Madeleine McCann suspect to face trial on separate sex assault charges

The main suspect in the 2007 disappearance of British toddler Madeleine McCann goes on trial in Germany on Friday on separate charges relating to child sexual abuse crimes in Portugal.

Christian Brueckner, who is already behind bars in Germany for raping a woman in the part of Portugal's Algarve region where McCann went missing, faces three charges of aggravated rape and two of sexual abuse of children committed between 2000 and 2017.

Among the charges to which he will answer in the courtroom in Brunswick in northern Germany, are the rape of a woman in her 70s in her home in the Algarve, the sexual abuse of a girl aged at least 14, and the 2004 rape, at knifepoint in her home, of a young woman - an act he is accused of recording on video.

He has not yet been required to enter a plea and his legal team have made no public comment about the charges.

Portuguese prosecutors in the disappearance of the British child identified as an official suspect a person whose details corresponded to that of Brueckner two years ago.

German police said in June 2020 that she was presumed dead and that Brueckner was likely responsible for it.

Brueckner has denied being involved in the disappearance and has not been charged with any crime related to it.

McCann disappeared from her bedroom on May 3, 2007, during a family holiday while her parents were dining with friends nearby in the resort of Praia da Luz.