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German Court Makes Surprise Ruling Over Prime Suspect In Madeleine McCann Disappearance

It certainly changes things.
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The prime suspect in the disappearance of Madeleine McCann will not immediately face charges. 

Convicted paedophile Christian Brueckner was named a prime suspect in the disappearance of Madeleine in 2020.

This was based on evidence that Brueckner had been charged with several sexual offences allegedly committed in Portugal around the same time and in the same area that Madeline went missing. 

However according to German newspaper Bild, the Braunschweig court have rejected a possible rape trial for him as it deemed itself not to have jurisdiction over the case.

 “The Federal Court of Justice has long since decided that where a suspect is registered does not matter when establishing a place of residence,” the court’s Mr Fülscher said.

“Before he was arrested, the accused lived on his property in Neuwegersleben.”

This means that the arrest warrant against Brueckner has been lifted and a new court will take on the case. 

The news comes soon after Polish woman, Julia Wandelt, was revealed not to be the missing British girl, after previously claiming she was.

To determine whether she was Madeleine, the McCann’s agreed to a DNA test, which proved to be unsuccessful. 


McCann was three years old when she went missing while holidaying with her family at the Portuguese holiday resort, Praia da Luz on May 3, 2007. 

Over the past 15 years, her case has garnered mass global attention with multiple police investigations, but no trace of her has ever been found.

In 2020, German police confirmed they were investigating Brueckner, who they believed killed her. Bruekner who was already in prison, was living in Portugal in 2007. 

Bruekner’s warrant being lifted doesn’t mean that he will be released. He is currently serving a seven-year sentence in Germany over the rape of a pensioner in Praia da Luz. 


Madeleine’s case was initially closed in 2008, but after more reviews of the documents, the case was reopened in 2013. 

The desparate faces and pleas from Madeleine’s parents, Kate and Gerry McCann, have been front and centre of the media frenzy.

“We hang on to the hope, however small, that we will see Madeleine again,” the McCann’s said in May 2021. 

“As we have said repeatedly, we need to know what has happened to our lovely daughter, no matter what. We are very grateful to the police for their continued efforts.

“We still receive so many positive words and good wishes despite the years that have gone by. It all helps and for that, we are truly grateful – thank you.”


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