Portugal's justice minister says his country has nearly finished its investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann from a hotel there more than nine months ago.


Kate McCann, left, watches as her husband, Gerry, holds up a picture of their daughter Madeleine during a news conference in Rome in May 2007. ((Pier Paolo Cito/Associated Press))

Justice Minister Alberto Costa said it was "premature" to speculate on whether the investigation would shed light on what happened to the three-year-old British girl, who vanished during a family vacation in Portugal on May 3.

Her parents, Kate and Gerry McCann, believe she was abducted from her hotel room as they dined at a nearby restaurant. Both have been questioned by Portuguese police and are official suspects in the case, although they deny any involvement.

Robert Murat, a British man who lives near the hotel where Madeleine disappeared, is also a suspect in the case.

No one has been charged in relation to her disappearance.

Investigators were given an extra three months to continue their probe in January because of what they said was the complexity of the highly publicized case.

Costa said British statistics show that around 80 per cent of similar cases in the U.K. remained unsolved.

With files from the Canadian Press