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German prosecutors investigating the Madeleine McCann case last night claimed to have found new evidence relating to the little girl’s disappearance in a camper van belonging to prime suspect Christian Brueckner.
During an hour-long interview with Portuguese TV journalist Sandra Felgueiras to mark the 15th anniversary of the three-year-old’s disappearance, prosecutor Hans Christian Wolters claimed he is ‘adamant’ that he has sufficient facts and evidence to link Brueckner to the McCann case.
"We have found new facts and new evidence," Wolters said.
"It's not forensic evidence but evidence and because of our evidence, we are sure he is the murderer of Madeleine McCann. We are sure he killed Madeleine."
Although details of the investigation remain classified, there is heavy speculation that tell-tale fibres from Maddie’s pink pyjamas were found in the back of a camper van belonging to Brueckner at the time.
The 3-year-old was wearing patterned pink Winnie the Pooh Eeyore pyjamas when she was abducted from her parent’s hotel room in Praia da Luz, Portugal. No trace of them has ever been found.
Wolters was asked by Felgueiras during the interview whether it was 'true that you have found something of Madeleine McCann in Christian Brueckner's van', to which Wolters replied: "I'm not going to comment on the details of the investigation."
But when pressed by the interviewer: "But you can't deny it?", Wolters responded: "I don't want to deny it”, before clarifying his statement by adding 'because the suspect has not yet been informed'.
Under German law, details of a police investigation cannot be made public until a suspect and their legal team are given full details of the case against them.
Brueckner, 45, has always denied any involvement in Maddie's abduction, this week claiming that he was miles away from the crime scene on the night of her disappearance, and was instead having sex in his van with a woman willing to back his alibi, The Sun reported.
Any forensic or DNA traces linking Brueckner to Maddie would speed up police efforts to charge him with her abduction and murder.
Wolters refused to give any details when asked whether he was certain Brueckner took Maddie from her parents' holiday apartment.
Wolters also confirmed he has no relationship with the McCanns and hasn't spoken to them during the investigation.
"There is no relationship between the McCanns and me. I have never spoken with them and I have never written to them. There is no relationship."
Brueckner is currently serving seven years for the rape of a 72-year-old woman in Praia da Luz in 2005, two years before Maddie’s disappearance.
He is also being investigated over three additional further rapes as well as a sexual assault in Praia da Luz on a 10-year-old German girl a month before Madeleine disappeared, and could face up to a further 10 years in jail.
The news comes the same day Maddie's parents, Kate and Gerry McCann, attended a vigil for their daughter on the 15th anniversary of her disappearance.
In a post to mark the vigil, Kate and Gerry said on 3 May: "This year we mark 15 years since we last saw Madeleine. It feels no harder than any other but no easier either. It's a very long time.
"We are grateful for the ongoing work and commitment of the UK, Portuguese and German authorities as it is this combined police effort which will yield results and bring those answers."
Their post was accompanied by a phrase from author AA Milne, with a picture of Winnie the Pooh and Piglet, saying: "But the most important thing is, even if we're apart, I'll always be with you.
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