Key Madeleine McCann witness reveals moment suspect Christian Brueckner 'confessed' and how 'she didn’t scream'

29 June 2023, 16:21 | Updated: 29 June 2023, 16:27

A key witness has claimed suspect Christian Brueckner told him ‘she didn’t scream’
A key witness has claimed suspect Christian Brueckner told him ‘she didn’t scream’. Picture: Alamy

By Emma Soteriou

The man who alerted authorities to prime suspect Christian Brueckner in the Madeleine McCann case has claimed he was told she "didn't scream" when she was taken.

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Speaking in a his first public interview, key witness and former friend Helge Busching said he learned of Brueckner's true colours long before Madeleine McCann's disappearance after he stole some videotapes from his house.

Reflecting on the time he witnessed the video, which allegedly showed Brueckner sexually abusing an elderly woman and a teenage girl in Portugal, Busching said: "[The victim] said: 'This borders on rape!'

"And he just said: 'Shut up.' That's when I knew what kind of guy Brueckner was," he told German outlet Bild.

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Maddie went missing in Portugal
Maddie went missing in Portugal. Picture: Alamy

Busching left Portugal but said he later crossed paths with Brueckner again at a music festival in Spain in 2008.

"He asked me, 'don't you go to Portugal anymore and do business there?' 

"I said, 'no, since the girl disappeared there, there have been too many police checks for me and I don't need that at all.'

"[The topic of Madeleine's disappearance] came up and I said: 'Anyway, I don't understand how the little one could have disappeared without a trace.'

"Christian had drunk two or three beers, and then said: 'She didn't scream.'

"I thought: He knows that. He has something to do with it. But he also checked that I understood that and then left at night. 

"At 3 or 4 o'clock in the morning he left a packed festival with his mobile home. I looked for him the next morning, but his neighbours said he had left."

Christian Brueckner
Christian Brueckner. Picture: Alamy

Busching said that he tried to inform Scotland Yard about Brueckner in the same year via a dedicated line for tips but it was not followed up.

"I called Scotland Yard back in 2008. At the Maddie hotline. I said I knew someone who might have something to do with it and gave them the name. But nothing happened there. Nothing! I was never called back," he said.

"In 2017 I had just served a prison sentence in Greece. When I heard about the 10th anniversary of the disappearance, I remembered. Apparently the call didn't help at all. So I contacted Scotland Yard again.

"Then they listened to me."

Last year German prosecutors named Christian Brueckner as an official suspect in Madeleine's disappearance.

Brueckner, who denies any involvement in Madeleine's disappearance, is currently in prison in Germany for raping a 72-year-old woman in the same area of the Algarve where Madeleine went missing.

He has not been charged with any crime related the missing British girl.

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