Madeleine McCann suspect Christian B has rape appeal thrown out | World News

The man being investigated over the disappearance of Madeleine McCann has had his appeal against a previous rape conviction dismissed.

A federal court in Germany threw out the attempt from Christian B on Friday.

He was convicted last year of the rape of a 72-year-old woman in Portugal in 2005 at the same seaside town where Madeleine went missing.

Madeleine McCann went missing in 2007

Christian B is currently in prison in Kiel for drug offences. He was denied parole earlier this week.

A court heard that the 43-year-old has a long criminal record and has violated parole regulations in the past.

Even though he is a suspect in the McCann case, prosecutors say they do not have enough evidence to hold him on that case alone.

Christian B was identified in June as a suspect in the three-year-old’s 2007 disappearance, with German authorities saying they were investigating him on suspicion of murder.

Earlier this week he suffered two broken ribs in an incident at a court and was taken to hospital.

He returned later that day for his hearing.

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Madeleine McCann suspect Christian Brueckner injured while in custody

Berlin: A suspect in the disappearance of Madeleine McCann, the British toddler who vanished from a Portuguese resort 13 years ago, suffered two broken ribs in an incident at a German court, authorities said.

The incident occurred after Christian Brueckner, who is serving time on a drug conviction, was taken to Braunschweig state court on Monday for a routine hearing on that case.

Christian Bruckner, left, is a suspect in the disappearance of Madeleine McCann, right.Credit:SMH

Court spokeswoman Jessica Knab-Henrichs said that he was briefly treated in a hospital for two broken ribs, and was then returned to the court where the hearing was carried out.

The incident is under investigation and further details on what happened at the court were expected to be released later in the day, she said.

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Madeleine McCann suspect investigated over rape of Irish woman in 2004

The main suspect in the disappearance of British girl Madeleine McCann is the subject of a new criminal inquiry, it has emerged.

“Christian B’ is now being investigated over the rape of a young Irish woman in 2004 in the Algarve region of Portugal, say prosecutors.

The alleged incident happened three years before the disappearance of McCann, according to German authorities.

McCann, then three, went missing from an apartment her family was staying in at the Praia da Luz resort on 3 May 2007.

In June 2020, British and German police identified Christian B – currently in jail in Germany for an unrelated offence – as the prime suspect in the case.

The Irish woman had reported the alleged attack in 2004 but it was only when she recognised the photograph of Christian B in the media earlier this year – in connection with the McCann case – that she contacted authorities again.

“I can confirm to you that we are also investigating the suspicion of rape of a young Irish woman in 2004 in the Algarve (the region where Madeleine McCann disappeared)”, German prosecutor Hans Christian Wolters told AFP.

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How baby Madeleine was united with her 100yo great-grandmother despite coronavirus

When Elisa Severino held her great-granddaughter for the first time, it was an emotional and special moment for four generations of women in the family.

The aged care resident, who has dementia, turned 100 years old in April — a milestone she marked at an Adelaide aged care facility, during the early days of Australia’s coronavirus lockdowns.

Daughter Tess Di Francesco said her mother had brought great joy to her family and friends in her century of living, and always wanted to receive a letter from the Queen on her 100th birthday.

“[She was] strong willed to survive the Second World War, the famine and the depression,” she said.

“She came to Australia for a better life and she was very staunch.

The birthday had to be celebrated behind a window because of COVID-19 restrictions, which only allowed one visitor at a time.

Elisa Severino’s family celebrated her 100th birthday on either side of a window.(Supplied)

Tess Di Francesco was on the same side of the window as her mother, and said despite the physical distancing, it was still an occasion to be treasured.

“It was difficult, but at least there was some way that they [extended family] could be with her on the day,” she said.

“My sister’s three children came with their partners and their children as well, and my three girls and their partners and children.”

Mrs Di Francesco’s daughter Lisa — who is named after her grandmother Elisa Severino — was seven months pregnant at that time.

Lisa said it was important to her that her grandmother be able to meet her baby girl.

“Because of COVID we were not sure it would be possible,” she said.

A closeup image of great-grandmother Elisa Severino.
Great-grandmother Elisa Severino celebrates her 100th birthday.

When Elisa Severino’s great-granddaughter Madeleine was born two months later at North Eastern Community Hospital’s maternity ward — next door to its aged care facility — the staff found a way to bring them together.

