The prime suspect in the disappearance of Madeleine McCann has broken his silence, proclaiming his innocence and accusing German prosecutors of an "unbelievable scandal".
British and German authorities last June revealed 44-year-old convicted paedophile Christian Brueckner is the prime suspect in the case of McCann, who disappeared from an apartment in Praia da Luz, Portugal in May 2007.
While British police continue to treat the investigation as a missing persons one, German prosecutors say they believe the girl is dead. Hans Christian Wolters said in December that he was "very confident" charges would be brought against Brueckner and felt the public would come to the same conclusion "if it knew the evidence we had".
Until now, Brueckner - who is currently in a German prison for sex crimes - has remained silent.
But in a May letter obtained by German newspaper Bild, apparently written by Brueckner, the suspect says the prosecutors should resign for "persecuting an innocent person", according to an English translation in the Mirror.
"Charging an accused is one thing. Something completely different - namely, it is an unbelievable scandal - when a public prosecutor starts a public campaign for prejudice before a court case is opened," the letter reads.
Brueckner says the prosecutors are engaged in a "scandalous pre-denial campaign in the present against me as an innocent person" and are "not suitable for an office as a lawyer for the honest and trusting German people".
"You bring shame onto the judiciary."
The letter was accompanied by a sketched picture appearing to show two prosecutors ordering "filet forensics" at a restaurant, believed to be a reference to a comment by Wolters in June last year that there was no forensic evidence McCann is dead.
Brueckner was living in the area McCann went missing from at the time of her disappearance and has since been imprisoned for sexual contact with girls, drug crimes, and raping an elderly woman in Praia da Luz. He's also been linked to other missing children cases.
Police are yet to interrogate Brueckner in relation to the McCann case, wanting to wait until the end of the investigation before doing so.