Prime suspect in Madeleine McCann case 'making new bid for freedom at different court'


The prime suspect in the Madeleine McCann case has made a new bid for freedom.



Christian Brueckner, 43, has switched a get-out-of-jail-early application from a court that has previously jailed him to one near his prison in the hope of a more sympathetic hearing, according to lawyers.


The drifter who German police suspect snatched and killed the missing Brit girl had applied to justices in Braunschweig to be freed after two-thirds of a 21-month sentence for drug crimes.


That is the usual percentage German prisoners must serve before being considered for release.


But Brueckner has switched his application to a court in Kiel.


Braunschweig prosecutors are leading the investigation into his potential involvement in Madeleines disappearance.


The towns court also jailed him for seven years for the rape of a 72-year-old American woman in Praia da Luz, Portugal, two years before Madeleine went missing in the resort.


Brueckner, who has two previous convictions for child sex offences, is appealing against that conviction to the European Court of Justice.


He has told lawyers he has lost faith in the justice system in Braunschweig.


Police fear he could vanish if he is freed.



Lawyer Alexander Stevens said Brueckner would have reasoned that the court in Braunschweig has convicted me for rape its perhaps not very good if the court in Braunschweig then decides on my parole.


Asked about the chances of him being freed Stevens assessed it as 50/50 and added the suspect was still considered innocent in the rape case because the appeals process was ongoing.


His alleged involvement in the McCann case would not be enough to keep him in custody.


Mr. Stevens added: He is regarded as innocent until you can prove the opposite. The two things have nothing to do with each other.


If Brueckner serves his full sentence he will be released on January 7.


Police this week unearthed a hidden cellar during a search of his former allotment in Hanover.