Madeleine McCann police hope ‘make or break’ Portugal trip will lead to charges


German investigators are to carry out ‘re-interviews’ with close associates of paedophile drifter Christian Brueckner and continue to insist they are sure he abducted and murdered Madeleine McCann

Madeleine McCann
Madeleine McCann has been missing since 2007

Madeleine McCann detectives hope a “make or break” trip to Portugal will lead to prime suspect Christian Brueckner being charged.

German investigators are to carry out “re-interviews” next spring with close associates of the paedophile drifter.

Madeleine, three, vanished from her parents’ holiday apartment at the Ocean Club complex in Praia da Luz in 2007.

German prosecutors say they are sure she was abducted and murdered by the 45-year-old convicted sex offender.

He is also suspected of other offences in the Algarve, including the rape of an Irish woman in 2004 and flashing.

Suspect Brueckner is in a German prison



Parents Kate and Gerry hope she may still be alive



A former friend of Brueckner, who has already met German police, confirmed they will visit the Algarve next spring.

The pal, who did not want to be identified, said: “They put me on alert that they will be flying out and want to speak to me again. They said the purpose of the trip is to speak to people, to confirm what they said in their first statements.

“I get the impression they are ticking boxes, it feels like the investigation is coming to an end. I’m hoping it means Christian will be charged.”

The Ocean Club in Praia Da Luz


Phil Harris)

Prosecutor Hans Christian Wolters told the Mirror in October he believes “a conclusion will be reached next year”.

He said evidence has left them “100% convinced” Brueckner killed Maddie.

The probe into Brueckner has been cloaked in secrecy since the announcement of his suspected involvement.

Prosecutors believe they have enough evidence to charge him, including a “confession” he made to a pal and phone analysis showing he was near the Ocean Club when she vanished.

German Prosecutor for the Madeleine McCann case Hans Christian Wolters talks to the Mirror’s Martin Fricker


Phil Harris)

But because Brueckner is behind bars for separate offences, they have decided to continue their probe indefinitely.

The German was living in a camper van close to Praia da Luz when Madeleine disappeared in May 2007.

Police became aware of him as a suspect in 2017 but only went public with the information in June 2020.

The German denies being involved in Madeleine’s disappearance and has refused to speak to police or prosecutors.

Brueckner, who lived in a farmhouse on the edge of Praia da Luz, was jailed for petrol theft in 2006. He is serving a seven-year sentence in a German prison for raping a pensioner in Praia da Luz.

German police will need the permission of local authorities to conduct ­interviews with witnesses in Portugal.

Brueckner’s lawyer Friedrich Fulscher insists the German has nothing to do with the youngster’s disappearance.

Madeleine’s parents Kate and Gerry, of Rothley, Leics, have refused to give up hope that she could still be alive.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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