Suspect in ‘Madeleine case’ in court today on unrelated sex crimes

Henry

The main suspect in the long-unsolved case of the missing British toddler Madeleine McCann is on trial in Germany from today (Friday). However, Christian Brueckner is not on trial in connection with little Madeleine’s disappearance in 2007, but rather a host of unrelated sex crimes.

The five charges against Brueckner arose precisely as a direct result of investigations into the Madeleine McCann case.

Brueckner is on trial today on three counts of rape and two counts of sexual offenses against children in Portugal between 2000 and 2017.

In one case, he is accused of sexually assaulting a ten-year-old German girl on a beach in April 2007, just weeks before Madeleine went missing.

Prosecutors further argue that Brueckner exposed himself in front of an 11-year-old Portuguese girl at a playground.

He is also accused of sexually assaulting two women and a teenage girl and filming the incidents.

The trial in Brunswick in northern Germany is Brueckner’s first public appearance since he was formally identified as the suspect in Madeleine’s disappearance in April 2022.

However, Brueckner has not been formally charged in the McCann case to date.

Christian Wolters, a spokesperson for the prosecution in Brunswick, told AFP that investigations are continuing in the McCann case.

“However, it is currently unclear whether a complaint will be filed or not,” Wolters said.

Brueckner, a convicted rapist, is already behind bars for the rape of a 72-year-old American tourist in 2005 in Praia da Luz – the same Portuguese seaside resort where little Madeleine went missing two years later.

If Brueckner is found guilty in the new trial, he could still be sentenced to between five and 15 years in prison, a spokesperson for the court in Brunswick told AFP.

If acquitted, he could leave prison as soon as 2026.

According to the court, the trial will last about four months with a total of 29 appearances.

RNews previously reported that the police had already started focusing on Brueckner as a possible suspect in Madeleine’s disappearance in June 2020.

At the time, he was often spotted around the Praia da Luz holiday resort – where Madeleine disappeared from the family’s holiday apartment at the time.

She was three years old when she disappeared without a trace on May 3, 2007.