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Madeleine McCann suspect in court on unrelated charges – as lawyers ask for judge to be thrown out

The prime suspect in the Madeleine McCann case has appeared in a German court charged with unrelated sexual offences.

Christian B – whose surname cannot be published due to German privacy laws – is on trial on two counts of rape and three of sexual abuse.

A pensioner, an Irish holiday rep, and girls aged 10 and 11 are among the alleged victims, but none of the charges relate to Madeleine McCann.

The offences are said to have taken place in Portugal between 2000 and 2017.

Christian B is already in prison for the 2005 rape of a 72-year-old in Praia da Luz, the same town where Madeleine disappeared.

The defendant, 47, was handcuffed and there was a long queue to enter the court in Braunschweig, northern Germany

He has not been charged in the McCann case and denies involvement, but has been under investigation for the last few years.

Christian B (middle) with his lawyers. Pic: Reuters
Image: Christian B (middle) with his lawyers. Pic: Reuters

Madeleine was three when she went missing on holiday in Portugal in May 2007.

In May last year, German and Portuguese police searched a nearby reservoir that Christian B used to call his “paradise”.

Madeleine McCann vanished in Praia da Luz, Portugal in May 2007
Image: Madeleine McCann disappeared in May 2007

During Friday’s court hearing, Christian B’s lawyer objected to one of the two lay judges.

They claimed her posts on X included calls for the death of former Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro – with one allegedly saying: “Kill the bastard.”

Christian B’s lawyers said her judgement was impaired and she wouldn’t be able to abide by the rule of law and human rights.

The hearing was adjourned until 23 February while the court considers whether to replace the judge.

“Such a lay judge has no business participating in a fair criminal trial,” defence lawyer Friedrich Fuelscher told reporters.

Lawyers also argued her work as a child psychologist meant she could be biased in a case involving children, according to German media.

The trial is expected to last four months.

Pic: AP
Image: Pic: AP
Police officers stand guard as people queue at the entrance of the court where Christian B is due to appear.
Pic: Reuters
Image: Police, media and the public gathered outside the court. Pic: Reuters

Christian B faces the following allegations:

  • Raping and beating a 70 to 80-year-old woman at her holiday flat in Portugal at an unspecified time between December 2000 and April 2006
  • Beating and sexually assaulting a girl aged at least 14 sometime between December 2000 and April 2006 at his house in Praia da Luz, Portugal
  • Raping a 20-year-old woman from Ireland and performing a sex act on her at a flat in Praia da Rocha in Portugal on 16 June 2004
  • Exposing himself to a 10-year-old German girl at a beach in Salema in the district of Faro in Portugal on 7 April 2007
  • Exposing himself to an 11-year-old Portuguese girl at a playground in Bartolomeu de Messines in Portugal on 11 June 2017

Sky News Source