Portuguese police insist they DID pass on Madeleine McCann suspect's name to UK cops & dismiss claims he was discounted

PORTUGUESE police have today insisted they DID pass on the name of the new prime suspect in Madeleine McCann's disappearance to UK cops.

Policia Judiciaria said Christian B's name was among the 2012 case files handed over to Brit authorities as they took on the case.

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Deputy director Carlos Farinha told Portuguese news agency Lusa: "If the suspicions about this man were so obvious, he would have been the subject of requests made by the British, which were always authorised by Portugal, but those requests about him were never made."

He added: "If the PJ (Policia Judiciaria) is being accused of giving Brueckner a lack of priority, the same could be said of the Metropolitan Police. In theory everything could have been different but in 2007 and in 2012 we didn’t known what we knew in 2017.’

Christian B was this week revealed as as prime suspect in the disappearance of Madeleine McCann – 13 years after the Brit toddler vanished from a Portugal holiday resort.

We are now able to show his picture in full in the UK after it was published in a major German newspaper – as cops in both countries appeal for anyone who knows him to come forward.

What we know so far…

  • A key witness has identified Christian B as the man she saw acting suspiciously outside the McCanns’ apartment
  • Cops have linked the suspect to the disappearance of a six-year-old boy
  • Christian B's past has been revealed including his first sex attack that unfolded when he was just 16
  • The suspect is not speaking with German police

It was previously claimed the suspect had been initially investigated by Portugal cops at the time but was ruled out by detectives on the Algarve.

At about the same time, Portuguese police declared Madeleine's parents Kate and Gerry McCann to be their main "arguidos" or "official suspects".

The Policia Judiciaria's investigation was closed in July 2008.

And Mr Farinha added: "Suspicions about the German national have grown but unfortunately they are not enough to make him an arguido and formally accuse him."

But questions have emerged after Madeleine's nanny told the Mirror today police had shown her a photo of Christian five days after the little girl disappeared.

She said: "I was shown identikits the day after they took my statement [about Madeleine].

"I am aware of [the suspect's] name and face from photos I was shown but I don’t think I remember having seen him in real life."

Former senior British detective Graham Hill – who travelled to Praia da Luz days after Madeleine's disappearance – said he had "serious misgivings" over the Portuguese investigation.

He told the Daily Mail: "My professional opinion was that the Portuguese investigative approach to Madeleine’s disappearance was flawed and not fit for purpose when set against what would have been done in a similar investigation in the UK."

Christian B is currently serving a seven-year prison sentence for raping an American woman, 72, in Portugal.

The suspect, who we cannot legally name in full, was first thrust into the frame in 2017 after allegedly confessing to abducting Madeleine in a bar.

He was reportedly chatting to the friend in Germany when a TV report came on about the tenth anniversary of the girl's disappearance and he suggested he knew what had happened to her.

German sources claim he boasted he had "snatched her" but didn’t say he had killed her.

Clarence Mitchell, a spokesman for Madeleine's parents Kate and Gerry McCann, told BBC: "They are grateful and they welcome this appeal.

"They have not given up hope of finding Madeleine alive, despite the length of time – they've never given up that hope.

"But they are realistic and they say that whatever the outcome of this appeal and the police work, they do need to know because they need to find peace."

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