UK & World News
Portuguese Refuse To Reopen Madeleine Probe
Portugal's attorney-general says the inquiry into missing Madeleine McCann will only be reopened if there are new facts in the case.
The declaration comes a day after British police reviewing the disappearance said they believed Madeleine could still be alive and called for Portugal to reopen the case.
The attorney-general said: "The case will only be reopened if there are credible and relevant new facts, not mere hypothesis and speculation."
It is the attorney-general's decision whether or not to reopen a case.
Scotland Yard released a statement in response that said: "We still do believe there are matters which need to be considered and we are currently seeking a more formal way of addressing this."
A British team said on Wednesday they had identified 195 "investigative opportunities" that could be followed up.
They also released a computer-generated image, created by experts, of how Madeleine might look now approaching what would be her ninth birthday on May 12.
Sky reporter Martin Brunt said the attorney-general's statement effectively "trashed what Scotland Yard was saying".
"It's just developing into a bit of a war of words," he said.
But Brunt said it was not surprising the Portuguese did not reopen straight after the UK announcement.
"Don't forget they (the Portuguese police) were very stung by the very widespread criticism they suffered when they abandoned the investigation after 15 months," he said.
Shortly before the attorney-general's announcement, Portuguese police said they have no new evidence that would give them cause to restart the investigation into the British girl who vanished in the Algarve almost five years ago.
"There are no new elements at the moment," said Pedro do Carmo, the deputy head of the criminal police department.
Mr Do Carmo said that a team of investigators would continue "to re-examine elements of the inquiry" in collaboration with British police.
But he said that such a practice was normal and did not constitute a reopening of the probe.
A spokesman for the prosecutor's office confirmed no request to reopen the case had been received.
However, Mr Do Carmo said the Portuguese police had received "no formal request for the reopening of the inquiry".
Madeleine's parents Gerry and Kate McCann have never abandoned their high-profile campaign to find their eldest daughter.
She disappeared on the Portuguese south coast on May 3, 2007 while her parents were at dinner.
There have been hundreds of possible sightings of the little girl since she vanished, aged three, but each one has come to nothing.
British police on Wednesday also appealed for anyone who were at the resort of Praia da Luz between April 28 and May 3, 2007 to contact them.
:: Call 0800 096 1011 if you are within the UK. Fon-UK residents, the number is +44 20 7158 0126. Crimestoppers can also be contacted anonymously in Britain on 0800 555 111.