A SEX offences trial of Madeleine McCann suspect Christian Brueckner in Germany has not been cancelled.
Despite global headlines to the contrary yesterday, a date had not yet been set for a hearing of the five charges that were levelled at the convicted paedophile, 46, in October last year.
The chief prosecutor in the case has told the Olive Press it is ‘merely an issue of jurisdiction’ and the trial will ‘certainly’ still go ahead.
Hans Christian Wolters confirmed there was ‘no reason to speculate’ and ‘nothing has changed’ after Braunschweig Landgericht, or the city’s lower court, provisionally passed the case over to the region of Magdeburg.
“And in terms of the Maddie case, for now, nothing will change as a result of the decision and we are continuing to investigate it,” he added.
In fact, police sources in Germany, told the Olive Press the case against Brueckner abducting and killing the British toddler in Praia da Luz, in May 2007, is ‘stronger than ever’.
And meanwhile, new evidence has emerged over the five sex charges, three rapes and two child abuse cases, all in Portugal, between 1999 and 2017.
In particular, in the vicious rape of Irish woman, Hazel Behan, on the Algarve, in 2004, a new ‘key witness’ has recently come forward, the Olive Press can reveal.
The technicality, which will merely slow down the prosecution ‘between two and five months’, came about after Brueckner’s lawyer, Friedrich Fulscher, insisted the Braunschweig court had no jurisdiction over the case, as his client’s last address was near Magdeburg, 100km away.
However, as Wolters explained, this was a deserted box factory, in the village of Neuwegersleben, that had no running water, electricity or sewage.
Under German law you cannot be registered permanently at such an address and he will appeal the decision to Braunschweig’s upper court next week.
Failing that he will argue his case at Germany’s BGH High Court, which he would be ‘confident of winning’ as it has already made similar rulings on jurisdiction cases.
He is certain the sex offender was living on and off in Braunschweig since 2013 and had various addresses, plus an official PO Box there.
He has also been tried and convicted of the rape of a 70-year-old American pensioner, in Portugal, in 2005, at Braunschweig court, for which he is serving a seven-year prison sentence.
“It is logical that he be tried for all sex crimes in Braunschweig then,” explained a police source. “However, it doesn’t matter where the case is tried, the evidence has been uncovered and compiled from the BKA police headquarters in Wiesbaden.
“That evidence is stronger than ever and, if needs be, Braunschweig will send two of their prosecution team to Magdeburg to get the court there up to speed.
“Brueckner will still face these heinous crimes for which there is lots of very strong evidence, particularly, in the case of Hazel.”
Behan, a mother-of-two, now based near Dublin, told the Olive Press today she was initially ‘horrified’ the case would be dropped, but ‘has faith’ in the German police that the prosecution will continue.
“When I was called yesterday saying the trial had been dropped and asking how I felt, I was horrified. It came out of the blue and I couldn’t understand why neither my lawyer nor the police had notified me first.
“I now understand from my solicitor in Germany this is just a way for Brueckner’s team to slow down proceedings and it is merely a technicality.
“Thankfully I am still looking forward to facing this evil man in court and seeing justice finally done,” she added. “I hope this is sooner than later.”
The further crimes for which he was formally charged last year were the violent rape of a teenager and another older woman, in Praia da Luz, between 1999 and 2006 and the groping of a 10-year-old girl on a beach in 2007, plus exposing himself to four children in 2017 in a playground.
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