Madeleine McCann suspect ‘will not answer questions without more evidence’

Prosecutors say there is no forensic proof missing child is dead

Zoe Tidman
Monday 15 June 2020 09:14
German suspect identified in Madeleine McCann disappearance

A convicted paedophile suspected of murdering Madeleine McCann is refusing to answer questions at this time, his lawyers have reportedly said.

Investigators in Germany believe Christian Bruckner killed Madeleine shortly after kidnapping her in Portugal more than 10 years ago.

His lawyers have said the suspect will refuse to answer questions because prosecutors must have evidence he was involved in her disappearance, The Times reported.

“Mr B is remaining silent on the allegation at this time on the advice of his defence counsel,” Friedrich Fulscher, Bruckner’s lawyer, said, according to the newspaper.

“This is quite common in criminal proceedings. It is the duty of the state to prove that a suspect committed a crime.”

He added: “No accused person has to prove his innocence to the investigating authorities.”

The 43-year-old suspect is in jail in Germany for drug dealing and is appealing against a conviction for raping a woman in Portugal in 2005.

He is reportedly being investigated over the disappearances of other children as well as Madeleine.

Bruckner was sent a summons letter in 2013 – five years after Madeleine went missing – to appear for questioning over the case, which a former German police chief said was a “huge mistake”, according to The Daily Telegraph.

The move may have allowed Bruckner to destroy any evidence that may have existed, experts told German newspaper Der Spiegel last week.

A German prosecutor investigating Madeleine’s disappearance has said there is a “little bit of hope” she is still alive after previously claiming current evidence points to the fact she is dead.

Hans Christian Wolters said over the weekend there is no forensic evidence to support the idea Madeleine – who disappeared in the Portuguese resort of Praia da Luz - is dead.

Brueckner is known to have lived on the Algarve coast and his Portuguese mobile phone received a half-hour phone call in Praia da Luz around an hour before a three-year-old Madeleine went missing in May 2007.

Portuguese police are said to be considering searching abandoned wells near a farmhouse rented by Bruckner on the outskirts of the resort in hope of finding clues into Madeleine’s disappearance, according to The Times.

Additional reporting by Press Association

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