Prosecutors trying to nail the prime suspect in Madeleine McCann ’s disappearance are planning a mock trial to test their evidence.
They will stage it behind closed doors in a bid to strengthen their case against Christian Brueckner, 44. German investigators made the decision after meeting Portuguese police last week.
Brueckner was named last year as the prime suspect in the three-year-old’s 2007 disappearance from a holiday flat in Praia da Luz on the Algarve.
He is now in jail serving seven years for the rape of a 72-year-old woman in the same resort. A source said: “It will be a sort of trial run to see how strong their case is and see what more evidence might be needed to charge him. They are 100 per cent convinced but want to test arguments under cross-examination.”
It’s believed the trial “rehearsal” will take place at the investigators’ office, with lawyers split into prosecution and defence teams.
Brueckner, of Brunswick in central Germany, denies any involvement in Madeleine’s disappearance and claims police have not found a “shred of evidence”.
Madeleine, of Rothley, Leicestershire, vanished from an apartment in Praia da Luz while on holiday with mum and dad Kate and Gerry and her two-year-old twin siblings.
Did you know you can keep up to date with the latest news by signing up to our daily newsletter?
We send a morning and lunchtime newsletter covering the latest headlines every day.
We also send coronavirus updates at 5pm on weekdays, and a round up of the week's must-read stories on Sunday afternoons.
Signing up is simple, easy and free.
You can pop your email address into the sign up box above, hit Subscribe and we'll do the rest.
Alternatively, you can sign up and check out the rest of our newsletters here.
She was taken from her bed as her parents dined at a nearby poolside restaurant in the complex.
A Scotland Yard investigation to try to find Madeleine, who would now be 18, has cost more than £12million.
Brueckner, who is housed in a high-security prison in Oldenburg, near Bremen, has convictions for sexual assault against children and he is being investigated on suspicion of at least five other sex crimes.
He was living on the outskirts of Praia da Luz when Madeleine dis-appeared. Police first became aware of him as a suspect in 2017 but did not publicly name him until June 2020.