AN army of witnesses are queueing up to put Madeleine McCann suspect Christian Brueckner behind bars for life.

The German sex offender is facing a permanent life sentence if found guilty of a trio of rapes, which he allegedly filmed, as well as two further child sex offences.

A total of 46 witnesses and police – including up to half a dozen girlfriends – have been summoned for the trial at Braunschweig Criminal Court between February 16 and June 27, the Olive Press can reveal.

This includes a number who have never spoken – or even been identified – before.

“All the dates are now in the diary,” prosecutor Hans Christian Wolters explained. “We hope to get all the charges read out on the first morning, a half day, on February 16, and then the trial continues the following week.”

Maddie Abductor
IN THE DOCK: Christian Brueckner will stand trial from February 16

According to the schedule, spread over 29 days, three women will take to the stand, including his first lover, Silke Becker, on April 10.

Brueckner had fled Germany to live in Portugal with Becker, in the mid 1990s, in the process failing to complete a prison sentence for child sex crimes.

Other girlfriends include Marina Flache, a travel agent, who had allegedly helped clear incriminating evidence from his rented home in Praia da Luz, on the Algarve, when he had been sent to prison there in April 2006.

Flache and another former friend of Brueckner’s Christian Post – who lives in Cambodia, but must fly back by court order – have both testified before against the convicted paedophile.

They helped cage him for seven years over the sadistic filmed rape of an American pensioner Diana Menkes, 72, in Praia da Luz in 2005. 

He is currently still serving this sentence at Oldenburg prison.

Another ex-girlfriend Anja K will take to the stand on February 23, while two Finnish women will appear on May 8. The Olive Press has chosen not to reveal their names.

Other witnesses ordered to appear are former Praia da Luz housemate Michael ‘Micha’ Tatschl, who he also spent eight months in prison with.

Hazel
FIGHTING BACK: Rape victim Hazel Behan happy to see Brueckner in court. copyright Olive Press Spain

The Austrian is expected to tell the panel of five judges about Brueckner’s fixation with the dark web and how he talked of snatching children and ‘selling them’ in Morocco.

He told the Olive Press in 2020 how Brueckner was a ‘sick person’ who he is ‘convinced’ also snatched toddler Madeleine from her bed in 2007.

Another key witness, Helge Busching, is set to give evidence on April 3.

The German, 52, claims to have found two rape videos Brueckner made, one in which he actually identified himself after taking off his mask. 

Two further witnesses, Manfred Seyferth and Mario Schonberg, also allegedly saw the videos, believed to have been filmed at Brueckner’s home in Praia da Luz.

One featured a teenager, between the ages of 15 and 17, and another an older woman in her late 50s or early 60s. Both were tied up and beaten. 

It is not known if they have yet been identified, or if German police have the videos in their possession.

Busching also claims Brueckner later confessed to his involvement in the snatch of toddler Madeleine, in May 2007, while the pair were at the Dragon music festival together in Spain the following year.

Brueckner told him she ‘didn’t scream’ as she was carried out of Apartment 5a of the Ocean Club.

Incredibly, when Busching went to both the Portuguese and British police about the confession that year his claims were totally IGNORED by both.

In total, five Portuguese police will also be taking the stand at the trial next year.

Maddie
MADELEINE: Disappeared in Portugal back in 2007

Appearing over two days in May, they will be followed by four detectives from the crack German BKA police, based out of Wiesbaden.

No British police have so far been summoned.

The charges levelled at Brueckner include the exposure to four children in a play park on the Algarve in 2017, as well as the groping of a 10-year-old girl on a beach near Praia da Luz a month before Maddie went missing.

The most serious offence is the sadistic rape of the then 20-year-old Irish holiday rep, Hazel Behan, in 2004, which Brueckner allegedly filmed during a horrific four-hour attack.

After the assault in Portimao, near Praia da Luz, he is understood to have taken a number of items, including money.

A leading forensic psychiatrist will be in court every day to monitor Brueckner’s behaviour.

Dr Christian Riedemann is the chief physician of the Lower Saxony correctional centre.

Due to the severity of the attack on Behan, under section 66 of the German criminal code, the panel of judges will have the option of sentencing Brueckner to an ‘incapacitation order’, or effectively a permanent life sentence.

While the legal process against Brueckner ticks ever closer, the German prosecutor is keen to stress the investigation into his alleged abduction of Maddie is still ‘very much ongoing’.

“While the focus right now is on the trial in February I am still heavily involved in the Madeleine case,” said Wolters, who has recently been promoted to running a team investigating organised crime.

“There is no major new evidence to report, but things are moving forwards,” he added.

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