Madeleine McCann suspect Christian Brueckner has arrived in court as prosecutors attempt to start his sex crimes trial after last week’s chaotic start.
Convicted rapist Brueckner, 47, is accused of three rapes and two sexual assaults said to have taken place on Portugal’s Algarve coast in the period between 2000 and 2017.
The attacks took place just minutes from where three-year-old Madeleine disappeared from the holiday apartment in Praia da Luz in May 2007, where she was staying with her parents Kate and Gerry and her siblings.
She has not been seen since, and in June 2020, German police sensationally named Brueckner as the man responsible for her “kidnapping and murder,” but he has yet to be charged with anything related to her disappearance.
Brueckner arrived in a van with a police escort and was dragged inside for the start of the hearing and escorted to the courtroom flanked by guards and handcuffed.
Wearing the same jacket as last week, white shirt and khaki pants, Brueckner (left) shook hands with the entire legal team and winked at his legal team.
Madeleine McCann (pictured) disappeared on May 3 during a family vacation in Praia da Luz, Portugal.
Brueckner (left) did not look toward the press or the public gallery as the hearing began seven minutes after its scheduled 9 a.m. start.
Wearing the same jacket as last week, a white shirt and khaki pants, he shook hands with the entire legal team and winked at his legal team.
With a file in hand, he did not look at the press or the public gallery when the hearing began seven minutes after the scheduled time of 9 in the morning.
Last week’s proceedings lasted less than ten minutes after Brueckner’s lawyer filed an urgent challenge calling for the dismissal of one of the lay judges for threatening to kill former Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro on social media.
Earlier this month, Brueckner told MailOnline that the case against him was “ridiculous” and added sarcastically: “I hope they find some answers to (their) questions soon.”
Fulscher has said his client denies any involvement in Madeleine’s disappearance as well as the current charges and said Brueckner is “stressed” by the media presence and in “poor physical health.”
The trial has no connection with Madeleine’s disappearance and the press and public who wanted to enter the court building in Braunschweig, near Hannover, had to pass through two airport-style metal detectors before reaching the courtroom of the first floor.
In an attempt to avoid the chaos of last week, in which the trial was delayed 40 minutes, the court opened early, although there appeared to be a smaller crowd than last week waiting to get in.
When asked by MailOnline if there were any more surprises, Mr Fulscher, who is a benign man paid with German state funds, said cryptically: “Maybe…”
Last week, in a clear delaying tactic, he told the court that the child therapist should not be allowed to sit on the panel as one of the four lay judges.
Brueckner (pictured) arrived in a van with a police escort and was dragged inside for the start of the hearing and escorted to the courtroom flanked by guards and handcuffed.
Madeleine McCann suspect Christian Brueckner (pictured) has arrived in court as prosecutors attempt to launch his sex crimes trial following last week’s chaotic start.
Fulscher highlighted how in 2019 he had posted on X, formerly Twitter, that former Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro should be “assassinated.”
The tweets, which were seen by the Daily Mail before being removed and read in court, read: “Kill the devil Jair Bolsonaro.” Kill the bastard Bolosonaro. He is the devil. He destroys everything. Lets kill him. Now!!!’
He also posted attacks against hunter Walter James Palmer, who shot and killed Cecil the Lion, as well as Donald Trump and his family.
Fulscher also noted how she worked as a child therapist and, given that the charges Brueckner faces involve minors, suggested she would “probably be quite biased,” adding that they “lacked distance and judgment.”
After speaking for about ten minutes, Judge Uta Engemann said she would adjourn to consider the request and 40 minutes later accepted it again and postponed the trial until today.
Prosecutor Ute Lindemann agreed with her, although she added that the fact that she had children was not relevant, but added: ‘The request is justified. We do not tolerate statements outside the legal system or calls for murder.’
Authorities hope that by getting a conviction on the charges, he will come clean and reveal what happened to Madeleine.
If convicted, he could spend the rest of his life in prison, but sources close to him say he will remain silent and not offer testimony.
He insists that the DNA and electronic evidence against him is incorrect and that witnesses are lying about him.
Prosecutors also face a dilemma as two of the rape victims are not identified but the third victim is known: Irish tourist guide Hazel Behan, who says she was attacked in 2004 while working in the Algarve.
She says she was threatened with a knife, tied up and subjected to an hour-long attack by a man she later recognized as Brueckner after German police released his photograph in 2020.
She was a 20-year-old representative at the time and now married and a mother of three will be among several key witnesses who will testify at the trial which runs until June.
Earlier this month, Brueckner (pictured during a court appearance on February 16) told MailOnline that the case against him was “ridiculous” and added sarcastically: “I hope (they) find some answers soon. (your questions”.
Prosecutors also face a dilemma, as two of the rape victims are unidentified, but the third victim is known: Irish tour guide Hazel Behan (pictured), who says she was attacked in 2004 while working in the Algarve.
Convicted rapist Brueckner (pictured), 47, is accused of three rapes and two sexual assaults that allegedly took place on Portugal’s Algarve coast in the period between 2000 and 2017.
The other two rapes involve an unidentified woman between 70 and 80 years old and an unknown girl around 14 years old.
The fourth charge is an indecent assault against a 10-year-old girl on a beach near where Madeleine disappeared a month later and the last is also an indecent assault against another child in the Algarve at a playground in 2017.
Earlier this year, Bruecker was transferred from Oldenburg prison in northern Germany to Schnedebruch, near Hanover, for the duration of the trial.
He is currently serving a seven-year sentence for raping an elderly American woman in the Algarve in 2005 and was jailed in 2019 following evidence from two former friends who will also testify at his retrial.
He was also transferred after complaining of mistreatment by guards in Oldenburg, where he was in a secure, isolated unit.
Bruecker told MailOnline: ‘My situation didn’t change at all. I just moved out of prison. I remain totally isolated. Since (sic) more than two years.
“I’m still not allowed to talk to anyone except my lawyer and my punishers (guards).”