- Christian Brueckner is set to appear in court in Germany on February 16
- He is accused of five offences between 2000 and 2017 in Portugal and is already serving a rape sentence
Madeleine McCann suspect Christian Brueckner will likely stay silent during an upcoming trial for unrelated sex offences in Germany but ‘has nothing to hide’, according to his lawyer.
Brueckner is set to appear in court in Braunschweig, Lower Saxony, on February 16, accused of five offences between 2000 and 2017 in Portugal and is already serving a rape sentence.
Brueckner, a German national, is the prime suspect in the disappearance of Madeleine McCann in Portugal in 2007, but he has not been charged at any point with her disappearance and he has denied that he was involved.
Madeleine was on a family holiday in Praia da Luz, in Portugal when she vanished on May 3, 2007. Brueckner was made a formal suspect by prosecutors in Portugal in 2022.
He had previously been identified as a suspect by German prosecutors in 2020, at which point he was named as Christian B.
Christian Brueckner is set to appear in court in Braunschweig, Lower Saxony, on February 16, accused of five offences between 2000 and 2017 in Portugal and is already serving a rape sentence
Brueckner’s lawyer told the BBC in an email that he did not anticipate that his client would make ‘substantive submissions’ at the upcoming trial in Germany, which could span months.
Friedrich Fülscher, a public defender, said: ‘We will see whether the defendant will defend himself in silence or make statements denying individual acts.
‘At the moment, I do not assume that there will be any substantive submissions.’
Brueckner’s lawyer said there were ‘no negative conclusions’ could be taken from this.
He added: ‘Whether a defendant declares “I have nothing to do with it”, “I am innocent” or the like, or whether he uses his right to remain silent, leads to the same result in criminal proceedings.
‘So this does not mean that there is something to hide, but is simply due to the fact that it makes sense from a procedural point of view.’
Madeleine McCann was on a family holiday in Praia da Luz, in Portugal when she vanished on May 3, 2007. Brueckner was made a formal suspect by prosecutors in Portugal in 2022
Brueckner would still be expected to confirm details such as his name and date of birth.
He has been charged with five offences, alleged to have taken place between 2000 and 2017 in Portugal, including raping and sexually abusing children.
The court in Braunschweig was found to have no jurisdiction over the case in a subsequent ruling, but this was later overturned.
The charges include the rape of an unidentified woman between 70 and 80 years old in her holiday home in Portugal at some point between 2000 and 2006 and the rape of a girl believed to have been at least 14 years of age at his home in Praia da Luz at some point between 2000 and 2006.
He is also charged with the rape of a young woman after entering her apartment in 2004, the sexual abuse of a child on a beach in 2007, and the sexual abuse of a child in a playground in 2017.
Brueckner is serving a sentence of seven years for a rape that took place in Portugal in 2005.
During the trial, which is set to begin next week, there will be a ruling on whether Brueckner remains in prison at the end of that sentence.