The Daily Telegraph

Mccann suspect: I’m persecuted

- By Justin Huggler in Berlin

THE German suspect in the disappeara­nce of Madeleine Mccann has released a statement from prison protesting his innocence.

In his first public comment on the case, Christian Brückner said German prosecutor­s had failed to bring charges and accused them of persecutin­g him.

“Charging someone with a crime is one thing. It is something completely different, namely an unbelievab­le scandal, when a public prosecutor starts a public prejudicia­l campaign before proceeding­s are even opened,” the 44-yearold convicted paedophile and rapist said in a handwritte­n statement issued from his prison cell.

“You have proved worldwide, through arbitrary conviction­s in the past and through scandalous prejudicia­l campaigns in the present, that you are unsuitable for the office of an ‘advocate for the honest and German people who trust in justice’, and that you bring shame to the German legal system.”

Brückner was named as a suspect in the toddler’s disappeara­nce a year ago.

German prosecutor­s claim they have evidence he killed her but have yet to bring any charges against him in connection with the case.

Scotland Yard has said it is yet to see any evidence that Madeleine is dead or was murdered, and it is still treating her case as a missing person inquiry.

Brückner is serving a seven-year sentence for the 2005 rape of a 72-year-old woman in the same area of Portugal where Madeleine went missing. He was named as a new suspect in the toddler’s case last June. But a year on, despite extensive searches and public appeals for informatio­n, no charges have been brought.

Brückner called on the two German prosecutor­s in charge of the case, Hans Christian Wolters and Ute Lindemann, to resign.

His statement was accompanie­d by a crude childish drawing, apparently by Brückner himself, of the two prosecutor­s in a restaurant ordering a “fillet of

‘It is an unbelievab­le scandal when a public prosecutor starts a public prejudicia­l campaign’

forensic” – a reference to comments by the prosecutor­s that they do not yet have “forensic evidence” linking him to the disappeara­nce.

The statement is dated May 8 but has only now been released to the media.

It is signed with Brückner’s full name, apparently waiving his right to anonymity under German privacy laws.

Madeleine was three years old when she went missing from a holiday villa in the resort of Praia da Luz in 2007. German prosecutor­s said last year they have compelling evidence that she is dead and that Brückner killed her, but admitted it may not be enough to bring charges or secure a conviction. “If you knew the evidence we had you would come to the same conclusion as I do,” Mr Wolters told the BBC.

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