Madeleine McCann murder trial can go ahead, even without a body, says prosecutor

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German prosecutors appear to be moving closer to charging Christian Brueckner, the prime suspect in the Madeleine McCann case.

Speaking on a Portuguese TV news programme, Hans Christian Wolters said that a murder prosecution would not depend on finding the missing child’s body, and that the authorities simply need to be “convinced” that she is dead to put the suspect on trial.

Wolters, the public prosecutor in north-west Germany, said investigators have evidence that she is no longer alive.

When an interviewer asked, "Do you have any material evidence that Madeleine is dead?" Wolters answered simply, "Yes".

He declined to give further details but said: "All I can say is this is like a puzzle and there are many pieces that lead us to believe ‘Christian B’ is responsible.

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"One of the pieces is the signal from the mobile phone he was using at the time Madeleine McCann disappeared and has been shown to have been in the area of the Ocean Club resort where she was staying.

"The result of our investigation does not point in any way to the possibility the suspect might have kept Madeleine alive."

German prosecutors wrote to Madeleine’s parents in June to say that they were convinced she had been murdered but it was not possible to reveal their evidence.

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Wolters said at the time: "We don’t have forensic evidence but we have other evidence."

Searches of an allotment and other properties known to have been used by Brueckner have turned up a large quantity of computer memory sticks containing images or videos showing the abuse of infants, children and adolescents, reports The Times.

Convicted sex offender Brueckner, 43, is currently in jail in Germany for other offences. No charges have yet been brought against him over Madeleine’s disappearance from Praia da Luz on May 3, 2007.

However, Brueckner is understood to have instructed a top-flight UK legal firm to represent him in any potential trial.

His German lawyer ­Friedrich Fuelscher told the Mirror: "I can confirm we are using UK lawyers."

But, as Brueckner has no source of income it remains unclear who is paying the lawyers’ fees.

When asked who was funding Brueckner’s representation, Mr Fuelscher replied: "I’m afraid I cannot answer that question."

Fuelscher went on to say that press reporting of the German case against Brueckner lacked "objectivity," and that legal representatives were carefully checking every article.

Bruckner maintains that he had no involvement with the disappearance of the British girl, who was three years old when she went missing.

  • Madeleine Mccann

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