Madeleine McCann suspect Christian Brueckner to stay jailed at least till 2026 for raping 72-year-old woman
The convict had appealed the rape conviction in a technicality, he can now only apply for parole from 2023
Madeleine McCann's murder suspect, Christian Brueckner, is reportedly set to stay in prison at least until 2026, reports state. The update came on Friday, September 20, after judges rejected his appeal on a rape conviction. Brueckner was sentenced to seven years in prison in December 2019 for attacking a 72-year-old American woman in Praia da Luz, Portugal, in 2005. The convict had appealed the rape conviction in a technicality, he can now only apply for parole from 2023.
Brueckner, a 43-year-old pedophile from Germany, was named by authorities in June as the prime suspect in Madeleine's missing case. The three-year-old mysteriously disappeared from her parents' vacation apartment at The Ocean Club Resort in Praia da Luz, Portugal on the night of May 3, 2007. Judges in Germany dismissed Brueckner's appeal and confirmed his seven-year sentence. The news was welcomed by the investigators probing Madeleine's case as one of them said: "t's great news. It means he won't be going anywhere for a very long time and so we can carry on building up our case against him."
Brueckner, earlier this week, reportedly suffered two broken ribs in mysterious circumstances in his prison cell before applying for parole, which was eventually rejected. Reports state that Brueckner had the injuries after being involved in a scuffle with prison guards after throwing a "tantrum" because he was not allowed to smoke in the courthouse. Latest pictures showed Brueckner being led out of the building to be taken to a hospital for treatment.
Brueckner had reportedly appealed against the rape convicting in July at the European Court of Justice, claiming that his arrest warrant was applied incorrectly. Germany's Federal Court, in a statement, said: "The Braunschweig Regional Court sentenced the accused to a total imprisonment of seven years for serious rape.
According to the findings of the regional court, the defendant attacked a 72-year-old American woman in September 2005 at her house in the Portuguese holiday resort of Praia de Luz."
"He threatened the woman with a scimitar, handcuffed her and raped her. Then he forced his victim to hand over money," the statement continued. "The 6th Criminal Senate of the Federal Court of Justice had submitted the legal question to the European Court of Justice as to whether the principle of mutual legal assistance as defined in European law opposed the specialty of conviction." The court statement added: "The Court of Justice denied this with a judgment of September 24, 2020. Since the appellate review of the judgment of the Regional Court of Braunschweig — apart from a clarification of the sentence formula — did not reveal any legal error to the detriment of the accused, the Senate rejected his appeal as unfounded in accordance with the motion of the Attorney General. The aforementioned judgment is therefore final."
Brueckner's criminal history states that he was convicted of sexually abusing a child in 1994 when he was 17. The suspect was reportedly given a youth sentence of two years. Later, in 2016, he was imprisoned again for a year and three months for "abusing a child in the act of procuring himself and possessing child pornography," and in June 2017 he received 15 months' prison sentence for sexual abuse of a child. Brueckner, as he went in and out of prison, spent his time between Germany and Portugal, where he was living at the time of Madeleine's disappearance. The suspect would have been 30 at the time when the toddler disappeared. His phone records showed him near the resort on the day of Maddie's disappearance.