Christian Brueckner’s lawyer pledges to clear Madeleine McCann prime suspect of rape charges and free him from jail

16 February 2024, 07:20 | Updated: 16 February 2024, 07:57

Christian Brueckner's lawyer has said he thinks he can get an acquittal for the Madeleine McCann suspect.
Christian Brueckner's lawyer has said he thinks he can get an acquittal for the Madeleine McCann suspect. Picture: Alamy/Handout

By Jenny Medlicott

The lawyer of Madeleine McCann suspect Christian Brueckner has pledged to get his rape charges cleared as he’s set to go on trial on Friday.

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Lawyer Friedrich Fülscher said he was confident he could defend Brueckner against rape allegations, which are unrelated to Madeleine McCann, dating between 2000 and 2017 in Portugal.

He has claimed the charges are part of a witch-hunt against the 47-year-old, who is already serving a seven-year jail sentence for rape.

Brueckner is set to go to trial in Germany on Friday over the allegations - which include an accusation of raping an Irish holiday rep at knifepoint in 2004.

Fülscher said he had brought on a powerful defence team for Brueckner, who is also the prime suspect in the abduction of three-year-old Madeleine McCann.

His lawyer said: “I am convinced that there can only be an acquittal at the end of the trial.”

He warned witnesses: “They will have to be prepared for unpleasant questions.”

Previously, Fülscher claimed that the suspect’s charges are based on “very, very shaky foundations”.

Brueckner is set to appear before a court in Braunschweig over three accusations of rape and two sexual offences involving children in Portugal.

He faces between five and 15 years in prison if he is found guilty.

Brueckner is due before a court on Friday.
Brueckner is due before a court on Friday. Picture: Alamy

Read more: German Madeleine McCann suspect 'tried to recruit man to kidnap child' in Portugal a week before she vanished

Read more: Madeleine McCann suspect 'had notes of child rape fantasies' as prosecutor says they give an 'insight into his mind'

It comes after it was claimed last week that Brueckner tried to recruit a man to find a child to sell to a rich family one week before Madeleine McCann went missing.

Ken Ralphs was living in a nomadic community in southwest Portugal when a friend told him about the alleged plot.

The friend, who has not been named, was living in a teepee in the woods some 20 miles outside of Praia da Luz, the seaside resort Madeleine disappeared from in May 2007.

"We were sitting around the fire one night after a meal, we had a few beers and during the early hours of the morning my friend began to cry," Mr Ralphs, a former political campaigner, said.

"I asked him what the matter was and, eventually, he confessed to me he was getting involved with Christian to steal a child from Praia da Luz from a rich family."

Brueckner is the prime suspect in the case of Madeleine McCann.
Brueckner is the prime suspect in the case of Madeleine McCann. Picture: Alamy

The 59-year-old said he warned his friend not to get involved and said he could help with money after he returned from a trip to the UK.

Mr Ralphs said he had returned to the UK when he heard of Madeleine's disappearance, and he drove from his father's home in Workington to tell police what he knew.

Brueckner, 46, who is in jail in Germany for raping an elderly American woman in Praia da Luz in 2005, denies involvement in Madeleine's disappearance and he has not been charged in relation to her.

She was three years old when she vanished. British police consider her case to still be a missing person investigation.