“I am so thankful to the hospital that they were able to meet,” Lisa said.

‘It was very heartwarming’

Lisa is very close with her grandmother and said the moment the centenarian held her family’s newest arrival was “something that I’ll never forget”.

“I am one of six grandchildren and we would always go to [my grandmother’s] house and she would always give us sweets,” she said.

“We are thankful that she is still with us, and lucky she has seven great-grandchildren.”

A newborn baby.
Baby Madeleine’s mother says she is glad her daughter will have a photo of the special moment.(Supplied)

Despite visitors to the maternity ward limited to two per day, the meeting was possible because the residential care facility and the maternity ward are located at the same complex.

The hospital maternity ward’s clinical manager Emily Judd said the restrictions have been tough for all families.

“The residents had milestones that they reached and visiting was restricted over there,” Ms Judd said.

“They were waving at people through glass windows and we were doing the same with our new babies here and holding them up to the glass.”

Four generations of family smiling at the camera.
Elisa Severino with her daughter Tess, granddaughter Lisa and great-granddaughter Madeleine.(Supplied)

Ms Judd said while it was nice to be able to help Elisa Severino’s family, the occasion also brought a smile to the faces of staff members.

“This is a beautiful story, having everyone here,” she said.

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Germany did not follow correct extradition procedures for Madeleine McCann suspect, court says | World News

German authorities did not follow the correct procedures when they extradited the prime suspect in the Madeleine McCann case, an adviser to Europe’s top court has said. 

Christian B, who is being investigated over the child’s disappearance, had challenged his European arrest warrant issued over a separate 2005 rape charge.

The 43-year-old German was extradited from Italy to Germany two years ago under the warrant, and was later convicted of the rape of a 72-year-old American woman in Portugal.

His legal team challenged the validity of the extradition and a German court sought guidance from the Luxembourg-based Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU).

In a non-binding opinion, the CJEU said German authorities should have got permission from Italy for the rape charge.

The rape took place in Praia da Luz – the same Portuguese resort where three-year-old Madeleine went missing two years later.

The toddler had been on holiday with her family when she vanished from her bedroom, sparking a search that has lasted more than a decade.

More from Madeleine Mccann

Earlier this year, Christian B – whose full name cannot be reported for legal reasons – was revealed as the prime suspect being investigated by a German prosecutor who believes Madeleine is dead.

He is currently serving a sentence for drug dealing in a prison in Kiel, north Germany.

But his jail term for the drugs offence ends in January and prosecutors fear he could disappear once released.

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Madeleine McCann police resume search of Hanover allotment | UK News

German police investigating the disappearance of Madeleine McCann have this morning resumed their search of an allotment near Hanover.

The site is around 40 miles from the city of Braunschweig, where main suspect Christian B was last registered as living.

Footage from the scene shows forensic officers combing the ground with rakes and shovels and heavy machinery being used in the search.

Police are digging up the allotment near Hanover

Madeleine McCann

McCann hunt intensifies at Hanover allotment

It is unclear exactly what police are looking for, whether it is potential evidence directly linked to the disappearance of Madeleine or whether it is something connected to Christian B.

German prosecutors have said in the past that they have concrete evidence Christian B was involved in Madeleine’s disappearance.

The prosecutors also believe Madeleine is dead.

Police search Hanover allotment
The search resumed this morning as police and forensic officers returned to the scene
German police resume search of Hanover allotment
The site is around 40 miles from the city of Braunschweig

Sky’s crime correspondent Martin Brunt said the search was a “dramatic development”, adding that an area of trees has been cleared and a mini excavator has been used to dig the land.

More from Madeleine Mccann

“The prosecutor who is leading the investigation into suspicions around the German drifter Christian B, and his potential role in Madeleine’s disappearance, has said only that this is connected with that investigation,” Brunt said.

“The local paper here this morning is reporting a neighbour who says that Christian B did live here in a camper van with two dogs around 2007, some time after Madeleine disappeared in Portugal.

“It is a 26 or 27-hour road journey from Portugal to here. So make of that what you will.”

He added: “It is a scene of some activity this morning. It is difficult to see precisely what is going on.

“They have dug a big hole here, around 15 metres long and 3 to 4ft deep. They are sifting and raking through the piles of soil that have been tipped around the edge of that hole and the excavator is now filling the hole.

