A rape charge against the main suspect in the Madeleine McCann investigation has been dropped after a German court reportedly said it had no jurisdiction over the case.
Christian Brueckner was due to go on trial for an alleged rape in Portugal, but a court in the city of Braunschweig dismissed the case, his lawyer said, according to the report. image newspaper. The rape allegation is not linked to Madeleine’s case.
German prosecutors said last year that they had charged Brueckner with various sex crimes that they believe he committed in Portugal between December 28, 2000 and June 11, 2017. The court did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Brueckner first appeared in the Madeleine investigation in 2020 and was officially named as a suspect last year.
Her yellow and white VW T3 Westfalia motorhome was reportedly identified near the Praia da Luz resort in Portugal, where the girl disappeared on May 3, 2007.
Three-year-old Madeleine disappeared from her vacation rental bed while her parents and family friends dined 180 feet away.
Her two-year-old twin brothers were also in the apartment from which she disappeared. Madeleine’s parents, Kate and Gerry McCann, have been searching for answers ever since.
The Metropolitan Police took over the investigation, Operation Grange, in 2011, but they hit dead ends. Brueckner’s appearance in the case was the first major breakthrough since 2007.
Brueckner is a prolific thief previously convicted of sexual offenses against girls. He was born in Germany in 1976 and moved to Portugal in his late teens, where he worked in the food industry from 1995 to 2007.
He is described as being about 6 feet tall, slim and white with short blonde hair.
Brueckner was declared the main suspect in the case of Madeleine’s disappearance by the Portuguese police in April 2022.
Already in prison in Germany for the rape and murder of a 72-year-old woman, he was accused of multiple sexual crimes that would have taken place between 2000 and 2007.
Police in Germany claimed to have “concrete evidence” that Madeleine was dead, but this has not been confirmed.
A spokesman for the Braunschweig prosecutor’s office said earlier: “The defendant is the same person who was charged in connection with the disappearance of the British girl Madeleine Beth McCann, who was then three years old.
“Specifically, the defendant is accused of three crimes of aggravated rape and two crimes of child sexual abuse.
“The investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann continues.”
The charges mentioned are not related to the McCann case. But in May, German police claimed to have found new evidence linked to Madeleine inside a van belonging to Brueckner.
Brueckner had reportedly been using a yellow and white VW T3 Westfalia motorhome in and around Praia da Luz, the Algarve resort where the McCanns were vacationing at the time Madeleine went missing.
German prosecutors said telecommunications data showed Brueckner received a phone call on May 3, 2007 near the Praia da Luz vacation apartment where the three-year-old boy disappeared. He claimed to have been miles from the scene with a young German woman.
Brueckner, who has always denied any involvement in Madeleine’s disappearance, insists he took the woman, who was on holiday with her parents, to Faro airport for her flight home the next day. They were stopped and photographed at a police roadblock, according to Sky News.