ANNOUNCEMENT by Tony Bennett, secretary of The Madeleine Foundation
Further to our preliminary exchange of correspondence with Scotland Yard Review Team about its terms of reference, remit etc., (Note 1 below) in which we were told verbally and in writing that the Review Team was starting with a blank sheet and would consider ANY evidence no matter where it led, we have today by Recorded Delivery letter sent a 32-page letter and a bundle of supporting evidence to the Review Team.
We do not propose to disclose its contents. The Review Team will no doubt assess it, and in any event publication of the letter would risk yet a further letter from Carter-Ruck.
I will just say a few things.
I have spoken to one of the team's Detective Inspectors. He has, in terms, told me the following:
* The exercise is primarily a kind of 'cold case review', looking at all the paper evidence
* He described the volume of paperwork involved in the whole exercise as 'massive' and it was made clear to me that it would take months more work to get on top of it all and make sense of it
* Following the announcement of the review, he said that the Review Team had received many more letters from 'all sorts of people' offering evidence and containing suggestions which 'has added to our workload'
* It was unlikely that many people would be directly interviewed by the Review Team
* This remained a Portuguese Police investigation and was not in any shape or form a 're-investigation' exercise at this stage
* He has given me two contact telephone numbers for the Review Team which I won't disclose. Messages for the Review Team may be left by dialling 101 and asking to speak to a 'Member of the Madeleine McCann Review Team' at Belgravia Police Station'.
I have disclosed to the D.I. and in our letter to D.C.I. Andy Redwood that we have received written evidence of interest from an insider within one of the Madeleine McCann private investigation teams - and invited D.C.I. Redwood or one of his detectives to contact us if he wants to follow this up.
I will just disclose one paragraph from our letter to D.C.I. Redwood:
I know that we can expect the Metropolitan Police to approach the evidence in this case robustly, fearlessly and without favour, and no doubt if this is what happens, along with you and your team following recommended police policy guidelines and procedures, the eventual report will be career-enhancing for all those involved in this review. It only remains for us at this stage to wish you every possible success in uncovering just how Madeleine McCann disappeared and who was responsible.
It will not be a surprise to anyone that our letter and accompanying file of evidence to the Review Team deals contains in considerable detail an analysis of various contradictions, changes of statements and 'backfitting' as between and amongst the McCanns and their 'Tapas 9' friends, which we say is relevant circumstantial evidence.
The latest letter from Carter-Ruck to us insists that there is 'no credible evidence' that the McCanns have lied, or that Madeleine died in their apartment, or that they have covered up anything. It is because of their insistence that there is no such credible evidence that I now face contempt of court proceedings.
It is however worth bringing to mind the report of Britain's top criminal profiler in the National Policing Improvement Agency, Lee Rainbow, who in July 2007 wrote the following:
“Madeleine's father was the last one to see her alive. The family is a lead that should be followed. Contradictions in Gerald McCann's statements might lead us to suspect a homicide”.
Lee Rainbow's report also features in our letter to D.C.I. Redwood.
I would once again urge anyone with relevant evidence to write to D.C.I. Redwood.
DCI Andy Redwood
SCD1 - Homicide and Serious Crime Command
Room 3.30, 1st Floor
Belgravia Police Station
202-206 Buckingham Palace Road
Note 1: The Madeleine Foundation is still of course awaiting official responses from the Metropolitan Police to our Freedom of Information Act questions about the Scotland Yard Review Team and its precise remit
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