German police dig through garden in Madeleine McCann probe

German prosecutors confirm local media reports that police investigators searched a garden plot in Hanover.

German police investigating the disappearance of young British girl Madeleine McCann in Portugal in 2007 have searched a garden plot in the northern city of Hanover in connection with their probe, according to prosecutors. 

Julia Meyer, a spokeswoman for the prosecutor’s office in Braunschweig, on Tuesday, confirmed local media reports that police investigators had been at the site since Monday with an excavator in connection with the case.

“The procedure is taking place in connection with our investigation regarding Maddie McCann,” she told the Associated Press news agency.

Meyer said she could not give any further details on the procedure, adding only that police would “still need some more time to finish”.

McCann was three years old at the time of her 2007 disappearance from the holiday apartment her family was staying at in the seaside town of Praia da Luz in Portugal’s Algarve region.

German suspect

German authorities said last month they had identified a 43-year-old German citizen as a suspect in the McCann case and are investigating him on suspicion of murder.

The suspect, who is currently in prison in Germany, spent many years in Portugal, including in Praia da Luz around the time of McCann’s disappearance, and has two previous convictions for “sexual contact with girls”, authorities have said.

Authorities have not released the suspect’s name, but he has been identified by German media as Christian B.

He was last registered as living in the German city of Braunschweig, which is about 70km (40 miles) from Hanover. 

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