German police investigating the disappearance of Madeleine McCann have been warned they could ruin their investigation by relying on a “fuzzy” witness nicknamed Helge Bulls***ter, it has been claimed.
Christian Brueckner, 45, was named by prosecutors last year as the main suspect in the three-year-old’s disappearance and murder in 2007.
The police case centers largely on the testimony of her former friend Helge Busching, that Brueckner told him chillingly, as they discussed Madeleine’s disappearance, that “she doesn’t hadn’t shouted.
But Mr Busching is now “faltering” and is on the verge of withdrawing his evidence, according to sources close to the German investigation.
And sources claimed today that German officers had been warned of Mr Busching’s ‘fragility’, with one revealing he had even earned the nickname ‘Helge Bulls***ter’ among the Portuguese officers, according to the Sun.
Madeleine McCann disappeared from a holiday apartment in Praia da Luz, on Portugal’s Algarve coast, in May 2007.
Christian Brueckner was named by prosecutors last year as the main suspect in the disappearance and murder of the three-year-old.
The source said: “Helge B is someone the Portuguese officers have known for a long, long time.
But he was ruled out as a credible witness a long time ago.
“He was always seen as a Walter Mitty character who was always saying ‘bullshit,’ hence his nickname.
“They warned the Germans that he was a bit spooky, that he was ‘flaky’ and that he would say whatever you wanted to hear. But, for some reason, the German detectives latched onto him.
“They based almost their entire case on his testimony, despite being warned not to trust him. Now, as he seeks to step down, their credibility has been totally undermined by crumbs.
Mr Busching gave Brueckner’s name to British police in 2017, on the 10th anniversary of Madeleine’s disappearance.
Busching claims Brueckner told him at a Spanish kite festival in 2008 that he had been involved in Madeleine’s kidnapping at Praia da Luz a year earlier.
When asked in 2020 what he thought of Brueckner, Busching replied: “One word. Guilty.’
Busching, who now lives in Corsica, added: “He’s in the right place at the moment and I hope he stays there for a long time.”
After German prosecutors announced they were investigating Brueckner in June, the Metropolitan Police revealed they had received a tip about him in 2017.
“After the tenth anniversary, the Met received information about a German man who was in and around Praia da Luz,” Detective Chief Inspector Mark Cranwell said at the time.
But there are now fears that Mr Busching may not be a reliable witness, as it has emerged that Portuguese officers gave him the nickname “Helge Bulls***ter”.
A source told The Sun that Mr Busching is “wavering” and is close to withdrawing his testimony.
“He was paid a huge sum to repeat his statement in a German newspaper and now he is pulling the plug,” a German source said.
“It just shows you what type of people you’re dealing with – and their credibility as witnesses. »
Convicted rapist and pedophile Brueckner is currently serving a seven-year prison sentence in Germany for raping a 72-year-old woman in Praia da Luz, Portugal, in 2005.
A police search team walks on the banks of the Arade Dam, near Silves, Portugal, May 2023.
A map shows Brueckner’s movements around the Algarve at the time Madeleine disappeared while on a family vacation.
Madeleine was abducted just nine days before her fourth birthday while sleeping alone with her younger twin siblings.
Yesterday it was claimed Brueckner had written pleading letters to his former friends asking them to say what a “good guy” he was in court in a bid to clear his name.
Brueckner complained in a letter to a friend that prosecutors called him a “monster.”
Brueckner, whom prosecutors believe is responsible for Madeleine’s 2007 kidnapping and murder, begged two of his friends to support him in court if he were to be tried on separate charges of rape and sexual relations on children.
“I know two people who received Chris’s messages,” said Brueckner’s former friend, who is still in touch with those who knew Brueckner in the Algarve. Mirror.
“It really freaked them out. They hadn’t heard from him in years and then these letters suddenly arrived in the mail from Germany.
The source added: “He was asking them to speak in his defense, saying what a good guy he is. He said German police and prosecutors were mad at him, calling him a monster.
“It’s outrageous that Chris is asking for help because now we all know his past. Back when we hung out with him in the early 2000s, it was all a secret. We didn’t know he was pedophile. But now he has no chance of anyone defending him in court.
Brueckner is currently languishing in a German prison for the rape of a 72-year-old American tourist in Portugal, just 18 months before Madeleine’s kidnapping.
His trial revealed he planned the sexual assault after breaking into the victim’s house with a rope to tie her up. She was blindfolded and gagged before being raped and robbed.
Last year he was named as the main suspect in the disappearance and murder of Madeleine, who disappeared from her family’s holiday apartment in the Algarve resort of Praia da Luz in May 2007. just days before his fourth birthday. But he has still not been charged in connection with his kidnapping and he denies any involvement.
In June, Brueckner criticized the police investigation against him as unfounded in a handwritten letter, seen by MailOnline.
In this letter he attacked the informant Mr. Busching. The two were friends in Portugal in the early 2000s, but as Brueckner explains in his latest missive, he claims they fell out after a drug deal went wrong the year Madeleine disappeared. and they never spoke again.
Madeleine disappeared from a holiday apartment in Praia da Luz, on Portugal’s Algarve coast, in May 2007 – where Brueckner was living at the time – and has never been seen since.
In May, parents Kate and Gerry McCann gathered with friends and family in Rothley, Leicestershire, to poignantly mark the 16th anniversary of his disappearance.
They maintain a glimmer of hope that Madeleine is still alive.
She would now be 20 years old.