Madeleine McCann: Portuguese police have only 22 months to make their case against suspect Christian Brueckner

The McCann family lawyer, Rogerio Alves, said 'time is getting short now' because of a 15-year statute of limitations for prosecutions in Portugal


                            Madeleine McCann: Portuguese police have only 22 months to make their case against suspect Christian Brueckner
(Getty Images)
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Portuguese police reportedly have less than two years to make their case against the prime suspect of Madeleine McCann's murder - Christian Brueckner, according to the missing girl's family lawyer. German authorities on June 3, had revealed a new suspect in Madeleine's disappearance. The police had announced that Madeliene could be dead, adding that pedophile suspect, 43-year-old Brüeckner, could be behind her possible murder. 

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The McCann family lawyer, Rogerio Alves, has now said that police in Portugal have only 22 more months, and "time is getting short now" because of a 15-year statute of limitations for prosecutions in Portugal. Madeleine mysteriously disappeared from her parents' vacation apartment at The Ocean Club Resort in Portugal on the night of May 3, 2007. At the time, her parents were just 50 meters away from the apartment, dining at a tapas restaurant with several close friends while Madeleine and her twin siblings slept in the house. Thirteen years later, the child is still missing. Madeleine's disappearance is the most widely-reported missing person's case in modern history.
 
Alves, while speaking on the show 'McCann: The Hunt for the Prime Suspect' on ITV, said: "We have a 15 years time barrier, even to manslaughter, to homicide, to certain sexual offenses — and even to the most serious kind of kidnapping. So we are still on time. But time is getting short now." The show, which is set to air on Thursday, July 23, 9 pm, addresses the mistakes made by officials which potentially stopped Brueckner from being a known suspect earlier on in Madeliene's case. 

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The German police, in assistance with Scotland Yard, is reportedly probing Brückner, a convicted rapist, in Maddie's case. The detectives, last month, had revealed that they were convinced that Maddie was dead and knew how she was killed. They, however, do not know where her body is. German prosecutor Hans Christian Wolters, while addressing a press conference, had said: "We think that Madeleine McCann is dead and are appealing for witnesses. The 43-year-old suspect is a multiple sexual predator already convicted of crimes against little girls."

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German police are reportedly facing scrutiny in the case after they allegedly tipped off Brüeckner about the investigation in 2013. The federal criminal police in Germany had reportedly contacted Brueckner in October 2013 for more information about him. However, while calling him in for questioning, police in their letter specified that the questioning was linked to the "Madeleine McCann missing persons case" and "personal examination of Christian B." The letter would have given Brückner enough time to destroy any evidence in the case, the report stated, adding that it was a serious mistake on the officials' part.

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Meanwhile, Brueckner's lawyer Friedrich Fulscher has said it was for detectives to prove his client was guilty. "As things stand now I do not actually believe there will be any charges," he said. "I do not anticipate a prosecution. Thank God, in our legal system the prosecution has to prove the crime to an accused person and it is not the accused who must exonerate himself. As long as my client does not know what he is accused of, and on what basis, there is no reason to think otherwise."

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The 43-year-old suspect is known to have carried out burglaries on holiday villas and apartments at the time of Madeleine's disappearance. "These sightings have been a mystery for years and have been the subject of numerous police appeals," a source told the Sun. "With a suspect now in custody it seems like they may have finally been solved."

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