Madeleine McCann was only 3 years old when she went missing from a Portugal resort, where her family and she had been holidaying in 2007.
Madeleine McCann's parents, Kate and Gerry, have new hope now that the main suspect in their daughter's kidnapping will not be released early from a German prison. Christian Brueckner, 43, has been unable to get his conviction for abusing a 72-year-old woman in Portugal overturned, according to DW. The main suspect in the disappearance of Madeleine tried to use a technicality to win his freedom.
He was sentenced to seven years in jail in Germany over the 2005 case involving the 72-year-old woman in Portugal. As per Christian, it was unlawful to sentence him in Germany as he was extradited there for a different and unrelated case. However, the court found that the conviction did not go against EU law as Italian authorities, who had delivered him to Germany, gave their consent for him to get prosecuted for the 2005 case. He is also serving a sentence for drug trafficking in Germany. That sentence would have ended on January 7, 2021. However, he will continue to remain in jail to serve time for the 2005 case now.
The 43-year-old is also being investigated for the kidnapping of multiple children, including Madeleine. German prosecutors have said that they have evidence Christian is the man responsible for Madeleine's vanishing, and death. The British girl was almost 4 years old when she went missing from Portugal's Praia da Luz. The prosecutors have not released information about the evidence they have against the main suspect.
Meanwhile, his lawyer said that he can prove Christian's innocence. Friedrich Fulscher told Daily Mirror that he went to Portugal on a fact-finding mission and that convinced him of his client's innocence. He said that witness accounts of the evening when the 3-year-old disappeared implied that there was only a 90-second window for the kidnapping. The child had vanished between 9.10 pm and 10 pm on May 3, 2007.
"My client did not commit this crime," said Friedrich even though mobile phone records show that his client was in the area at the time when the girl went missing. The lawyer tried to re-enact the scene by traveling from various places in the resort to the flat where the McCanns were staying before coming to the conclusion that Christian did not commit the crime. He said that there was no way to kidnap the girl without getting caught.
Previously, German chief prosecutor Hans Christian Wolters said there is "material evidence" that the girl is dead. This evidence has not been made available to her parents or the public. The main suspect, who has been previously convicted of charges including possession of child abuse images, is at the center of the investigation. He denied kidnapping the 3-year-old in 2007.
Hans was asked about evidence placing Christian in the apartment from where Madeleine vanished. "I have an answer but we have decided not to divulge this information. I can't say 'yes' or 'no' as that would bring a thousand other questions and I cannot go into details. But you have to believe me when I say we have more evidence. Here in Germany our Public Ministry only divulges things when they are solid," he told Daily Mail.
He added that prosecutors didn't have any information on who the main suspect was talking to on his cell phone for half an hour when he was near the Ocean Club complex shortly after the toddler disappeared. The call was from a Portuguese number but it has not been traced.
"We have the number that called him but we haven't managed to attribute that number to anyone at the moment. We don't know what the conversation was about and we don't know the relationship between the people who spoke. We are searching for a witness to establish the content of the conversation which lasted nearly half an hour and so was quite a long conversation. We hope someone remembers that conversation. We don't have any reason to believe that person could be involved in what happened that night to Madeleine," he added.
This is an ongoing investigation.