Madeleine McCann’s prime suspect, Christian Brueckner, has been charged with a series of sex crimes, but most importantly not with the British toddler’s disappearance.
Convicted rapist Brueckner, 45, was named as the man responsible for the kidnapping of Madeleine in May 2007 two years ago by German police in a fanfare that attracted worldwide media attention.
But since then eyebrows have been raised as no charges have been brought and the inquest has failed to positively link him despite prosecutors giving the heartbreaking news that they have ‘concrete evidence’ that the little girl was dead and he was the culprit.
Instead, investigators today charged Brueckner with the rape of two unknown women in Portugal, the rape of Irish tour guide Hazel Behan in 2004, sexual abuse in April 2007 at a Portuguese beach near the location where Madeleine disappeared a month later and another sexual abuse case. in 2017 again in Portugal.
The offenses allegedly took place between December 2000 and June 2017, when Brueckner was traveling between his native Germany and Portugal.
German prosecutors have named Christian Brueckner (L), who is currently in jail for rape, as the prime suspect in Madeleine’s disappearance. Convicted rapist Brueckner, 45, was named as the man responsible for Madeleine’s kidnapping in May 2007 two years ago by German police in a fanfare that drew worldwide media attention (Madeleine R)
The fact that Brueckner has not been charged over Madeline’s disappearance from parents Kate and Gerry’s holiday apartment (pictured) in Praia da Luz will bring further heartbreak as they hoped it would mark the end of the 15-year mystery .
The rapes of the unknown woman come after police were made aware of a video camera that Helge Busching and Manfred Seyferth – two key witnesses and former friends of Brueckner – had stolen from his home near Praia da Luz on the Portuguese coast of the Algarve.
In the footage – which has disappeared – they depict how an elderly woman and a young girl are raped by a man they identify as Brueckner, with the attacks taking place at his home.
But the fact that Brueckner has not been charged over Madeline’s disappearance from parents Kate and Gerry’s holiday apartment in Praia da Luz will bring further heartbreak as they hoped it would mark the end of the 15-year mystery.
Asked about the McCann case, prosecutor Hans Christian Wolters told MailOnline: ‘We hope we can put all our energy into the McCann case once the other investigations are complete.’
“But we don’t know how it will end, at the moment it is still open, maybe we can file a complaint, maybe we can’t but we keep hope.”
Brueckner is currently being held in Oldenburg prison serving a seven-year sentence for the rape of an elderly American woman at her home in Praia da Luz in 2005.
He was convicted after DNA found on a hair in his bed was matched to him, but he and his lawyer Friedrich Fulscher denied his involvement and insisted he was convicted after a botched investigation.
Madeleine vanished from this apartment in the seaside resort of Praia da Luz, Portugal, while vacationing there with her family in 2007
Hans Christian Wolters, the German prosecutor investigating Maddie’s disappearance, recently warned there is no end in sight to the investigation into the three-year-old
In a letter to a friend, seen by MailOnline, Brueckner said: ‘During the old lady’s rape in 2005, the attacker was described as black-eyed and incredibly strong. I was convicted but never had black eyes or looked like Dwayne Johnson.
He added: ‘There is absolutely no evidence that I committed this cruel crime. No DNA – just nothing. Things just appeared when there was nothing before.
‘My hair from the case 2005 – 13 years, it happens to appear in the BKA (German police) laboratory. It was one of 15 hairs that were found but mysteriously no DNA was found on 13 but on two there were – mine and the old lady. No more words needed.
Brueckner’s lawyer has now filed an appeal in German courts asking that the 2019 rape conviction be reviewed because the evidence used to convict him is weak.
He says evidence in the new cases being investigated proves Brueckner could not have raped the pensioner, as German authorities claim the attack and Behan’s were carried out by the same tattooed man.
But Mr Fulscher stressed that his client did not have a tattoo and therefore could not have carried out the rapes, although he told MailOnline he did not hope his appeal would be granted.
He said: “Only a tiny proportion of applications are successful.”
Details of the charges against Brueckner include a rape that allegedly took place between December 28, 2000 and April 8, 2006 of an unknown woman in her 70s and 80s.
He reportedly tied up the woman and raped her in the bedroom of her vacation apartment and beat her with a whip while filming her ordeal.
On another day between the same dates, he is accused of raping an unknown 14-year-old German sea bream at his home in Praia da Luz in the same way.
On June 16, 2004 at around 3 am, the accused reportedly went to Praia da Rocha in Portugal and entered the apartment of 20-year-old Hazel Behan from the balcony.
On April 7, 2007, at around 3:30 p.m., the accused was allegedly on a beach in Salema, in the district of Faro in Portugal, dressed only in shoes and otherwise naked, when he ambushed a German girl from ten years old playing on the rocking chair and sexually assaulted her.
Ten years later, he allegedly carried out a similar attack at a children’s playground in Bartolomeu de Messines in Portugal where he was arrested by local police.
According to German law, German nationals accused of crimes in other countries can be tried in their country of origin.