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The new suspect in the Madeleine McCann case claimed he is not behind her 2007 disappearance.
Suspect Christian Brückner’s lawyer, Friedrich Fulscher, said his client denies any involvement in the British toddler’s disappearance, The Independent reports. The child vanished on May 3, 2007 while on vacation with her family in Portugal’s Praia da Luz just days short of her 4th birthday.
German prosecutor Hans Christian Wolters pinpointed Brückner, 43 and of Germany, as a suspect in the case earlier this month. Clarence Mitchell, a lawyer for McCann’s parents, Kate and Gerry McCann, told the BBC earlier this month he couldn't "recall an instance when the police had been so specific about an individual.”
Wolters told British outlet The Times earlier this month that McCann was probably murdered shortly after she was kidnapped. He also said he has “some evidence” that the child is dead but needs more information before he can locate her body and before he can indict Brückner.
Fulscher said his client won’t talk unless there is any proof, Metro reports.
"Mr. B is remaining silent on the allegation at this time on the advice of his defence counsel,” the lawyer said. “This is quite common in criminal proceedings. It is the duty of the state to prove that a suspect committed a crime. No accused person has to prove his innocence to the investigating authorities.’
Investigators have also revealed that police allegedly found child porn and bathing suits of children at Brückner’s motorhome while they were investigating him in 2016 over the 2015 disappearance of 5-year-old German girl Inga Gehricke, according to the Independent. He has not been charged in connection with that disappearance.
Brückner is also being looked at in regards to two more cases of missing children: René Hasee, 6, who vanished in 1996 in Portugal and German teen Carola Titze, 16, who went missing while on vacation in Belgium in 1996, according to The Times. Brückner lived in and around the Praia da Luz resort area, where McCann vanished, from 1995 to 2007. While there, he raped a 72-year-old American woman in 2005. He was convicted of that rape of last year, the New York Times reported, He is currently appealing that conviction while incarcerated in Germany.
Brückner was first convicted of sexual abuse of a child in Germany in 1994, when he was a teenager. He has since been convicted of multiple sex crimes against other young girls, Wolters told the press earlier this month.
Madeleine McCann's disappearance was called "the most heavily reported missing-person case in modern history” by The Telegraph in 2008. McCann’s parents were initially identified as suspects in their daughter's disappearance by Portuguese police — making both them and the case tabloid fodder. The McCann parents were cleared of suspicion in 2008 and they have actively been trying to find their daughter’s abductor since then.
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