Madeleine McCann: Family lawyer urges British, German and Portuguese police to stop squabbling

Madeleine McCann’s family lawyer has urged the three police forces investigating her disappearance to stop squabbling between themselves.

Rogerio Alves told Sky News: “This is not the Champions League between police departments. We are wasting time and we are spreading energy instead of co-operating.”

There appears to be increasing tension between the German, Portuguese and British police about who knew what and when about the new prime suspect Christian B, who is being held in a prison near Hamburg.

The Portuguese police say his name was on a list of hundreds of potential suspects handed to the Metropolitan Police in 2012 when the force was preparing its own investigation, but Scotland Yard didn’t act on the information.

A German prosecutor insists he has evidence Madeleine is dead and has launched a murder investigation, while Scotland Yard says it still considers Madeleine a missing person.

The German prosecutor also suggested the Portuguese authorities still held her parents Kate and Gerry – who they once considered suspects – responsible for her disappearance. And he said relations with the Portuguese were “cumbersome”.

Rogerio Alves told Sky News: ‘This is not the Champions League between police departments’

Mr Alves said: “It would be a much stronger investigation if everybody is pushing from the same side. I don’t even like to talk about the danger of competition in police because there is something much more important that has to be considered.

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“We are civilised countries, we are looking for the truth. So that kind of competition between police has to stop immediately if it really exists.”

Sky News asked Mr Alves if he thinks the German prosecutor should tell the McCanns what evidence he has that their daughter is dead, as they cling to the hope she may still be found alive.

He said: “I do. For the family it was a shock, although they realise that Madeleine, you know, anything can happen in 13 years.

“But the fact that the prosecutor is saying so strongly that she is dead, I think that he shouldn’t say it without proving and demonstrating why he’s saying what he’s saying.

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“This is a crime, a public crime, a notorious crime, but they remain the father and the mother – they more than anyone want to know what happened.

“They are entitled, they have the right to know what happened with priority, especially when we are arguing that their daughter is dead.”

The German prosecutor in Braunschweig has said he does not have enough hard evidence to charge Christian, a former drifter and bar worker, and has appealed to the public for more information about him and his vehicles.

At the time Madeleine vanished from the family’s holiday apartment in Praia da Luz, the suspect had been living on the Algarve coast for many years.

Mobile telephone data appears to put him close to the apartment an hour before she disappeared and the next day he re-registered his car in another man’s name.

The suspect is also said to have confessed to a man in a bar that he abducted Madeleine.

Christian B is currently serving sentences in Kiel jail for drugs offences and the rape of an elderly American woman in the Algarve in 2005.

The prosecutor says there is compelling circumstantial case against the suspect and if he finds enough firm evidence to charge him he will stand trial in Germany.

Mr Alves said he may push for a trial in Portugal and added: “I’m absolutely sure that the Portuguese police will do everything they can to get to the truth.”

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