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Madeleine suspects that Christian Brueckner will learn on Thursday whether he will be released from prison

Madeleine McCann suspects Christian Brueckner will find out on Thursday whether he will be released from prison.

The serial sex offender is currently in prison in Germany and has been convicted of drug offenses – and should start a seven-year prison sentence for the rape of an elderly American woman in Portugal in 2005.

However, his lawyers have appealed the conviction for a legal technical nature and the European Court of Justice is ready to deliver its verdict within two days.

It comes as the Portuguese police continue their search after 12 hours on the weekend looking at three wells near Praia da Luz in the hunt for her remains, with an expected 20 more in the coming days.

Police in Portugal have searched three wells (above) in the village of Budens near Praia da Luz in the Algarve in search of Madeleine McCann’s missing remains. A 15-strong team of detectives and firefighters watched them for 12 hours

Christian Brueckner, 43, (above) is the prime suspect in Madeleine McCann's disappearance 13 years ago at the Portuguese resort of Praia da Luz

Christian Brueckner, 43, (above) is the prime suspect in Madeleine McCann's disappearance 13 years ago at the Portuguese resort of Praia da Luz

Madeleine (above) disappeared while on vacation with her parents Kate and Gerry McCann in the Algarve on May 3, 2007, when she was three years old

Madeleine (above) disappeared while on vacation with her parents Kate and Gerry McCann in the Algarve on May 3, 2007, when she was three years old

Christian Brueckner, 43, (left) is the prime suspect in the disappearance of Madeleine McCann (right), who was three years old when she disappeared while on holiday with her family in Praia da Luz in 2007 in a kidnapping that occurred 13 years later was still not resolved.

Prime suspect Brueckner, a serial sex assailant currently in prison for drug offenses, lived for many years in this dilapidated hillside farm in Praia da Luz after moving to the area in the mid-1990s when extradited

Prime suspect Brueckner, a serial sex assailant currently in prison for drug offenses, lived for many years in this dilapidated hillside farm in Praia da Luz after moving to the area in the mid-1990s when extradited

Prime suspect Brueckner, a serial sex assailant currently in prison for drug offenses, lived for many years in this dilapidated hillside farm in Praia da Luz after moving to the area in the mid-1990s when extradited

Bruckner also owned this Volkswagen camper (pictured on Barranco Beach in an undated handout) that he often slept alongside other campers in a hippie hangout a few miles up the coast at Boca do Rio beach

Bruckner also owned this Volkswagen camper (pictured on Barranco Beach in an undated handout) that he often slept alongside other campers in a hippie hangout a few miles up the coast at Boca do Rio beach

Bruckner also owned this Volkswagen camper (pictured on Barranco Beach in an undated handout) that he often slept alongside other campers in a hippie hangout a few miles up the coast at Boca do Rio beach

A 15-strong team of Portuguese detectives, firefighters and divers spent 12 hours earlier this week searching three deep, secluded wells amid fears Brueckner had dumped her in one.

Brueckner’s appeal is about whether his extradition from Portugal in 2017.

Portugal extradited him to the German criminal justice system in June of that year, so that he could serve a 15-month sentence for possession of child pornography.

Brueckner was subsequently released from prison by mistake in August 2018 before delivering a sentence for a previous conviction for drug trafficking.

A 15-strong team of police officers and firefighters spent 12 hours on the weekend searching this well (pictured) plus two more nearby in the village of Budens, six miles west of the Praia da Luz holiday resort, hunting for the remains of Madeleine

A 15-strong team of police officers and firefighters spent 12 hours on weekend searching this well (pictured) plus two more nearby in the village of Budens, six miles west of the Praia da Luz resort town, hunting for the remains of Madeleine

A 15-strong team of police officers and firefighters spent 12 hours on weekend searching this well (pictured) plus two more nearby in the village of Budens, six miles west of the Praia da Luz resort town, hunting for the remains of Madeleine

He fled the country, but was arrested in September 2018 in Milan, Italy, and extradited to Germany to serve that sentence.

But now Brueckner’s lawyers claim that the European arrest warrant that led to his return to Germany only covers charges of drug offenses and not rape.

If successful, the rape conviction is overturned and the Madeleine suspect is released.

Most legal experts in Germany do not believe that Brueckner will be released while the investigation into Madeleine’s disappearance is gaining momentum.

However, European judges may abide by the letter of the law and consider the conviction for rape unsafe.

A lawyer told Radio Bavaria: “It is a legal technical issue and it is unclear on which side the European Court of Justice will be placed.”

Meanwhile, there is confusion over the new search in Portugal after the German prosecutor who led the probe to Brueckner yesterday revealed he had no idea why the Algarve police were searching the wells.

Hans Christian Wolters said the hunt at three locations near Praia da Luz was not caused by a tip from his team.

And his officers have no idea what led them to the scene.

He said, “The action must be based on Portuguese investigations. We have not initiated it, nor have we heard anything from the Portuguese side about it. ‘

The prosecution declined to comment on the progress of the investigation.

He simply said, “To avoid unnecessary speculation, we will not report interim results.”

The McCann family rented this vacation apartment in the Mark Warner Ocean Club when Madeleine was kidnapped. Her parents Kate and Gerry ate and drank with friends in a tapas bar behind the complex's pool

The McCann family rented this vacation apartment in the Mark Warner Ocean Club when Madeleine was kidnapped. Her parents Kate and Gerry ate and drank with friends in a tapas bar behind the complex's pool

The McCann family rented this vacation apartment in the Mark Warner Ocean Club when Madeleine was kidnapped. Her parents Kate and Gerry ate and drank with friends in a tapas bar behind the complex’s pool

Gerry McCann consoles devastated wife Kate after their daughter Madeleine disappeared shortly before her fourth birthday

Gerry McCann consoles devastated wife Kate after their daughter Madeleine disappeared shortly before her fourth birthday

Gerry McCann consoles devastated wife Kate after their daughter Madeleine disappeared shortly before her fourth birthday

The three wells examined are located on a country road less than a mile from a secluded beach, Praia da Boca do Rio, where Brueckner lived in a motor home at the time of the young person’s disappearance.

His van was also photographed on another beach, Praia do Barranco, nearby.

The German drifter also spent time on a farm, known as the Yellow House, on the edge of Praia da Luz, where Madeleine was on vacation with her family.

Portuguese media claim that as many as 20 wells and underground shafts will be investigated in the coming days.

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