Sunday, February 25, 2024

Ring of steel for Maddie suspect Christian Brueckner’s court appearance this week over a string of unrelated sex attacks in Portugal

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A ‘ring of steel’ has been set up by German police for Madeleine McCann suspect Christian Brueckner ’s court appearance this week.

The convicted paedophile is standing trial on Friday accused of carrying out a string of vile sex attacks in Portugal. 

It will be the 47-year-old’s first public court appearance since being named the prime suspect in Madeleine’s 2007 disappearance.

Brueckner is alleged to have carried out five offences in the Algarve between 2000 and 2017, including the alleged rape of an Irish tour rep, who was attacked in her apartment Praia da Rocha in 2004. 

The German national is also charged with raping a teenage girl in his Praia da Luz home and raping an elderly woman in her holiday apartment.

He is further accused of exposing himself to a German girl on a beach in Salema in April 2007 and alleged indecent exposure in front of an 11-year-old in Sao Bartolomeu de Messines in 2017. 

Christian Brueckner is set to appear in court in Braunschweig, Lower Saxony, on February 16, accused of five offences between 2000 and 2017 in Portugal and is already serving a rape sentence

Madeleine was on a family holiday in Praia da Luz, in Portugal when she vanished on May 3, 2007

Madeleine was on a family holiday in Praia da Luz, in Portugal when she vanished on May 3, 2007

Authorities have drafted a series of enhanced security measures for the trial, which is due to last until June, as photographers and TV crews from across the world is expected to descend on Braunschweig Regional Court.

Armed police will be stationed inside and outside the court for each of the 29 hearings, as Lawyers, media and members of the public will have to show formal identification to police before entering the court.

Brueckner will enter courtroom 141, which hold 100 spectators, via a secure tunnel from a holding facility accompanied by his legal team. 

He is expected to be moved from his high-security prison in northern Germany for the duration of the trial, having been flown across Europe for the hearings. 

Court spokeswoman Lisa Rust told the Mirror: ‘“These heightened security measures have now been compiled.

‘The polizeianordnung is like an official directive issued by the law enforcement authorities – here the police. It governs certain actions or behaviour in accordance with the law and public safety.’

A German source said the trial was a ‘big deal for the authorities’, with police set to guard the witnesses throughout the trial. 

Brueckner was also charged with the offences in October 2022 but the case was delayed following a legal row over jurisdiction. 

Madeleine was on a family holiday in Praia da Luz, in Portugal when she vanished on May 3, 2007. Brueckner was made a formal suspect by prosecutors in Portugal in 2022. 

He had previously been identified as a suspect by German prosecutors in 2020, at which point he was named as Christian B. 

Brueckner is serving a sentence of seven years for a rape that took place in Portugal in 2005.

During the trial, which is set to begin next week, there will be a ruling on whether Brueckner remains in prison at the end of that sentence.

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