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World What we know about 'Christian B', the new suspect in the Madeleine McCann case

23:15  06 june  2020
23:15  06 june  2020 Source:   abc.net.au

Is this the final twist of the mystery I've investigated for 13 years? For the sake of Madeleine McCann's parents, we must hope that the truth is about to emerge at long last, writes DAVID JONES

  Is this the final twist of the mystery I've investigated for 13 years? For the sake of Madeleine McCann's parents, we must hope that the truth is about to emerge at long last, writes DAVID JONES DAVID JONES: During my 40 years as a reporter the question that most people ask me is invariably the same: 'What really happened to Madeleine McCann?'For 13 of those years I have striven vainly, like many others — Portuguese and British policemen, privately hired detectives, investigative journalists — to provide the answer.

Madeleine McCann. © AP Madeleine McCann.

German police have identified a new key suspect in the investigation into the disappearance of British girl Madeleine McCann from a hotel in Portugal in 2007.

Madeleine was three years old at the time of her disappearance, and while British police maintain her case is a missing persons investigation, German authorities say they are now treating it as a murder.

German authorities have not released the suspect's name, but German and British media have reported his identity, as well as some details from his past.

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Here's what we know:

He has been identified as Christian B

Due to reporting rules, German media have identified the suspect only as Christian B, a 43-year-old German national.

He is currently in jail for sexual assault

Police say Christian B has been convicted a number of times for sexually abusing children.

According to The Guardian UK, he was a minor when he was convicted of child sexual abuse in 1994.

He reportedly fled to Portugal a year later, at the age of 18, to avoid his two-year sentence, but returned to Germany in 1999 to serve out his sentence.

He was convicted of sexually abusing a child in Germany again in 2017 and was sentenced to 15 months in prison.

Then in 2019, he was sentenced to another seven years in prison for a rape of a 72-year-old American woman in Praia da Luz in 2005.

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Portuguese authorities investigated the assault at the time, but ultimately dropped the case due to lack of evidence.

According to local German newspaper Braunschweiger Zeitung, the evidence to convict Christian B of the rape came from two burglars.

The two reportedly broke into his German apartment and took his video camera, on which he had recorded the rape of the American woman in her Portuguese home.

The thieves handed the footage to the authorities.

He lived in Portugal at the time Madeleine disappeared

German authorities said Christian B lived "more or less permanently" in Portugal's Algarve between 1997 and 2007, and for several of those years he lived in a house between Lagos and Praia da Luz, where Madeleine disappeared.

Praia da Luz is also where his American victim lived.

Christian B held a series of jobs, including at a restaurant, but authorities said there was evidence to suggest he also earned money by drug trafficking and burgling hotels and holiday flats.

Maddie affair: An "encouraging" track for the Portuguese lawyer for the McCanns

 Maddie affair: An © AFP The prison in Kiel (Germany), where the new suspect of the disappearance of Maddie McCann is imprisoned. INVESTIGATION - Thirteen years after the disappearance of Maddie in Portugal, a suspect was identified by the German police The identification of a new suspect in the case of the disappearance of the little British Madeleine McCann there is thirteen at Portugal , is "encouraging," said Portuguese lawyer McCann on Friday.

Pictures: The disappearance of Madeleine McCann: a case seemingly unsolvable (Showbizz)

a close up of a girl: On May 3, 2007, the little girl Madeleine McCann disappeared from the hotel room where she was spending the summer with her family. She was about to turn four years. It happened in the south of Portugal and no trace of the girl has ever been found since that fateful day. But now the fruitless search has been revived, as there seems to be a new lead in the case.

Police are zeroing in on him as a main suspect

Those close to the McCann family believe the fact police are treating Christian B as a main suspect is important.

Clarence Mitchell, a long-time spokesman for Kate and Gerry McCann, told the ABC that in the 13 years of the investigation, he couldn't recall any police force "focusing so specifically on one individual with such detailed requests for such information from the public".

"It's certainly appears to be highly significant," he said.

Here's what investigators are trying to find out

Investigators are trying to confirm where Christian B was when Madeleine disappeared on May 3, 2007, between 9:10pm and 10:00pm.

They are also looking for anyone with information on two vehicles: a dark-coloured Jaguar XJR 6, and a white and yellow VW T3 Westfalia with a Portuguese registration.

Authorities seem to suspect there is someone out there with information about whether these vehicles were used to kidnap Madeleine.

Investigators are offering a 10,000-euro reward for information that could help the investigation.

Landtag discusses judicial behavior against suspects .
The Landtag Schleswig-Holstein will deal with the German suspect this Wednesday in the case of Madeleine "Maddie" McCann, who has been missing for over 13 years. © Photo: Carsten Rehder / dpa The suspect in the “Maddie” case is currently serving a prison term in the Kiel prison.

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