2 Mar, 2024 @ 10:29
4 mins read

Madeleine McCann suspect’s friend tells a German court how he found ‘Head waiter’ Christian Brueckner’s violent rape videos ‘in which he starred’

A FORMER friend of Madeleine McCann suspect Christian Brueckner has told a court how he found two violent porn movies made by him at his Portugal home.

Manfred Seyferth, 68, told Braunschweig court how he and a mutual friend Helge Busching discovered the films at his rented home just outside Praia da Luz on the Algarve.

The German pensioner, a petty thief who also ran bars, said they had also found a gun when they broke into the home, after Brueckner, 47, was sent to prison in Portugal, in April 2006.

Manfred Seyferth. Credit: Copyright Olive Press Spain

“The back door was open and everything had been rummaged through, but Helge found the camera and we took it,” he admitted to the court, where Brueckner is on trial for five sex offences that all took place in Portugal between 2000 and 2017. 

They had been looking to take stolen diesel fuel, as well as other valuables, but only took a few items in the end, including the video camera, which had some tapes with it.

When they got back to their home, in Santa Clara an hour inland from the coast, they both watched the films, which included a teenage girl, around 14, as well as a woman in her Sixties or Seventies, claims the prosecution.

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RAT’S LAIR: Brueckner’s rented home where violent rape videos were found. Credit: Copyright Olive Press Spain

He said in one film Brueckner was masked but he recognised his voice, while in the other he removed a mask to show his face.

Seyferth, from Ludenschied, in Germany, recalled: “Helge watched the video and said there was a woman and a girl on the tape and they were being abused.”

He continued: “There was an old woman on a table. She was blonde, in her Sixties and she was being hit on her breast by something, it looked like a ruler. She cried out ‘help’ in Italian.

“There was also a young girl as well.”

He said she was about 14 or 15 and that she was tied to a wooden post at Brueckner’s farmhouse, which is just 800 metres from the Ocean Club, where Madeleine McCann went missing in May, 2007.

He said the accused had ‘danced’ around his victim before forcing her to perform oral sex on him. “She said this is rape,” he continued to the court. Then he added after she was sick, he told her: “You’ve puked on my carpet! You never forget things like that.”

He explained how disgusted he was and told Busching to throw the camera away and only realised many years later that he had not done it, although they are now currently missing.

Manfred Seyferth at court. Credit: Copyright Marc Giddings

Wearing a green jumper and cleanly shaved, Seyferth described Brueckner as a ‘burglar’ who was both ‘arrogant’, ‘big headed’ and ‘a psycho’. 

He said they named him ‘Oberkellner’ (or ‘head waiter’) as he ‘always wore a tie and looked smart’ and worked as a ‘waiter’ at hotels on the Algarve.

When asked by judge Ute Christina Englemann to give more details, he said: “Just that he did that and that he worked as a waiter in hotels.”

“Did he say anything about his burglaries?” she asked. “No, I did not concern myself with it.”

Seyferth had first met Brueckner when he and his friend Michael Tatschl, another witness who will give evidence next month, travelled down from Orgiva, near Granada, for a few weeks on the Algarve.

They made money from petty crime and selling small ashtrays to tourists ‘made out of cola cans’. They also stole solar panels, which they would later take back to Spain.

“That’s what you can live on in Portugal?” asked the judge, to which he replied: “You can live from it.”

It was around 2005 and Brueckner had invited them back to his home in Praia da Luz to help them when they ran out of gas.

He had large vats of stolen fuel at the home and said they were welcome to park up their van and stay in his garden.

Seyferth told the court he spent weeks living in a caravan in the garden of Brueckner’s home and previously described him as an excellent burglar, who could climb into any home.

Brueckner arrives in handcuffs at first day of multiple sex crimes trial in Germany, February, 2024 (COPYRIGHT OLIVE PRESS SPAIN)

They had nicknamed him ‘the Climber’ and he admitted he had even watched him climb up to second floor apartments from outside.

It was Seyferth (and Busching’s) evidence in 2019 that helped put Brueckner in prison for the 2005 rape of American pensioner Diana Menkes, also in Praia da Luz.

DNA of Brueckner’s from a hair was found by police on Menkes bed.

In that case, Menkes, 72, was forced to endure a violent late-night rape, also on video, that involved being hit with a stick and being tied up.

During cross-examination of the witness, which went on for over three hours, the defence accused Seyferth of having memory loss and continually changing his statement.

In particular, they highlighted that he had made money from press interviews and previously said the older woman was ‘around 40’, but now she was in her 60s.

They asked if he was suffering from ‘Alzheimers or some other form of memory loss’, to which he said: “Not to my knowledge.”

They also demanded to know how often he had spoken to his fellow witness Helge Busching and how recently, suggesting collusion over evidence. 

Seyferth replied ‘yesterday’ to which they demanded to see his phone.

When it was discovered he had actually spoken to Busching four times over the previous 24 hours, twice that morning, the Judge ordered his phone be seized so the BKA police could analyse it.

In the dock: Brueckner at first day of trial in Germany (CREDIT: OLIVE PRESS SPAIN)

It was eventually given back, with Seyferth insisting: “I didn’t know there was anything forbidden about me talking to him.”

As the court was winding up for the day, out came a perhaps much more sinister claim which could backfire on the defence.

It came when Seyferth claimed his Facebook site had been hacked by Brueckner’s lead lawyer Friedrich Fulscher.

He told the court he believed he had done this to track down Busching, who was in a witness protection programme. “I checked my Facebook account in the evening and saw that Helge answered me about something I had not even asked him.

The judge and prosecutor were particularly interested, but Seyferth was unable to shed more light on the claim.

There is no doubt that this possible crime will be carefully checked.

The day finally wound up at 3.10pm and the trial will not continue again until March 14.


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