Madeleine McCann prosecutors ‘involved in pressure game’ with prime suspect

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A German newspaper editor has suggested that prosecutors involved in the Madeleine McCann case are involved in a “pressure game” with the prime suspect Christian Brueckner.

This comes following the news that Portuguese police have less than two years to make their case against Brueckner for the kidnap and murder of three-year-old Madeleine.

According to the McCanns’ lawyer Rogerio Alves, a 15-year statute of limitations for prosecutions in Portugal means that police only have 22 more months left.

Ahead of tonight’s ITV documentary, McCann: The Hunt for the Prime Suspect, Bild editor Julian Reichelt appeared on Good Morning Britain today to speak about the lack of update from the prosecution on whether they would be able to take the suspect to court.

Reichelt explained: “The question here in Germany is why haven’t they talked to the suspect yet? And is it true that they haven’t talked to the suspect yet? Because this is what the prosecution is still claiming that he is in custody, he is in prison [and that]they are absolutely certain it is him.

“But they are also saying that they are not talking to him, they have not questioned him about the case and the disappearance of Madeleine McCann yet.

“And that, to German procedures, would be highly, highly unusual because why not just ask him? Just ask him if he knows anything about this case.

“He never signalled that he did not want to co-operate with authorities and even if he had, it wouldn’t be a problem for them since he is in custody to question him and ask him about this case and maybe something will come out of it.

“From what we hear from sources within the investigation, within politics, this is not the whole story that we’ve heard yet. This is part of a pressure game to make him give things up or get other people involved in this [case].”

He added: “Certainly, not having talked to him is not the full story to this investigation on the German side yet.”

Reichelt was joined by criminologist and former police detective Dr Graham Hill, who investigated the case days before Madeleine went missing in 2007 from a holiday apartment in Praia da Luz.

Explaining the latest developments, Dr Graham said: “Well, I think we’re into the stages where the suspect has been identified a few weeks ago to the national media by the German police and the UK police. But it seems as though they’ve had this guy in the system for a longer period of time.

“What it does is raise a number of questions – how long have the Portuguese police known about this guy? In what context did he come into the investigation?

“And if he did get eliminated from the investigation, how did they do that? And when did they pass that information on to the Metropolitan Police? And in what context was that name given to the Met Police? And what did they do with that information?

“So it raises a lot of unanswered and difficult questions.”

*Good Morning Britain airs weekdays at 6am on ITV

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