Portuguese prosecutors have ordered the reopening of the investigation into the 2007 disappearance of British girl Madeleine McCann, saying on Thursday (October 24) new leads had emerged in the case.

Her disappearance sparked a global search that gripped the world's media but, despite extensive appeals, her fate remains a mystery and a Portuguese police inquiry closed five years ago.

In a statement, the country's public prosecutor's office said there were potential new elements in the case, without providing details.

It said the investigation would be subject to a legal clause that meant no information in the case would be made public.

The Portuguese decision comes after British police began an inquiry in July, saying they believed Madeleine might still be alive.

Earlier this month they said they had pieced together a new sequence of events suggesting Madeleine was targeted by abductors. They said they wanted to trace a number of men, including some thought to be either Scandinavian or German, while another line of inquiry is she was taken after disturbing burglars.

British police said the Portuguese inquiry had centred on a dark-haired man seen carrying a child by Jane Tanner, one of the McCanns' friends, near their apartment on the night she vanished.

British police ruled this man out and are keen to trace another man spotted about 45 minutes later by an Irish family holding a child matching Madeleine's appearance and heading towards a nearby beach. They have released two e-fits of this man, as well as artist impressions of other men seen near the McCanns' apartment in the days and hours running up to Madeleine's abduction.

One witness saw a fair-haired man near the apartment twice, while an hour after Madeleine was reported missing, two blonde-haired men were seen nearby acting suspiciously.

Presented by Adam Justice