Portugal: Christian B. now “formal suspect” in the Maddie case

Christian B. now “formal suspect” in the Maddie case

A picture of Madeleine McCann is attached to the window of a restaurant in Praia Da Luz (archive image). Photo: Armando Franca/AP/dpa

© dpa-infocom GmbH

In May 2007, then three-year-old Madeleine McCann disappeared from an apartment complex in Portugal. Since then there has been no trace of her. Now, for the first time in 15 years, a suspect has been named in the Maddie case.

In the case of Madeleine McCann, who disappeared in 2007, the Portuguese public prosecutor declared the German Christian B. a “formal suspect”.

The public prosecutor’s office in the Portuguese region of Faro did not share the name in a statement published on Thursday evening – but it emphasized that German authorities had acted on the basis of an international request for legal assistance from the Portuguese public prosecutor’s office. According to information from the German Press Agency, it is the imprisoned 45-year-old who is suspected of murder in the case.

Christian B. is currently serving a several-year prison sentence in Oldenburg, Lower Saxony, for raping a woman in 2005 at her house near Praia da Luz. Portuguese and British media had previously reported that it was the 45-year-old German.

In the headlines worldwide

The then three-year-old British girl disappeared from an apartment complex in Praia da Luz, Portugal, on May 3, 2007. The case made headlines around the world.

In June 2020, the Federal Criminal Police Office and the Braunschweig public prosecutor announced that the imprisoned Christian B. was suspected of murder in the case. The Oldenburg public prosecutor’s office confirmed on Friday in general that there was a recent request for legal assistance from Portugal, which was granted. However, the spokesman did not give any details about the suspect. The procedure will be conducted in Portugal, it said.

The formal classification of a person as a suspect does not constitute an indictment, but is a prerequisite for it. Because the measure interrupts, among other things, the statute of limitations, which occurs after 15 years under Portuguese law for murder. Since the girl disappeared from the apartment complex in Praia da Luz on May 3, 2007, the statute of limitations would have expired in a few days.


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