Saturday, 5 Dec 2020

Madeleine McCann prime suspect ‘may never face trial’, fears prosecutor

Christian Brueckner, the convicted sex offender who remains the prime suspect in the Madeleine McCann investigation, may never face trial over the 3-year-old Brit’s disappearance, it has been claimed.

Hans Christian Wolters, the prosecutor leading the inquiry into Brueckner’s alleged involvement in the abduction of the Leicester-born tot, has confessed that investigators have been unable to find forensic evidence linking the German rapist to the events of May 3, 2007.

According to the Mirror, Wolters said he was “hopeful” evidence would be found for police to charge and quiz Brueckner, 43, but added: “At the moment our evidence is not so strong we are sure he will be sentenced by the court.”

He has since appeared on podcast They've Taken Her, reiterating his fears that there is not enough evidence.

“Maybe we need more witnesses or photos or video," he said.

"Maybe we need one witness who can tell us the things we don’t know.”

Currently, the only evidence that investigators have – mobile phone records and sightings of a van resembling Bruckner’s near the scene – is purely circumstantial and would be unlikely to secure a conviction.

A friend of the McCann family said: “It feels like he is trying to lower expectations after coming out all guns blazing.

"It’s heartbreaking for Kate and Gerry.”

Christian Brueckner’s lawyer Friedrich Fuelscher maintains that his client is innocent. Brueckner has previously been convicted of a string of charges including possession of child sex images and the rape of a pensioner.

The 43-year-old sex offender remains in jail after being arrested in Italy in 2018 on an unrelated charge.

Last month, he made a bid for early release based on a legal technicality but his appeal was rejected by the European Court of Justice.

Detectives are reportedly seeking two Russian men they believe spoke to Brueckner immediately before the girl’s disappearance.

Wolter told Daily Star Online: “We know that Christian B. had contacts with Russian-speaking people in the spring of 2007.

“Because we want to interview all people who had any kind of contact with Christian B. at the time, we are also interested in these men.”

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