Madeleine McCann suspect to face trial on five new charges over sex offences committed in Portugal


Madeleine went missing in 2007, aged three

Holly Bishop

By Holly Bishop

Published: 20/09/2023

- 07:44

Updated: 20/09/2023

- 08:54

Suspect Christian Brueckner is now eligible to be charged in Germany

The man suspected of abducting and killing Madeline McCann is set to face trial on five new charges in Germany.

Christian Brueckner is eligible to be charged in his home country of Germany over separate charges that were committed in Portugal.

He was charged in Germany last year with the rape of a 72-year-old American tourist in Portugal, and now could face a trial over a number of additional sexual offences that were allegedly committed between 2000 and 2017.

Brueckner, 45, was initially told by a court in Braunschweig that it had no responsibility to hear the new trial because the suspect’s last place of residence was elsewhere in the country.

It meant that it would be the responsibility of a court in Saxony-Anhalt, where Breuckner last lived, to prosecute him.

However yesterday, a higher regional court in Braunschweig overruled the initial decision made in April, meaning Brueckner can now be charged in Germany for the charges committed in Portugal.

These charges include the alleged rape of a 14-year-old German girl, as well as allegedly molesting an 11-year-old girl.

The 45-year-old has denied all charges.


He currently is serving a seven-year sentence in a German prison for raping the 72-year-old.

The German man was first named in connection to the Madeline McCann case in 2020 and was formally confirmed as a suspect last year.Madeline vanished from a holiday apartment at Praia da Luz, Portugal in 2007.

Her parents, Kate and Gerry McCann led a campaign for any information about her disappearance.

In June 2020, German prosecutors announced that they were investigating Brueckner in relation to the McCann case, stating that they had “concrete evidence” that he killed the young girl.

Madeleine McCann

Brueckner allegedly admitted to abducting McCann to a friend


Earlier this year, a former friend of Brueckner’s claimed that Brueckner confessed to the abduction of McCann from the flat she was staying in in Portugal.

Hans Christian Wolters, the prosecutor on the Brueckner case was pleased with the overruled verdict. He said: “Basically the court decided as we expected it to and followed us in all points, so we’re quite pleased.”

He added that for the McCann case, “we can continue to assume that we have jurisdiction for it because the court decided that based on the current state of information, the last known place of residence was in Braunschweig and not Saxony-Anhalt. So that applies for the Maddie case too, meaning that the Maddie investigations are continuing unchanged. There is no plan to hand it off anywhere, there’s no need.”

Wolters said that under the German legal system, even if Brueckner wanted to retract his statement, he would not be able to, and it would remain admissible as evidence.

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