Madeleine McCann case: German cops with sniffer dogs dig up land where suspect Christian Brückner lived

To conduct the large-scale investigation, the plot was cleared and an excavator and a prisoner transporter brought in

                            Madeleine McCann case: German cops with sniffer dogs dig up land where suspect Christian Brückner lived
(Getty Images)

Police in Germany have dug up an allotment plot in Hanover where prime suspect of the Madeleine McCann case lived. Sniffer dogs and forensic experts were also reportedly seen at the site appeared to be looking for some evidence where Christian Brückner once lived. According to reports, the land between Hanover-Ahlem and Seelze-Letter has been investigated by authorities.

The public prosecutor's office in Braunschweig said the probe was connected to the disappearance case of McCann who went missing in Portugal on May 3, 2007. It has been said that to conduct the large-scale investigation, the allotment plot was cleared and an excavator and a prisoner transporter were also brought to help in the probe. However, it’s not immediately clear what exactly they are searching for.

A local website has reported that the latest investigation is a joint effort between the prosecutor's office and the Federal Criminal Police Office. Editor-in-chief of the website tweeted that “police arrive at Hannover with heavy equipment in [an] allotment garden.” The site also added that the team of officials is expected to be at the scene until Wednesday, July 29. You can see the photos of the team excavating here.

McCann was three when she went missing 13 years ago from an apartment while she was on a vacation with her family in the town of Praia da Luz, in Portugal’s Algarve region. Earlier this year, Brückner was identified as the prime suspect in the kidnapping and killing of the girl child. The 43-year-old was reportedly living in a camper van around the Praia De Luz resort at the time when McCann vanished. Also, his mobile data showed he was in the area when the little one disappeared from her bed.

Currently, Brückner is jailed in Germany for drug offenses and the rape of an American woman in Praia da Luz, Portugal in 2005. An earlier report has stated that his lawyers have put an appeal before a panel of five judges at the European Court of Justice (ECJ) in Luxembourg, saying that his current jail term should be overturned because it was not the crime for which he was extradited from Portugal.

The German national was awarded seven years in jail for brutally attacking an American pensioner in 2005. The woman was attacked in the same Portuguese district where the three-year-old went missing after two years. However, his lawyers claim that Brückner was extradited in 2017 by German police using a European Arrest Warrant over child molestation charges, but he was convicted for the attack on the old woman. They argued that was a breach of international law.

According to them, according to the Law on International Mutual Assistance, “people extradited by an EU Member State on the basis of a European arrest warrant may not be prosecuted, convicted or subjected to a detention order for an act committed before surrender other than that which is the basis of the surrender.” The verdict in the hearing is yet to come out.

Meanwhile, according to McCann’s family’s lawyer Rogerio Alves, police have only 22 months to produce solid evidence against Brückner to prove that he was involved in the abduction of her. “We have a 15 years time barrier, even to manslaughter, to homicide, to certain sexual offenses — and even to the most serious kind of kidnapping,” Alves said. “So we are still on time. But time is getting short now.”

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