“There is no indication yet that they have found what they might be looking for.”

Madeleine McCann vanished in Praia da Luz, Portugal in May 2007
Madeleine McCann vanished in Praia da Luz, Portugal, in May 2007
Christian B
Christian B was identified as a suspect in the case last month

Madeleine disappeared from an apartment while her family was on holiday in the seaside town of Praia da Luz in Portugal’s Algarve region in May 2007.

A German citizen, who can be named only as Christian B, was identified as a suspect in the case last month and is being investigated.

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The 43-year-old, who is currently in prison in Germany, spent many years living in Portugal.

He also lived in Praia da Luz around the time of Madeleine’s disappearance, and has two previous convictions for “sexual contact with girls”.

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Portuguese police ‘launch search for Madeleine McCann’s body in the Algarve’

1976: Christian Brueckner is born in Würzburg under a different name, believed to be Fischer. He was adopted by the Brueckner family and took their surname.

1992: Christian Brueckner is arrested on suspicion of burglary in his hometown of Wurzburg, Bavaria.

1994: He is given a two-year youth jail sentence for ‘abusing a child’ and ‘performing sex acts in front of a child’.

1995: Brueckner arrives in Portugal as an 18-year-old backpacker and begins working in catering in the seaside resorts of Lagos and Praia da Luz. 

But friends say he became involved with a criminal syndicate trafficking drugs into the Algarve.

September 2005:  He dons a mask and breaks into an apartment where he rapes a 72-year-old American tourist.

The victim was bound, gagged, blindfolded and whipped with a metal cane before being raped for 15 minutes. She said afterwards that he had clearly enjoyed ‘torturing’ her before the rape.

April 2007: He moves out of a farmhouse and into a campervan now linked to the crime. The farmhouse is cleaned and a bag of wigs and ‘exotic clothes’ is found.

May 3, 2007: Madeleine McCann is snatched at around 10pm from her bed as her parents eat tapas with friends yards away.

Brueckner’s mobile phone places him in the area that night.   He returns to his native Germany shortly after that. 

October 2011: He is sentenced to 21 months for ‘dealing narcotics’ in Niebüll, in northern Germany. 

In 2013 police released a photofit of a man seen lurking near the McCann apartment and Scotland Yard said that suspect had not yet been ruled out of the probe

In 2013 police released a photofit of a man seen lurking near the McCann apartment and Scotland Yard said that suspect last night had not yet been ruled out of the probe

2014: He moves to Braunschweig where he starts running a town-centre kiosk. He then goes back to Portugal with a girlfriend.

2016: He is back in Germany. He is given 15 months in prison for ‘sexual abuse of a child in the act of creating and possessing child pornographic material’. 

May 3, 2017: Brueckner is said to be in a bar with a friend when a ten-year anniversary appeal following Madeleine’s disappearance is shown on German television.

He is said to have told him in a bar that he ‘knew all about’ what happened to her. He then showed his friend a video of him raping a woman.

MailOnline understands the friend went to police shortly afterwards.

June 2017: He heads back to Portugal and extradited again to Germany. The reason was a sentencing of the Braunschweig district court to 15 months’ imprisonment for the sexual abuse of a child. 

August 2018: After his release from prison he lives on the streets. But he was jailed again for drug offences. 

First Prosecutor Hans Christian Wolters addresses the media during a press conference on the Madeleine McCann case at the public prosecutor's office in Braunschweig

First Prosecutor Hans Christian Wolters addresses the media during a press conference on the Madeleine McCann case at the public prosecutor’s office in Braunschweig

September 2018: Brueckner is arrested in Milan, Italy and extradited to Germany and put on trial for raping the American tourist in 2007 after a DNA match to hair found at the crime scene.

July 2019: He is jailed for 21 months for drug dealing in the northern German resort of Sylt.

August 2019: Brueckner  is charged with the rape of the American tourist in Praia da Luz in 2005.

December 2019: He is convicted of rape of extortion of the tourist based on DNA evidence. He is given a seven year sentence, but this has not been imposed pending an appeal. 

June 3, 2020: Scotland Yard and the German police reveal that that they have identified a suspect in the Maddie McCann case

June 4, 2020: Prosecutors in Braunschweig, where he lives, say they believe Madeleine McCann has been murdered, says spokesman Hans Christian Wolters. He is named in the German press as the prime suspect.

