Who is Christian B – the prime suspect in the Madeleine McCann case? | world news

Investigators are searching a reservoir in the Algarve believed to be frequented by the main suspect in the Madeleine McCann case.

The Portuguese authorities say they are search on behalf of the German police and in the presence of British officers.

It is in Germany that Christian B, the main suspect in the disappearance of Madeleine, is from.

Police said in 2020 they believed she was dead and he was likely responsible. He has always denied any involvement, despite alleged confessions.

Madeleine McCann

Repeat sex offender who lived between Portugal and Germany

Christian B, now in his 40s, is a convicted sex offender and drug trafficker currently serving a seven-year sentence in a German prison.

The offense – the rape of a 72-year-old woman in her apartment in 2005 – happened in Praia da Luz, the same town from which Madeleine McCann disappeared two years later, on May 3, 2007.

The McCanns lived on the ground floor of this building
The McCann holiday apartment in Praia da Luz

His surname was withheld from the police due to German privacy laws.

Prior to Madeleine’s disappearance, police believe he was living between Portugal and his native Germany in a Volkswagen motorhome, surviving by dealing drugs and robbing homes.

He also lived in a house in Praia da Luz for some time.

He was sentenced to two years in prison in Germany in 1994 for sexually assaulting a six-year-old girl, then moved to Portugal with his then-girlfriend in 1995 after his release.

Shortly after Madeleine disappeared and the city became the center of global media attention in 2007, he returned to Germany.

Police insisted his phone had located him in the area and he received a 30-minute call an hour before Madeleine’s parents said she was missing.

Christian B.
Criminal record of Christian B
Christian B.
Portuguese police file case on suspect

Learn more:
How the Madeleine McCann affair unfolded
Madeleine’s parents celebrate her 20th birthday
Christian B is not the first suspect – but may be the last

Back in Germany, he lived in the city of Braunschweig where he ran a kiosk between 2013 and 2016.

In 2016, he was sentenced to one year and three months for “abusing a child in the act of procuring and possessing child pornography”.

In June 2017, he was returned to prison, this time with a 15-month sentence for sexually abusing a child.

That year, he reportedly confessed to kidnapping Madeleine as he sat in a German bar watching the 10th anniversary cover of her disappearance.

The friend he spoke to reported himself to the German police.

In 2018 he was arrested in Milan on suspicion of raping an elderly woman in Portugal in 2005.

After being named by the German police in 2020, the Portuguese police reopened an unresolved investigation in the 2004 rape of an Irish woman working as a holiday representative in the Algarve. Hazel Behan waived her right to anonymity to claim he might have been her attacker. No charges have been laid.

Christian Brueckner

formal suspect

In April 2022, Portuguese authorities announced that they were declaring someone a ‘arguido’ in the McCann case at the request of their German counterparts, who appointed Christian B in 2020.

The status of arguido means that you are formally suspected and gives you the right to remain silent and to have a lawyer.

He has not been arrested or formally charged.

But German prosecutor Hans Christian Wolters told Sky News at the time he was suspected “only for formal reasons…to prevent a statute of limitations in Portugal”.

The move allowed investigators to “keep their options open” beyond the 15-year limit Portugal has on serious crime investigations.

Earlier that year, in letters from prison, Christian B told a German journalist that it would have been “absurd” for him to have kidnapped the toddler – as it would have exposed his other crimes.

He spoke of trying to “never provoke the police” by “not committing any crime…certainly not kidnapping anyone”.

In June last year he said he had an alibi – a woman he had sex with in his motorhome – to prove he was not responsible.

Although he cannot name her, German police reportedly have a photo of her lying in the van during their investigation into a separate rape he committed.

He says he took the woman, who was vacationing in the area with her parents, back to Faro airport the next day and they were stopped by police – before she was arrested at the airport for having illegal pepper spray.

Please use Chrome browser for more accessible video player

Braunschweig state prosecutor Hans Christian Wolter says final search will take time

More fees

In October 2022, prosecutors charged Christian B with five offenses – three of aggravated rapes and two of child sexual abuse between December 2000 and June 2011 in Portugal.

None of them were related to Madeline McCann.

A possible trial for rape has been fell in april after the German court ruled it had no jurisdiction over the case.

Searching for Madeleine McCann
Police search the Arade dam in the Algarve
Madeleine disappeared in Praia da Luz and the Arade Dam is searched by the police
The tank searched by investigators

The reservoir sought this month is the Arade Dam – 31 miles from the McCanns’ holiday apartment.

It was searched by private investigators in 2008 on allegations that Madeleine’s body may be there, but is now part of the official investigation after “certain denunciations”, according to German prosecutor Christian Wolter.

Christian B reportedly called it “paradise”, visiting it regularly with his drug dealer.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

GreenLeaf Tw2sl