Christian Brueckner's friend who named him as suspect in Madeleine McCann's murder hopes 'he stays in jail'

The 48-year-old told the police that, in 2008, Brueckner told him at a kite festival in Orgiva, Spain, that he was the one involved in the toddler's abduction from Portugal a year before


                            Christian Brueckner's friend who named him as suspect in Madeleine McCann's murder hopes 'he stays in jail'
(German Police, Getty Images)

The witness who identifed Christian Brueckner as the suspect who kidnapped and reportedly killed three-year-old Madeleine McCann to the British police has opened up about why he thinks the convicted pedophile is guilty and should "stay in jail for a long time".

Helge Busching told The Sun that he was the man who directed authorities to Brueckner around the 10th anniversary of McCann's disappearance. The 48-year-old told the police that, in 2008, Brueckner told him at a kite festival in Orgiva, Spain, that he was the one involved in the toddler's abduction from Portugal a year earlier. McCann mysteriously disappeared from her parents' vacation apartment at The Ocean Club Resort in Praia da Luz on the night of May 3, 2007.

Busching himself was arrested in 2017 for smuggling migrants in Greece. After he requested to speak to British authorities, he was questioned by Operation Grange, the investigators in charge of McCann's disappearance. After Busching's statement, a case was opened up against Brueckner, who is currently in prison in Germany on drug charges and appealing against a separate conviction for rape. 

When Busching, who now lives on the French island of Corsica, was asked what he thought of Brueckner, he said, ''One word. Guilty." ''He is in the right place at the moment and hopefully, he will stay there a long time,'' he added. ''I am not allowed to say anything about Brueckner but I hope he stays in jail.''

Kate and Gerry McCann hold an age-progressed police image of their daughter during a news conference to mark the 5th anniversary of the disappearance of Madeleine McCann, on May 2, 2012, in London, England (Getty Images)

German prosecutors announced they were investigating Brueckner in June. Around the same time, the Metropolitan Police revealed they had received a tip-off about him in 2017 which corroborates with Busching's timeline. "Following the 10-year anniversary, the Met received information about a German man who was known to have been in and around Praia da Luz,'' detective chief inspector Mark Cranwell said at the time.

Busching reiterated that he had known Brueckner from when they both lived in Portugal and was the one who has approached law enforcement with the tip-off. The reported tip-off provided by Busching to the police involved the description of a ''German male person, whom I know by the name of Christian" and promised to "talk in detail" about Brueckner's alleged connection to McCann's disappearance.

Busching's evidence was ''given voluntarily and without monetary or other consideration" a Greek police report said. While reopening the investigation into McCann's disappearance in June with Brueckner as the prime suspect in June, the German police said that while watching a news report on the tenth anniversary of the missing toddler, the pedophile had bragged that he ''knew all about'' the case to a friend back in 2017.

The name of the friend was not revealed back then and it is not clear if those reports referred to Busching. In a separate case, Busching and another acquaintance of Brueckner, Manfred Seyferth, were accused of aiding Brueckner of rape after they broke into his house and stole a video from his home while Brueckner was doing time in prison for theft.

The footage allegedly stolen by the two is currently in the possession of the police. Brueckner was convicted last year of raping a 72-year-old woman in Praia da Luz in 2005, He is appealing the verdict and is yet to begin his sentence.

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