Madeleine McCann suspect’s pal believes he took toddler from Portugal apartment

Former friends of Madeleine McCann murder suspect Christian Brueckner say they’re sure he’s guilty, but fear he will never be convicted of the crime.

One former friend, who asked not to be named, expressed their shock that police have yet to formally charge Brueckner.

"I can’t believe it’s been a year and nothing seems to have happened," they told The Mirror.

"For those of us who were close to him here in Portugal, our lives were torn apart when he was named as a suspect.

"The more we remembered about him and read about his past, the more we believed he was the man responsible for taking Madeleine."

"It’s crazy the German cops haven’t been to see Chris in prison or interviewed him," the source added.

"We’re scared he’ll never face justice and will have to be freed and could then come back here.

"I think if the Germans have evidence Madeleine is dead, they need to come out and say what it is."

Police investigating Madeleine’s disappearance said last month that they had "new evidence" against Brueckner, but German prosecutor Hans Christian Wolters declined to reveal exactly what that evidence was.

Brueckner has consistently denied any involvement in the British tot's disappearance.

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Peter Kirkham, a former Scotland Yard detective chief inspector, told The Mirror that he suspects the investigation into the German is "rapidly drying up".

He added: "A year ago we heard Brueckner had become a person of great interest to the McCann investigation.

"But since then, nothing. To the public, this seems odd and it seems the police are dragging their feet. Identifying and interviewing a suspect is a very long way from having enough to charge, let alone convict, them.

"This investigation has run longer than most, I suspect in part because no politician wants to be associated with saying 'stop'," he added.

"But I think the time has come for someone to do so. A senior officer should gather together those with knowledge of the case and decide whether to continue.

"Having seemingly got nowhere in a year, I suspect this line of inquiry is rapidly drying up."

Brueckner, 44, cannot be named as a suspect in German media reports under German law, but he is widely understood to be the main suspect "Christian B".

He is currently serving a prison term in Germany for an unrelated offence, but is coming to the end of his sentence.

The public prosecutor’s office in the city of Braunschweig maintains that it has "strong evidence" Brueckner is guilty, but has yet to issue formal charges.

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