The main suspect in the 2007 disappearance of three-year-old Madeleine McCann in Portugal, Christian Brückner, is expected to stay mostly silent during his upcoming trial in Germany for unrelated sexual offences, according to his lawyer.
Brückner faces charges for five offences allegedly committed between 2000 and 2017 in Portugal, and the trial is set to begin on 16 February.
He is currently serving a jail sentence for rape but has not been charged in connection with Madeleine McCann’s disappearance.
Brückner’s lawyer, Friedrich Fülscher, stated via email to the BBC that he does not anticipate his client making significant statements during the trial in Braunschweig, Lower Saxony, which may span several months.
Fülscher clarified that remaining silent does not imply guilt but is a procedural choice.
The defendant is obligated to confirm basic information such as his name and date of birth, although it is unclear if he will make any substantive submissions.
Brückner was named a suspect by Portuguese prosecutors in 2022 and by German prosecutors in 2020.
The charges against Brückner include rape and sexual abuse of children in Portugal between 2000 and 2017. Initially, jurisdiction questions arose, but a subsequent ruling overturned the issue.
Brückner is currently serving a seven-year sentence for a 2005 rape in Portugal, and the upcoming trial will determine whether he continues to be incarcerated after completing this sentence.