McCann suspect won’t face trial in other cases before 2023

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FILE – This image distributed on June 8, 2020, by Carabinieri (Italian paramilitary police), shows a man identified as Christian Brueckner, at the time of his arrest in 2018, under an international warrant for drug trafficking and on charges of other crimes. German prosecutors on Tuesday Oct. 11, 2022 charged a 45-year-old German man, who is also a suspect in the disappearance of British toddler Madeleine McCann, with several sexual offenses he is alleged to have committed in Portugal between 2000 and 2017. (Carabinieri via AP, File)

BERLIN (AP) — A German man who is also suspected in the disappearance of British toddler Madeleine McCann won’t go on trial before next year on charges related to a string of other sexual offenses he is alleged to have committed, a court said Wednesday.

Prosecutors in the northern city of Braunschweig announced Tuesday they had charged the 45-year-old in several separate cases involving sexual offenses allegedly committed in Portugal between 2000 and 2017.

The suspect has not been charged in the McCann case, in which he remains under investigation on suspicion of murder. He spent many years in Portugal, including in the resort of Praia da Luz around the time of Madeleine’s disappearance there in 2007. He has denied any involvement in her disappearance.

The suspect, identified by media as Christian Brueckner, is currently serving a seven-year prison sentence for a rape he also committed in Portugal in 2005.

The Braunschweig state court said Wednesday that it has received the more than 100-page indictment.

The court will now have to decide whether to send the case to trial, a necessary step in the German legal process. Before it does so, the defense will have the opportunity to respond to the charges and raise possible objections to a trial.

The court said that, due to its schedule with other cases, the opening of any trial shouldn’t be expected this year.

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