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German police ‘don’t need Madeleine McCann’s body to prove suspect murdered her’

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German prosecutors have insisted they do not need Madeleine McCann’s body to prosecute the man they believe killed her.

Braunschweig-based Hans Christian Wolters says authorities simply need to be “convinced” she is dead to put the suspect on trial.

His claims will lead to speculation prosecutors are closer to charging Christian Brueckner as Mr Wolters recently claimed they had “material evidence” Madeleine was dead.

He also appeared to hint German authorities could have evidence placing the 43-year-old paedophile in the Praia da Luz holiday flat the British youngster vanished from on May 3, 2007.

Mr Wolters admitted they were no closer to establishing the identity of the person who had made a half-hour phone call to Brueckner on his mobile while he was near the Ocean Club complex shortly before Madeleine disappeared.

The suspect call, made from a Portuguese mobile which detectives have been unable to trace, formed a major part of a new police appeal earlier this year.

Mr Wolters told reporter Sandra Felgueiras on RTP programme Sexta on Friday night, referring to the suspect only by his first name and initial of his surname: “For the Madeleine McCann case it’s very important to us to be able to prove that at that moment Christian B had that mobile and hadn’t passed it on to another person.

“We have the number that called him but we haven’t managed to attribute that number to anyone at the moment.

“We don’t know what the conversation was about and we don’t know the relationship between the people who spoke.

“We are searching for a witness to establish the content of the conversation which lasted nearly half an hour and so was quite a long conversation.

“We hope someone remembers that conversation. We don’t have any reason to believe that person could be involved in what happened that night to Madeleine.”

Asked if he had any forensic evidence putting Brueckner inside the flat where Madeleine was sleeping, he replied: “I have an answer but we have decided not to divulge this information.

“I can’t say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ as that would bring a thousand other questions and I cannot go into details.

“But you have to believe me when I say we have more evidence.

“Here in Germany our Public Ministry only divulges things when they are solid.”

Mr Wolters admitted last week on the same programme there was still no “smoking gun” evidence enabling charges to be brought against Brueckner over Madeleine’s disappearance.

But he insisted there were “many pieces” of the Madeleine McCann “puzzle” pointing towards Brueckner.

Brueckner’s lawyer Friedrich Fulscher has insisted his client, currently serving a 21-month drug sentence in prison in the German city of Kiel, has nothing to do with Madeleine’s disappearance.

Mr Wolters has repeatedly said prosecutors are sure the British youngster is dead, despite British police treating her disappearance as a missing person inquiry, and claimed recently: “We have nothing to indicate she could be alive.

“Everything we have points to her being dead. We have no margin of manoeuvre.”

He has also stated several times German police do not believe the chief Madeleine McCann suspect had an accomplice and described his “ex-girlfriend Nicole Fehlinger as a witness.

Brueckner is also being probed in Germany over a 2004 Algarve rape and a sex attack on a beach near Praia da Luz a month before Madeleine vanished.

In Portugal prosecutors have reopened their investigation into a sex crime in a playground he was arrested over in 2017.

He was held 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 child sex abuse and possession of child pornography.

He was extradited to his homeland and was never prosecuted in Portugal following his Algarve arrest.

The criminal probe was put on hold despite protests from the youngsters’ angry parents but reopened earlier this month.

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