Madeleine McCann suspect ‘will not face trial on separate sex charges this year’

Christian Brueckner is accused of three counts of rape and two counts of child sex abuse unrelated to the McCann case.

12 October 2022

The prime suspect in the disappearance of Madeleine McCann, who is charged with rape and child sexual abuse, will not face a trial before next year.

The public prosecutor’s office in Braunschweig, Germany, said convicted sex offender Christian Brueckner is accused of five offences between 2000 and 2017 in Portugal – with the charges unrelated to the McCann case.

Investigators believe the 45-year-old killed Madeleine, then three, after abducting her from a holiday apartment in Praia da Luz, Portugal, on May 3 2007.

Madeleine McCann anniversary
A pink balloon outside apartment 5A on Rua Dr Agostinho da Silva in Praia Da Luz, Portugal, where Madeline McCann went missing (PA)

Brueckner, who has reportedly denied any involvement in the youngster’s disappearance, was identified as a murder suspect in the McCann case by Portuguese officials in June 2020.

The Braunschweig state court said on Wednesday the opening of any trial should not be expected this year due to other cases on its schedule.

The court will decide whether to send the case to trial after the defence have had the opportunity to respond to the charges and raise possible objections.

On Tuesday, prosecutors said Brueckner has been charged with three counts of rape and two counts of child sexual abuse.

He is accused of filming himself raping a woman in her 70s in a holiday apartment.

He also allegedly raped a 20-year-old Irish woman in Praia da Rocha – waking her up at knife-point and tying her to a table.

Missing Madeleine McCann
Madeleine McCann went missing in May 2007 (PA)

Brueckner is also alleged to have filmed himself orally raping a teenage girl in her Praia da Luz home.

The suspect is also accused of exposing himself to a 10-year-old German girl on Salema beach in Faro and an 11-year-old Portuguese girl in Sao Bartolomeu de Messines while she was sitting on a playground swing.

Brueckner is serving a seven-year sentence for rape in Portugal in 2005.

Prosecutors said the investigation into Madeleine’s disappearance continues despite the charges.

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