Madeleine McCann prime suspect Christian Brueckner PICTURED as he’s hauled to court in back of police van

Madeleine McCann prime suspect Christian Brueckner PICTURED as he’s hauled to court in back of police van

MADELEINE McCann prime suspect Christian Brueckner has been pictured in a police van as he’s hauled into court over a string of rape charges.

The convicted paedophile, 47, is accused of three rapes and two sex assaults.

Christian Brueckner pictured arriving at courtDan Charity

Dan CharityHe was seen peering out the window of the van[/caption]

A police van carrying Brueckner arrives at Braunschweig Regional Court

Brueckner is suspected of abducting Madeleine, then three, 17 years agoAFP

Brueckner’s lawyer has pledged to get him cleared of a string of rape charges

Charges being heard today at Braunschweig Regional Court are not related to Maddie, who he is suspected of abducting 17 years ago.

Brueckner was pictured looking downcast wearing a dark green hooded jacket and striped shirt as he arrived in a van with bars over the window.

It is the first time he has been pictured since 2020 when he hobbled out of a hospital in shackles after being assaulted in prison.

Prosecutors allege Brueckner raped three women and twice sexually molested children in Portugal.

His alleged victims include Irish mum Hazel Behan, who says he raped her when she was 20 and working as a ­holiday rep in Portugal in 2004.

He is also charged with raping and abusing a teenage girl and a 70 to 80-year-old woman at his house in Praia da Luz between December 2000 and June 2006.

Further sickening allegations the court heard were that he masturbated in front of a girl at a playground in Messines in June 2017.

He also faces claims he did the same in front of another girl, on Salema beach, Portugal, in April 2007.

German drifter Bruckner is already in jail serving a seven-year sentence for rape.

A fresh conviction will keep him behind bars — as fears grow he may never be charged over Madeleine’s disappearance.

Brueckner was identified four years ago as the main suspect in the abduction of Madeleine from her family’s holiday flat in Portugal in 2007.

German investigators believe Brueckner abducted and murdered her – although no charges have been filed against him.

Ahead of his court appearance today, his lawyer pledged to get him cleared.

Friedrich Fülscher said he was confident he could defend him against the allegations 

He claimed the charges were part of a witch-hunt against Brueckner.

Dr Fülscher revealed he had brought in a powerful and expensive defence team, insisting: “I am convinced that there can only be an acquittal at the end of the trial.”

Meanwhile, Brueckner shamelessly mocked police in a sickening rant from behind bars.

In his first comments on the case, Brueckner branded his trial as “ridiculous”.

Key dates in Madeleine McCann’s disappearance

MADELEINE McCann vanished on May 3, 2007 – and cops believe Brueckner could have been behind her disappearace.

Almost 17 years on, no one has been charged in connection. These are the key dates:

May 3, 2007 – Kate McCann finds Madeleine missing at 10pm

May 14, 2007 – Property developer Robert Murat is named an “arguido” or formal suspect

August 31, 2007 – The McCanns launch libel action against Tal e Qual – a newspaper that claimed the couple killed Madeleine

September 7, 2007 – Kate and Gerry McCann are made “arguidos”

September 9, 2007– Madeleine’s parents return to England with their two-year-old twins

October 2, 2007– Lead detective Goncalo Amaral is taken off the case after criticising British police in a newspaper interview

July 21, 2009 – Portuguese police lift the “arguido” status of  both Robert Murat and the McCanns

May 12, 2011 – On Madeleine’s eighth birthday, Scotland Yard launches a review into the case 

April 25, 2012 – Scotland Yard officers say they believe Madeleine McCann is still alive

July 4, 2013 – Two years into a review of the case, Scotland Yard launched its own investigation into Madeleine’s disappearance

October 24, 2013– Portuguese police reopen their case after new lines of inquiry are found

November 27, 2013 – Met Police Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe called for British and Portuguese police to work together

October 28, 2015 – Scotland Yard reduces the number of officers working on Madeleine’s disappearance

March 11, 2017  – The Home Office grants Operation Grange an extra £85,000 to continue from April until September

September 28, 2017 –  British police are granted £154,000 to keep the probe going until March 2018

November 2017 – Cops moved the search to Bulgaria

May 2018 – Another round of funding, thought to be in the region of £150,000 is granted

September 2018 – An extra six months of funding is requested from the Home Office

November 2018 – More funding, thought to be in the region of £150,000 is granted

November 2018 – UK police re-examine a theory Madeleine left the apartment to look for her parents

June 2019 – Another round of funding, believed to be £300,000 of government cash is granted

June 2019 – Portuguese police are probing a “new clue and suspect” after talks with British officers

June 2020 – New prime suspect revealed as a German paedo Christian Brueckner

April 2022 – Brueckner formally made an “arguido”

May 2023 – Police search remote Algarve reservoir Brueckner called his “little paradise”

The German drifter also remorselessly ridiculed cops saying: “I hope (they) will find some answers to (their) questions soon.”

Brueckner has been moved from Oldenburg prison in northern Germany to Schnedebruch near Hannover, according to MailOnline.

He said: “My situation didn’t change at all. I just moved prison. I’m still totally isolated. Since (sic) more than two years now.

“I’m still not allowed to talk with anybody else then to my lawyers and to my punishers (guards).”

The convicted sex offender arrived early this morning

RTEBrueckner’s alleged victims include Irish mum Hazel Behan[/caption]

APBrueckner is in jail serving a seven-year sentence for rape[/caption]

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