THE key suspect in the disappearance of Madeleine McCann allegedly confessed to his involvement at a music festival in Andalucia over a decade ago.
Christian Brueckner allegedly admitted that he had snatched the three-year-old British girl in Portugal, while socialising with pals at the Dragon Festival, in Granada, in 2008.
The German paedophile, who lived in Praia da Luz, where Maddie was snatched in May, 2007, allegedly came clean while negotiating a big drug deal at the week-long event, near Orgiva.
According to his pal Helge Busching, 48, he had confessed at the hippy bash in March that year.
Speaking to the Sun from Corsica, he refused to give exact details of the information he gave British police from Operation Grange.
However he insisted he was ‘guilty’ and confirmed how he had first tipped off the police about Brueckner’s confession in 2017 in Athens.
The German, who had briefly lived with Brueckner in Greece, is a convicted people smuggler.
It is understood that he gave his testimony to police in return for a reduction of a seven-year sentence for smuggling three migrants.
The Olive Press can reveal that it was Busching and another German, Manfred Seyferth, who had cleared out Brueckner’s Praia da Luz home, having been sent to prison for diesel theft in March 2006.
Making it look like a burglary, the pair had taken all incriminating evidence, including dozens of passports, money and watches.
But, it was during that raid that they also took a video camera, on which they found sick recordings of Brueckner undertaking two rapes.
One of these recordings last year convicted Brueckner of the 2005 rape of Diana Menkes, a 72-year-old American.
She had been raped by the sick German in Praia da Luz just months before the snatch of Maddie.
A combination of one of his hairs found at the scene, plus the testimony of Busching, led to Brueckner being handed a seven year sentence, which will this week be ratified by the European High Court.
Speaking this week, Seyferth, who shared a flat in Athens with Busching, said: ”I knew he had told British police Christian was involved and they flew to Athens when Busching and I were together in Greece.
”He told me he had something very important to tell Scotland Yard and they took over the floor of a hotel in the centre.
”Busching later told me they had swept the place for bugs and microphones because what he had to say about Madeleine and Christian was very important.”
The Olive Press revealed in June how convicted rapist Brueckner was a frequent visitor to the Alpujarras region of Granada.
He had arrived in the town to visit his best friend, Austrian expat Michael Tatschl around a month after Maddie went missing in 2007.
“It was late May or early June when he turned up with this big American campervan, the Winnebago,” said Tatschl, who he had lived with in the Algarve, as well as eight months in prison.
Speaking to the Olive Press, he said: “He parked it up and came looking for me. He knew that I was living there and he knew I had connections to the marijuana world.
“We all wondered where he’d got this big expensive van. We assumed a big drug deal or something like that. Now I suspect it was Maddie.
“He was there for a couple of days and went back to Germany selling marijuana.
“After that he was often coming backwards and forwards to Spain and to Portugal, mostly dealing drugs.”
Speaking from Austria, he continued: “He was definitely in Orgiva quite a few times, many times with his Jaguar and with other vehicles transporting drugs.
“He was definitely a pervert and all his friends thought that about him.”
In 2014, Brueckner assaulted a five-year-old girl in a public park in Braunschweig, Germany, before taking graphic photographs of her which he saved on a memory card.
During an investigation, police raided his flat, they found a Casio Exilim digital camera with 391 vile images and 68 videos of abuse. On the same camera, detectives found about five photographs of Brueckner abusing the five-year-old girl in the park.
He was first tried at a lower court for sexual abuse, but was acquitted in 2016 and fled to Portugal.
He was extradited back to Germany a year later to stand trial again, where he confessed to abusing the girl and owning the camera. He is currently serving his sentence in Kiel prison.
While in prison, Brueckner was also found guilty of the rape of the American woman, while he also now faces a new charge of exposing himself to a 10-year-old German girl on an Algarve beach.
In another sickening case just ONE MONTH before Maddie went missing, the girl Joanna Eilts was grabbed by the arm by a naked man she has now named as Christian Brueckner.
Taking place on Salema beach, 10kms from Praia da Luz, on April 7, 2007, the individual was naked when he approached the daughter.
According to German prosecutors he first asked her name in English and ‘in a continuous act … he grabbed her by the arm, pulling her to the sand, starting to masturbate’.
Luckily she was saved by her older sister Annette, who called their parents for help and the man ran off.
Last month, the pair both recognised him from photos. In addition, their mother saw him run away with a bandage on his arm and a backpack, suggesting he may have been carrying a video camera.
Meanwhile Portuguese police have just started reinvestigating the rape of a 20-year-old Irish girl Hazel Bevan near Praia da Luz, and are probing a further case of flashing at children in Portugal in 2017.
His lawyers, who deny he had any involvement in Madeleine’s disappearance, are seeking to use a procedural error to overturn his seven-year sentence for the rape.
Brueckner’s lawyer Friedrich Fulscher insisted that his client was ‘innocent’ of any involvement in the disappearance of Madeleine.
The Olive Press can reveal that the rape of a child is said to have taken place during the Dragon Festival in 2007, which Christian may also have attended.
According to one user of the popular Facebook site Orgiva Massive, the crime was never solved.