Madeleine McCann disappearance: German suspect charged with five unrelated sexual offences

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By Euronews
A picture of missing British girl Madeleine McCann, who disapeared from the Praia da Luz beach resort in the Algarve.
A picture of missing British girl Madeleine McCann, who disapeared from the Praia da Luz beach resort in the Algarve.   -  Copyright  AP Photo/Steven Governo, File

The German suspect in the disappearance of Madeleine McCann was accused of five unrelated sexual offences, the public prosecutor's office in Braunschweig announced on Tuesday.

"The accused is charged with three acts of serious rape and two acts of sexual abuse of children," the prosecutor's spokesman Hans Christian Wolters said in the statement.

The 45-year-old, Christian B, allegedly committed the offences between December 2000 and June 2017 in Portugal.

He is currently serving a seven-year-long prison sentence over the 2005 rape of a woman in Portugal.

The latest 100-page-long indictment for the five sexual offences "is the result of several years of intensive and costly investigations in several European countries," the prosecutor's office said in a statement.

German investigators identified Christian B. as the main suspect in the Madeleine McCann disappearance case in 2020, saying they believed the missing girl was dead.

McCann disappeared without a trace from a beach resort in Praia da Luz, Portugal in 2007 at the age of three.

The British toddler's case sparked international interest. McCann's parents were initially declared suspects in 2007 but were formally cleared in 2008. The case was then closed and later reopened.

The German suspect has reportedly denied any involvement in the case; Euronews has reached out to his lawyer for comment.

The investigation into McCann's disappearance continues despite the current indictment, the Braunschweig public prosecutor's office said. The suspect's previous address before living in Portugal was in Braunschweig.