tycoon Brian Kennedy, who has promised to back the McCanns financially to help solve the mystery of the disappearance of their daughter.

Oakley was hired to monitor a telephone hotline, carry out detective work and review CCTV footage from around the world of possible sightings of the missing girl.

But Mr Kennedy became concerned by the level of Oakley’s £43,500 ($74,155) expenses claim in the first month of the contract.

The company’s contract was terminated at the end of August after Mr Kennedy had become concerned at its lack of results.

Clarence Mitchell, spokesman for the Find Madeleine Fund, said that Oakley International was no longer working on the case.

He said: “The contract with Oakley was just one among many that have been entered into during the search for Madeleine.

“While Oakley did some valuable work, particularly in the early stages, its contract, like many others, has now come to a close.

“The search for Madeleine is continuing, however, using other resources and the performance of other contractors is constantly reviewed and monitored.

“Kate and Gerry and the backers will leave no stone unturned in the search for Madeleine.”

Madeleine has not been seen since May last year, when she disappeared from the family’s apartment in the Portuguese holiday resort of Praia da Luz shortly before her fourth birthday.

Former police officers are now being interviewed by Mr Kennedy to take over responsibility for the investigation into Madeleine’s disappearance.

Mr Kennedy, 47, estimated to be worth about £250million, made his money in double-glazing and home-improvement ventures with companies including Everest windows.

He became involved with the McCanns after being moved by their plight during the period they were made formal suspects – arguidos – in Madeleine’s disappearance.

Portuguese prosecutors dropped the couple’s arguido status in July.

A spokesman for Oakley International said: “We carried out our instructions from the Fund professionally and responsibly in accordance with our agreement.”

article here


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