McCann suspect might have committed ‘more sexual abuse and rapes’ in the Algarve

German authorities have asked Portuguese police to investigate ‘more sexual abuse and rapes’ they believe Madeleine McCann suspect Christian Brueckner could have carried out on the Algarve.

The chief prosecutor in the Maddie McCann probe in Germany confirmed the move as he offered further details of a sex offence Brueckner is being linked to against a 10-year-old on an Algarve beach a month before the British youngster vanished.

Hans Christian Walters told investigative Portuguese journalist Sandra Felgueiras: ‘We are investigating whether he committed more crimes in Portugal.

‘I’m not able to say how many cases are under investigation at the moment. But we think there could be more crime, more sexual abuse, more rapes. 

‘We are asking the Portuguese authorities to investigate whether that possibility exists.’

He went on to confirm reports yesterday in Germany that Bruckner was a suspect in a crime which occurred in April 2007, in which a man masturbated in front a young girl on a beach near the Praia da Luz resort where Madeleine vanished on May 3 that year. 

Christian Brueckner (pictured) allegedly grabbed a 10-year-old girl and masturbated in front of her on Salema beach in April 2007 – just weeks before Madeleine disappeared on May 3, Spiegel reported yesterday. German authorities have confirmed they are investigating additional cases of sexual abuse and rape in the Algarve and whether they were committed by Brueckner 

Madeleine McCann went missing while on holiday in Portugal with her family in May 2007

Madeleine McCann went missing while on holiday in Portugal with her family in May 2007

He told Portuguese state broadcaster RTP, referring to Breuckner only as Christian B: ‘We think he could be responsible for a crime of sexual abuse on a 10-year-old German child in Portugal in April 2007.

‘We are investigating currently if Christian B did this. He has not been charged. He is only a suspect.

‘We have been investigating since April 2019.

‘German police asked Portuguese authorities if there had been any sexual crime in Portugal around the time Madeleine McCann disappeared and they came back with this case.

‘It was in the same area where Madeleine was kidnapped.

‘We have spoken to the victim. I cannot confirm at the moment if she recognised Christian B.

‘It didn’t occur during a burglary. I cannot go into detail about the case because the investigation is ongoing but I can say it happened on a beach.

‘He’s suspected of masturbating in front of the young girl. In Germany this is classified as sexual abuse.’

He added: ‘Christian B’s lawyer is aware of this case and has received the file and that means he can speak to his client about this case.

‘This is because there is no connection between this incident and the Madeleine McCann case.

‘I don’t know if the police have tried to speak to Christian B about it.’

Asked what evidence German prosecutors had linking Brueckner to the April 2007 incident, Hans Christian Walters added: ‘I’m not allowed to speak about the details at the moment.

‘I can’t say at this time how close we are to charging him.’

The attack on the girl, ten, happened just six miles from the Ocean Club (pictured) in Praia Da Luz where Madeleine is thought to have been taken from her bed in the middle of the night

The attack on the girl, ten, happened just six miles from the Ocean Club (pictured) in Praia Da Luz where Madeleine is thought to have been taken from her bed in the middle of the night

German magazine Spiegel reported yesterday the girl was grabbed on Salema Beach around a 15-minute drive west of Praia da Luz.

It said she was saved when adults rushed to her aid, causing the man to flee the scene.

She was said to have been playing with other children during a trip to the beach with her tourist parents and family friends when a naked man grabbed hold of her.

The magazine said the investigation against Brueckner had already been closed because the victim could not identify him in pictures.

But it is said to have been resumed after he was named as the main suspect in the Madeleine McCann case, and the young woman contacted the police again and stated she was now ’99 per cent’ sure he was the perpetrator.

Drifter Brueckner was arrested in 2017 on suspicion of exposing himself to young children at a playground in Sao Bartolomeu de Messines a 40-minute drive from Praia de Luz.

Police discovered after his detention he was wanted by Germany on an international arrest warrant for children sex abuse and possession of child pornography.

He was extradited to his homeland and was never prosecuted in Portugal following his Algarve arrest and the criminal probe was mothballed despite protests from the youngsters’ angry parents.

The 43-year-old is currently in Germany’s Kiel Prison for drugs offences and is due to start a seven-year sentence for the 2005 rape in Praia da Luz of an American OAP.

He was convicted of the horrific sex crime late last year in Germany.

A former girlfriend spoke out last month to reveal he had sexually assaulted her five-year-old daughter and would also launch violent attacks against her during their nine-month relationship in the northern Germany city of Braunschweig.

The crimes, which sparked the European Arrest Warrant and his 2017 extradition to Portugal, ended up with him receiving a 15-month prison sentence.

Brueckner’s lawyer Friedrich Fulscher said recently his client was ‘innocent’ of any involvement in Madeleine’s disappearance.