Witness against Madeleine McCann prime suspect ‘is crook seeking favours’

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The lawyer for the Madeleine McCann prime suspect claims the main witness against Christian Brueckner is a crook seeking police favours.

He insists the man pointing the finger at his jailed client is unreliable.

German prosecutors have claimed Brueckner, 43, who is a convicted rapist and paedophile, is their prime suspect for Madeleine’s disappearance.

The three year old girl was abducted from her holiday apartment in Portugal in 2007.

Last month search teams in Germany spent two days digging up his former garden allotment near Hanover.

The prosecutors have said they believe Madeleine is dead but don’t have enough evidence to charge Brueckner.

But his lawyer, Friedrich Fulscher, believes the informant who claims Brueckner confessed his guilt to him in a bar, may have done so purely to get help from detectives.

The witness is thought to have told detectives that the German drifter, that he knew what had happened to Madeleine.

Mr Fulscher believes the informant may later, in return, have got early release from a sentence he was serving in a foreign country.

Mr Fulscher told Martin Brunt from Sky News: “If this is the same person, I think it’s the worst witness you can get.

“A human who has spent his whole life cheating people for his own benefit is never a reliable witness.”

Brueckner, serving time for drug offences, is currently being held in isolation in prison amid fears he could be targeted by other inmates.

The prosecutor Hans Christian Wolters said this week that he would not let the investigation drift on and would announce any decision to drop it.

But Mr Fulscher said such a development would be too late for his client’s reputation.

He said many people would always blame him for Madeleine’s disappearance.

He said: “If you pee in the same place long enough it will stink. And that’s definitely what’s happening in the Christian B case.

“He won’t be able to lead a normal life at any point, without being recognised and facing hostility.

“A prosecutor who goes public (during an investigation) knows that. He can destroy a reputation and it was taken very lightly in this case.”

Brueckner was flagged up as a potential suspect as early as 2013 but nothing came of it.

Four years later in 2017, he emerged as the main suspect when an informant told police that he’d confessed his involvement during a chat in a bar.

But the lawyer claims he revealed the alleged confession because he needed help himself from detectives.

Mr Fulscher also said that just because Christian B’s phone was logged at the Ocean Club apartments where Madeleine was taken didn’t mean he was responsible.

He admits he is “no innocent lamb” but he has served his punishment and deserves to have a chance to be “part of society again”.

Brueckner is currently in jail in Kiel and is eligible for parole after serving 14 months of a 21 month sentence for drug trafficking.

His lawyer Friedrich Fulscher has filed a request with authorities demanding his release.

His lawyer said: “He is 23 hours a day, isolated in a seven square metre cell. “

He said that he is segregated because he is in danger of being attacked, physically and verbally, by fellow inmates.

“Anyway it is very hard to be in a cell seven days a week, 23 hours a day,

without having a chance to do some sports or something similar.

“In the time since I am his lawyer I have noticed that he has getting slimmer because of the lack of movement.“

He has taken his client’s battle to overturn his rape conviction to the European court who last week initially sided against him.

The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) had been told that Germany did not follow the correct procedures when extraditing Brueckner from Italy.

Brueckner was extradited to Germany from Italy in 2018 under an arrest warrant that cited a drugs conviction but was subsequently convicted and sentenced for the 2005 rape of a 72-year-old American woman in Portugal.

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