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Wednesday 8 February 2023 Dublin: 9°C
PA Madeleine McCann
# Christian B
Madeleine McCann kidnap suspect charged with sex offences, including rape of Irish woman
German prosecutors said the 45-year-old suspect is accused of committing the offences in Portugal between 2000 and 2017

THE PRIME SUSPECT in the disappearance of Madeleine McCann has been charged with several sex offences, German prosecutors said.

The prosecutors in Brunswick said they have “today filed charges against a 45-year-old German… for multiple sexual offences that he allegedly committed between 28 December 2000 and 11 June 2017 in Portugal”.

“The accused is the same person who is being investigated in connection with the disappearance of the then three-year-old British girl Madeleine McCann from an apartment complex in Praia da Luz in Portugal on 3 May 2007,” they said.

Madeleine McCann went missing from her family’s holiday apartment in Praia da Luz a few days before her fourth birthday, as her parents dined with friends at a nearby tapas bar.

Despite a huge international manhunt, no trace of her has been found, nor has anyone been charged over her disappearance.

But in June 2020, German prosecutors made the stunning announcement that they were investigating a man named as Christian Brueckner in connection with the case, saying they had “concrete evidence” he killed Madeleine.

However, no charges have yet been brought against the suspect, and no body has been found.

Brueckner already had a string of previous convictions for different crimes, including sexual offences and drug trafficking.

He made a living doing odd jobs in the area where Madeleine was taken, and also burgled hotel rooms and holiday flats.

The German was on a list of people of interest at the time of Madeleine’s disappearance, but investigators were unable to find him.

Brueckner is currently serving a seven-year sentence in Oldenburg, northern Germany, for raping a 72-year-old American tourist in Praia da Luz in 2005.

Today he was charged with three counts of rape and two counts of child sexual abuse, including the rape of an Irish woman aged 20 in 2004.

Brueckner is alleged to have filmed much of the incident on a camera he had brought with him, before escaping via a balcony.

He is also accused of forcing a 14-year-old girl to engage in sexual activity.

Confirming earlier media reports, a German prosecutor said Brueckner was under investigation for the sexual abuse of a 10-year-old girl in Portugal’s Algarve region in April 2007, shortly before Madeleine’s disappearance in the same area.

The charges allege he also exposed himself to an 11-year old Portuguese girl during the so-called Snail Festival in Sao Bartolomeu de Messines in 2017 while she was sitting on a swing in a playground.

Prosecutors say the girl ran to her father for help and the suspect was arrested by Portuguese police at the scene.

Author
Press Association