The case of the young Majorcan woman Maria del Carmen del Salto who, according to forensics and the police, was raped and strangled before being left to die on wasteland near Port Cristo last year, appears to be nearing its conclusion, but whether it will end with a conviction or not depends very much on the forensic report, which is currently being translated into German. A German fireman cum diving instructor Andreas Okulus is still being held in prison, in Hamburg, as the prime suspect in the case. He was apparently the last person to have seen del Salto alive in Majorca and was arrested at his home last September, since when he has been held in prison with two pleas for his release from his lawyers having been denied. It was revealed yesterday that Okulus has contracted the services of another lawyer, in order to establish a line of defence. Okulus has also been ordered by his lawyers not to make any more statements about the case as it could invariably damage his defence and his lawyers have also decided not to submit any more pleas for his release. The case could finally come to court by early May in Germany, where murder can carry a maximum life sentence, according to lawyers representing the family of the murdered woman. The deceased's body was not found until five months after she “disappeared” while on a night out with friends. The autopsy report has been sent to Germany and despite the condition in which the body was found, forensics have apparently been left in little or no doubt that Maria del Carmen del Salto was raped, before being strangled. However, the translation of the autopsy may take two months to complete, but once that is done, the Hamburg judge will set a date for the trial.

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