Madeleine McCann prime suspect Christian Brueckner 'worked in hotels around resort where Brit child went missing'

1 March 2024, 15:35 | Updated: 1 March 2024, 15:55

Brueckner appeared in court on Friday.
Brueckner appeared in court on Friday. Picture: Getty

By Emma Soteriou

Madeleine McCann prime suspect Christian Brueckner worked in hotels around the resort where the Brit child went missing, a key witness has said in court.

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Brueckner appeared in court on Friday accused of three rapes and two sex assaults between 2000 and 2017.

Manfred Seyferth, 68, who used to be friends with him, was called as a character witness at his trial.

Mr Seyferth claimed that Brueckner regularly robbed hotels where he worked as a waiter, with him said to have stolen money and possessions from guests' apartments.

He said one of Brueckner's jobs had been near the Praia da Luz area, following claims that he worked in the Ocean Club where Madeleine McCann's family had stayed.

Madeleine, who was three at the time, went missing from her bed when she was on holiday with her family in Portugal in 2007.

Mr Seyferth and another former friend of Brueckner's, Helge Busching, were previously witnesses in his 2019 conviction for the rape of a pensioner.

During Mr Seyferth's appearance in court, which was not directly related to Madeleine, he said he had seen abuse footage Brueckner had recorded.

Read more: Madeleine McCann chief suspect 'plotted to abduct and sell' a child while working in Algarve resort, it is claimed

Read more: Irish tour guide feared Madeleine McCann suspect 'would behead her during rape' as full accusations revealed in court

Brueckner in court on Friday
Brueckner in court on Friday. Picture: Getty

He said: "Helge showed me the tape. He came with a camera - an old model, a big kind of one.

"I tried to push the abuse out of my mind. I just said ‘throw the fucking thing away’.

"When I looked I saw the old woman and this girl who was tied up. I saw woman on a table and he hit her on the breast with a ruler.

"She was totally naked but you could only make out her breast and face.

"I recognised Christian Brueckner in the video - I could tell from the voice. It was just the way he spoke."

Mr Seyferth continued: "I saw Brueckner directly in his face in one of the videos. And I could tell it was him from his voice in the other video.

"And then there was a second person, a girl in Brueckner’s home.

"She was tied to a post and Brueckner was dancing around her.“He forced her to perform a sex act on him then when she was unwell he said ‘you are ruining my carpet’."

Christian Brueckner
Christian Brueckner. Picture: Alamy

Mr Seyferth previously said that "evil" Brueckner was "easily capable of taking a small child".

“I never liked him and he is a psychopath," he told the Sun. "He is obsessed with small children and I didn’t like it.

"He always had a young girlfriend with him and I think he is easily capable of taking a small child.

"That’s why I think he may have something to do with Maddie. He broke in and saw her and because he likes young girls — he’s got lots of convictions - he took her."

He told the paper in 2020 that he did not see Brueckner for months after the disappearance of Madeleine.

Brueckner denies all charges against him. The trial continues.

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