Christian B: Madeleine McCann suspect's unrelated sex offending charges dropped

FILE - This image distributed on June 8, 2020, by Carabinieri (Italian paramilitary police), shows a man identified as Christian Brueckner, at the time of his arrest in 2018, under an international warrant for drug trafficking and on charges of other crimes. German prosecutors on Tuesday Oct. 11, 2022 charged a 45-year-old German man, who is also a suspect in the disappearance of British toddler Madeleine McCann, with several sexual offenses he is alleged to have committed in Portugal between 2000 and 2017. (Carabinieri via AP, File)
Christian B is currently in prison for raping an American woman in Portugal in 2005. Credit: AP

A German court has decided not to hear a sex offences cases against the man suspected of abducting Madeleine McCann.

The Braunschweig state court argued it is not responsible for the charges against Christian B as it is in a different region to where he last lived in Germany.

Christian B, who is in his mid-40s, hasn't been charged in the McCann case, in which he is under investigation on suspicion of murdering the missing British toddler.

He spent many years in Portugal, including in the resort of Praia da Luz around the time of Madeleine’s disappearance there, aged three, in 2007. He has denied any involvement in her disappearance.

In October, prosecutors in the northern city of Braunschweig charged the German suspect in several separate cases involving sexual offences against other people.

Christian B allegedly committed these between 2000 and 2017 in Portugal, where he'd lived for many years, including in the resort of Praia da Luz around the time of Madeleine’s disappearance in 2007.

Madeleine McCann Credit: Family handout

The suspect, who is currently serving a seven-year sentence in Germany for raping a 72-year-old American woman at her home in the resort, has denied any involvement in the McCann case.

In the German legal system, a court must decide after it receives an indictment from prosecutors whether to take a case to trial. The Braunschweig state court said its supposed responsibility for the case being in the area had been based on his last residence before going abroad and then to prison.

However, it said this no longer applies, as the suspect produced evidence of a later residence in the neighbouring state of Saxony-Anhalt.

It was there that he was registered as the owner of a property he kept after going abroad, judges learnt.

The court said that, as a result of its decision, it has lifted a new arrest warrant it issued for the suspect in November, adding that this has no influence on the suspect's current jail sentence.

It said that its decision can be appealed to a higher court in Braunschweig, a course of action that, after careful consideration, prosecutors may end up taking.

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