06:44 GMT13 August 2020
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    The latest developments in the Maddy McCann case are all focused on a currently imprisoned German sex offender who stayed in Portugal’s southernmost region, Algarve, on and off for 22 years.

    Christian Brueckner, the key suspect in Madeleine McCann's disappearance, appears to have been kicked out of Portugal twice for sex crimes, it has been revealed on the Portuguese show Friday and Nine, a Mail Online report has it.

    He was first extradited to Germany in 1999 to face two years’ imprisonment for sexually abusing a minor, having previously been on the run for around five years, and again in 2017, when he served a further 15 months for child abuse. In the latest incident, the extradition came when Portuguse police arrested him after he was caught exposing himself at a children’s playground near the place where Madeleine went missing.

    "It may be hard to believe, but it is true”, presenter Sandra Felgueiras was cited as commenting, adding that despite the two extraditions, the suspect “was never investigated into her [Madeleine’s] disappearance from Praia da Luz”.

    Portuguese police say they dismissed Brueckner from their probe because his child sex crimes were not known at the time, so the man was absent from Portugal's formal sex offenders register, living on and off in Algarve for over 20 years.

    After serving his 2017 sentence, the paedophile was released in August 2018, but was soon arrested again, this time in Milan, and was again returned to Germany and charged with drug dealing. Separately, more recently, in 2019, he was charged and convicted for the 2005 rape of a 72-year-old tourist in Praia da Luz, Portugal.

    The suspect purportedly said he knew what had happened to Madeleine while chatting to a friend in a German bar in 2017, The Sun reported. He is said to have shared with his friend that he had “snatched her” when they watched a TV news report, exactly 10 years after the girl’s disappearance.

    The appearance of a key suspect is the only tangible result of the massive 13-year search operation involving a range of European countries. British girl Maddy vanished from a family holiday apartment when their five-strong family, the parents and their three kids, were staying in Praia da Luz, Portugal.

    The McCann couple went for dinner with a group of friends in a nearby restaurant, leaving their children asleep in the apartment. When Mrs McCann returned to the flat at about 10 pm to check on the kids, she discovered that three-year-old Madeleine was not in her room.

    Related:

    DNA Evidence Linking 2004 Rape in Portugal to Maddy McCann Suspect Was Binned, Report Says
    Madeleine McCann Case: Portuguese Police Missed the Opportunity to Question German Suspect
    Madeleine McCann: Christian Brueckner's Ex-Lawyer Says He Has 'Psychopathic Traits'
    Tags:
    paedophilia, sex abuse, Germany, girl
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