The chief suspect in the ongoing Madeleine McCann disappearance investigation was twice kicked out of Portugal for child sex crimes but never linked to the case, it has emerged.
Christian Brueckner was extradited to Germany in 1999 to face two years’ imprisonment for sexually abusing a minor, and again in 2017 when he served a further 15 months for child abuse.
Prior to his arrest in 1999 Brueckner had been on the run for four years.
Police investigating the disappearance of three-year-old Madeleine said he was never considered a suspect even though he had been living on and off the Algarve for 22 years.
The paedophile was again extradited to Germany in 2017 to face a 15 month sentence for sex abuse and possessing child pornography. He had been taken into custody by Portuguese police after being caught indecently exposing himself at a children’s playground – a half hour drive from the Praia da Luz resort where Madeline went missing a decade prior.
Mailonline reported that in 2006, the year before Madeleine disappeared, Brueckner admitted before a judge that he was a sexual predator.
It was not logged and he escaped being put on Portugal’s sex offenders register.
Portuguese police said Brueckner was never considered a suspect as they hadn’t been aware of his child sex crimes.
The development was made on Portugese television show ‘Friday at Nine’.
Host Sandra Felgueiras said: ‘It may be hard to believe, but it is true.
‘The suspect in the murder of Madeleine McCann was twice extradited from Portugal to Germany for sex crimes against children but was never investigated into her disappearance from Praia da Luz.’
Brueckner was arrested in 2017 and sent back to Germany after four children reported being flashed while at a playground.
After serving his sentence he was released in August 2018 but was soon arrested again, this time in Milan. In September that year he was returned to Germany and charged with drug dealing.
In 2019, he would be charged and convicted of the 2005 rape of a 72-year-old tourist in Praia da Luz, Portugal.