24 Apr, 2024 @ 11:12
3 mins read

EXCLUSIVE: Madeleine McCann suspect Christian Brueckner ‘wanted to take in young foster children’ in Portugal, paedophile’s ex-girlfriend tells court

By Jon Clarke and Rainer Burkard in Braunschweig

“CHRISTIAN wanted to take in little girls in Portugal… he wanted to foster children.”

This is what a former girlfriend of convicted sex offender and paedophile Christian Brueckner told a court in Germany.

Speaking about the two years she spent dating the Madeleine McCann suspect from 2005 to 2007, Marina F, added: “He knew the (German) state pays a lot of money to do that.”

She said Brueckner had concocted the plan once he met another girlfriend, Nicole F, who was already taking in foster children as part of an unofficial programme on the Algarve.

READ MORE: ‘Christian Brueckner abused my four-year-old daughter during walks in the park’

Christian Brueckner during his ongoing trial in Germany (COPYRIGHT OLIVE PRESS SPAIN)

The 65-year-old, who had dated Brueckner, 47, for two years, told Braunschweig court Nicole was already linked in the scheme.

The travel agent from Dresden had first met Brueckner in 2005, while visiting her father, who had a holiday home in Praia da Luz.

She said she fell in love with the criminal in a bar in the resort, where toddler Maddie went missing in May, 2007.

“He was always very courteous and charming,” she told the judge and, at first, his rental home just outside the resort was clean and tidy. 

She recalled how they had a whirlwind relationship and even travelled on holiday together.

The property in Foral, Portugal, where Brueckner lived with his then-girlfriend Nicole F. The property was first located by the Olive Press just hours after Christian Brueckner was named as a suspect (COPYRIGHT OLIVE PRESS SPAIN)
Nicole F, former girlfriend of Christian Brueckner

But by New Year’s Eve in 2006 their relationship was petering out, in part due to their age difference of nearly 20 years and the fact they lived in different countries.

Then at some point, in early 2007, he broke the news in a phone call that he had a new girlfriend called ‘Nicole’. 

“I was jealous then, but not as much as if we were married,” she explained to the judge. 

She said it was then, during that phone call, that he told her he wanted to take in little girls.

He told her they were Germans he ‘wanted to look after’ and the state would pay good money for it! 

“I got the feeling that he already had a little girl in the house!” she exclaimed to the court on Day Ten of his trial over five sex offences, including three rapes and two child abuse offences, last Friday.

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ALGARVE BASE: Brueckner’s previously rented home in nearby Praia da Luz. (COPYRIGHT OLIVE PRESS SPAIN)

Later, after they had broken up, they met as friends on the Algarve, where Brueckner introduced Nicole, who she described as ‘an attractive dark-haired woman’. 

She could still remember it clearly and felt her rival was taking advantage of him in some ways.

Initially she had been shocked when detectives from the BKA had approached her in 2018 about giving evidence against him in the rape of American pensioner, Diana Menkes, 72.

She had gone on to help convict him of the sadistic rape in Praia da Luz in 2005, over which he is currently serving seven years in prison.

The court heard how she had been questioned by the BKA three times and she had handed over various letters and photos of the pair from their time together.

In particular, the court showed one letter in which Brueckner had written to her when in prison in the Spring of 2006 asking her to clear out his rental home in Praia da Luz.

It was a ‘to do list’ of incriminating items that needed removing when he and his friend Michael Tatschl had been arrested for fuel theft and put in Portimao prison.

He had written in the letter: ‘The police are stupid, but if they find it I’m the stupid one.’ 

She initially claimed not to remember the missive in Brueckner’s handwriting, but eventually admitted she had indeed gone with his friend, Christian Post, to undertake the clean up.

Post, she insisted, had done all the clearing up and she had taken nothing out of the home, which is less than a mile outside Praia da Luz.

She finally admitted to the court how she had taken a holiday with Brueckner on the German holiday island of Sylt, where he was later arrested for drug-dealing.

While she told the court she ‘couldn’t remember’ any drugs and clearly didn’t want to incriminate herself, she did admit she had organised a money transfer via Western Union for him, while there.

The trial continues today with the Judge from the Diana Menkes case being cross-examined, before other child victims of Brueckner’s in Portugal are expected to give evidence.

Jon Clarke (Publisher & Editor)

Jon Clarke is a Londoner who worked at the Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday as an investigative journalist before moving permanently to Spain in 2003 where he helped set up the Olive Press. He is the author of three books; Costa Killer, Dining Secrets of Andalucia and My Search for Madeleine.

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