Madeleine McCann suspect CAN be charged over separate offences

Madeleine McCann suspect CAN be charged by German prosecutors over separate sex offences committed in Portugal, court rules in new blow to Christian Brueckner

  • Christian Brueckner could now be charged over string of alleged sex offences 

Madeleine McCann suspect Christian Brueckner can now be charged in Germany over separate rape and sexual abuse offences allegedly committed in Portugal, a court ruled today in a new blow for the convicted rapist.

Brueckner, 45, who is currently languishing in a German prison for the rape of a 72-year-old American tourist in Portugal, could now face a trial over a string of alleged sex offences committed between 2000 and 2017.

He had been charged in Germany last year with the sex offences, including the rape and sexual abuse of two children in Portugal, but the charges were dropped in April after a state court in Braunschweig ruled it had no jurisdiction to hear the case.

But now, in a major blow to Brueckner, the higher regional court in the northern city overruled the state court’s earlier decision that it had no jurisdiction.

This means Brueckner can now be charged in Germany over the separate rape and sexual abuse cases allegedly committed in Portugal and potentially face a trial.

Madeleine McCann (left) suspect Christian Brueckner (right) can now be charged in Germany over separate rape and sexual abuse offences allegedly committed in Portugal, a court ruled today in a new blow for the convicted rapist

For more than a decade, her anguished parents Gerry and Kate (pictured together in 2017) have waited in vain for any news – any clue – that their little girl is somehow alive after all this time

The German suspect had lived in a warehouse outside Praia da Luz for several years but moved into a campervan just before Madeleine vanished

Brueckner was named as the key suspect in the disappearance and murder of Madeleine last year, who vanished from her family’s holiday apartment in the Algarve resort of Praia da Luz in May 2007 – just a few days before her fourth birthday. But he has still not been charged regarding her abduction and he denies his involvement.

The Braunschweig state court had argued in April that it did not have the jurisdiction to hear the case because the region of Lower Saxony where it is located isn’t the last place where Brueckner had lived in Germany. 

In the German legal system, a court must decide after it receives an indictment from prosecutors whether to take a case to trial. 

READ MORE: Who is Christian Brueckner? The German Madeleine Mccann suspect and sex offender 

The state court said Brueckner had produced evidence that he had lived in the neighbouring state of Saxony-Anhalt, where he was registered as the owner of a property that he kept after going abroad. 

But today, the higher regional court said that the last domestic residence of Brueckner should be determined on the basis of a variety of evidence – in particular earlier statements of the accused – which showed him living within Lower Saxony state. 

The court’s decision comes just days after it was claimed that Brueckner has written begging letters to his former friends asking them to talk about what a ‘good guy’ he is in court in a bid to clear his name.

Brueckner moaned in one letter to a friend that prosecutors were making him out to be a ‘monster’.

Brueckner, who prosecutors say is responsible for Madeleine’s 2007 kidnap and murder, begged two of his friends to support him in court if he has to stand trial on separate rape and child sex charges.

‘I know of two people who got the messages from Chris,’ Brueckner’s former friend who is still in touch with those who knew Brueckner in the Algarve told the Mirror. 

‘It really freaked them out. They hadn’t heard from him in years and then these letters suddenly arrived in the post from Germany.’

The source added: ‘He was asking them to speak in his defence, about what a good guy he is. He said the German police and prosecutors have it in for him, that they are saying he is a monster.

‘It’s outrageous for Chris to ask for help because now we all know about his past. Back when we were hanging with him in the early 2000s it was all a secret. We didn’t know he was a paedophile. But now he doesn’t stand a chance of anybody speaking up for him in court.’

Brueckner is currently languishing in a German prison for the rape of a 72-year-old American tourist in Portugal just 18 months before Madeleine was abducted.

His trial heard he planned the sex attack having broken into the victim’s house with a rope to tie her up. She was blindfolded and gagged before being raped and robbed. 

In June, Brueckner attacked the police investigation against him as groundless in a handwritten letter, seen by the MailOnline. 

In the letter he attacked informant Mr Busching. The two men had been pals in Portugal in the early 2000s but as Brueckner explained in his latest missive he says they fell out after a drugs deal went wrong the year Madeleine went missing and never spoke again.

Madeleine vanished from a holiday apartment in Praia da Luz on Portugal’s Algarve coast in May 2007 – where Brueckner was living at the time – and has never been seen since.

Her parents Kate and Gerry McCann, from Rothley, Leicestershire, spearheaded a high-profile campaign for information about her disappearance.

The case, unsolved for the past 16 years, remains a mystery as no body has ever been found.

In June, German forensic experts searched a reservoir 30 miles from Praia da Luz as part of their ongoing investigation. Bruecker had called the Arade reservoir his ‘little paradise’ after receiving ‘certain tip-offs’.

The reservoir is located near the town of Silves, where a lorry driver had claimed to see a woman passing off a child resembling Madeleine’s description to a man two days after the toddler disappeared. 

Investigators cleared a large area of woodland at the reservoir and dug eight deep holes to collect samples, which were sent for forensic and DNA testing in Germany.

But German police have reportedly hit a ‘roadblock’ after being left ‘disappointed’ over the items they found during the search of the reservoir.

The reservoir lies about 45 minutes from Praia da Luz – where Madeleine vanished without a trace in 2007 aged three

An area of around 160 square feet had been flattened and cleared of grass and shrubs with several holes dug into the ground to a depth of around two feet during the latest Madeleine McCann search in the Algarve, Portugal, on May 25, 2023

German prosecutor Hans Christian Wolters, who is leading the case, confirmed that a ‘number of items’ were seized during the search. 

However, sources have now told The Sun that the items retrieved have not helped them in their efforts to solve the 16-year mystery.

A source told the paper: ‘Sadly, it’s looking increasingly like the search of the reservoir will not provide any answers or fresh leads.

‘It’s too strong to say it was a waste of time, but officers are naturally really disappointed.’

The three-day scour of the reservoir was the first major search for the toddler in nine years and comes after German police discovered photos of Brueckner at his self-described ‘little paradise’ in the Portuguese region, it is understood.

Brueckner would camp by the reservoir at weekends and is understood to have set up a base there to ‘cleanse himself’, it emerged last month.

A former friend of Brueckner, who has lived on Algarve for nearly 30 years and has been helping police with their investigation, claims the criminal would visit the reservoir ‘often’ but was ‘always secretive about it’.

The German mother-of-three, whose identity has not been made public, recalled how Brueckner would drive his campervan to the edge of the lake because he ‘liked to be near the water’.

She claimed he always camped in the same location and ‘there was usually no one else around’.

‘This was his exact special spot that he said he liked to come to cleanse himself,’ she said of his campsite, telling The Sun: ‘I don’t know what he did there as he was very secretive.’

Details of Brueckner’s secret lair came to light as a British couple told The Mail on Sunday how they spotted a bizarre ‘shrine’ to Madeleine in the reservoir just seven months after she vanished.

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