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‘Concrete Evidence’ That Madeleine McCann Is Dead: German Prosecutor

German prosecutors said Wednesday they have “concrete evidence” that missing British girl Madeleine McCann is dead, in a major development for a case that has gripped Britain for more than a decade.

Authorities in Germany made the stunning revelation in early June that they were investigating a 43-year-old suspect over her disappearance, saying they believe he killed her.

“It is concrete evidence, facts that we have, not mere indications,” Brunswick prosecutor Hans Christian Wolters told AFP, adding that he was unable to disclose exact information.

“We have no forensic evidence of Madeleine’s death, such as a corpse,” he added.

Three-year-old “Maddie” disappeared from the Portuguese holiday resort of Praia da Luz in 2007.

Despite a huge manhunt, no trace of her has been found, nor has anyone been charged over her disappearance.

The 43-year-old suspect, who was not named by police but identified by German media as Christian B., has a history of previous sex offences including child sex offences and rape.

He is currently serving a sentence for drug trafficking in Kiel.

Wolters said German authorities have written to Madeleine’s family, but declined to give details of the content of the letter.

He also confirmed that Christian B. has applied to be released early on probation after having completed two thirds of the sentence.

However, Wolters said the suspect will not be freed from custody as there is a case pending against him over the rape of an elderly woman in Portugal.

A court in Brunswick had sentenced Christian B. to seven years in prison last December for the assault against the 72-year-old American tourist in 2005 — in the same seaside village of Praia da Luz where Maddie went missing.

But the sentence has not yet been finalised pending extradition technicalities.

During the trial for that case, two witnesses said they had found a gun, video cameras and several tapes at Christian B.’s home in Portugal, according to a report in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper citing court documents.

One of them later watched some of the footage and saw a man raping an elderly woman tied to a bed, the report said.

Madeleine went missing from her family’s holiday apartment on May 3, 2007, a few days before her fourth birthday, as her parents dined with friends at a nearby tapas bar.

According to police, Christian B. lived in the Algarve region of Portugal between 1995 and 2007.

He made a living doing odd jobs in the area where Madeleine was taken, and also burgled hotel rooms and holiday flats.

Police believe he was living in a white Westfalia camper van with yellow skirting at the time of the kidnapping and they are keen for witnesses who remember seeing the vehicle back then to come forward.

Christian B. has not been called in for questioning and his lawyers say he has so far refused to speak about the case.

The latest development in Maddie’s case has prompted European investigators to reopen several cold cases of missing children.

In Germany, prosecutors are combing through the files to see if the suspect had anything to do with the disappearance of a five-year-old girl named Inga from the town of Schoenebeck in Saxony-Anhalt in 2015.

Authorities in Belgium said they have reopened a probe into the 1996 murder of a German teenager, Carola Titze, 16, in the resort town of De Haan on the Belgian coast.

And in Portugal, the stepfather of missing eight-year-old girl, Joana Cipriano, has asked authorities to explore possible links.

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Madeleine McCann and missing German girl cases ‘linked’

German prosecutors say they are investigating a possible link between the Madeleine McCann case and that of a German girl who went missing five years ago but that they lack decisive evidence to charge a murder suspect.

“It is not yet enough for an arrest warrant or an indictment,” said Hans Christian Wolters of the Braunschweig public prosecutor, which is leading the investigation.

Earlier this week, Mr Wolter’s office announced it was investigating a 43-year-old German man who has been convicted of multiple sexual offences as a murder suspect in the Madeleine McCann case.

The then-three-year-old British girl disappeared from a holiday villa in Portugal in 2007.

Mr Wolters told reporters on Thursday that German prosecutors are working on the assumption that Madeleine is dead.

Meanwhile, prosecutors in the northeastern state of Saxony-Anhalt said they were looking into a possible link between the McCann case and that of a German girl who went missing five years ago.

Inga was five years old when she disappeared without trace while on a family trip to a forest near the town of Stendal on 2 May 2015.

A house in Portugal linked to the suspect in the disappearance of Madeleine McCann.

PA Media

Despite a thorough search and investigation, police were unable to determine what became of the girl.

Investigations are in the early stages, with authorities saying they would check whether there were any indications of a connection between the disappearances.

The German authorities have yet to explain what led them to conclude their current suspect was involved in Madeleine’s disappearance or why they believe she is dead.

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