Madeleine McCann Lawyers Head To Portugal To Discuss New Leads

UK Government lawyers have travelled to Portugal to visit their counterparts to discuss new leads in the case of missing Madeleine McCann, it has been confirmed.

London's chief crown prosecutor Alison Saunders and her deputy Jenny Hopkins flew to Portugal with Scotland Yard detectives in connection with the police force's review of the case.

Madeleine, who was then nearly four, disappeared from her family's holiday apartment in Praia da Luz in Portugal's Algarve on May 3 2007, as her parents Kate and Gerry dined at a nearby tapas restaurant with friends.

Madeleine McCann has been missing since 2007

A CPS spokesman said: "Prosecutors from CPS London, and investigators from the MPS (Metropolitan Police Service), visited their Portuguese counterparts on April 17-18 to discuss possible next steps in relation to the disappearance of Madeleine McCann.

"We continue to work with the police on this case."

Operation Grange, conducted by Scotland Yard's Homicide & Serious Crime Command, was launched in May 2011.

Last month, Detective Chief Superintendent Hamish Campbell said the review has identified ''both investigative and forensic opportunities'' and had identified ''more than a handful of people of interest".

As they marked the sixth anniversary of Maddie's disappearance last month, the McCanns said they were encouraged by Operation Grange, and said police seemed ''more determined than ever''.

When the women were found, the McCanns said the rescue of the women "'reaffirmed" their hope of finding their daughter, which has never diminished.

It has been reported that Home Secretary Theresa May is set to announce a full-scale Yard investigation into Maddie's disappearance.

A full investigation would allow police to interview suspects in Britain though they would seek the assistance of the Portuguese to carry out there inquiries there.

A Home Office spokesman said: "The Home Office remains committed to supporting the search for Madeleine McCann and we have always said we would provide the Metropolitan Police with the resources they need to investigate her disappearance."

The McCanns' spokesman Clarence Mitchell said they would not comment publicly while Operation Grange continues.

He said: "They remain grateful, however, to the UK authorities for the work being done to establish what happened to Madeleine and to bring those responsible for her abduction to justice."

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