‘Missed opportunity’ in Maddie case as Met requested prime suspect interview in 2013

Madeleine McCann: Cressida Dick discusses case in 2021

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Madeleine went missing when she was three years old, while her family were on holiday in the Algarve in 2007. Convicted rapist and child sexual abuser Christian B was identified as the prime suspect in Madeleine’s disappearance by investigators in Braunschweig in June 2020.

They believe he is responsible for the killing of Maddie. Christian B has always denied all allegations in relation to the disappearance of Madeleine McCann.

It has already been reported that Christian B was first interviewed over the disappearance of Madeleine in November 2013.

In a four-part documentary by German TV channel Sat.1, released on Monday, spokesperson for the public prosecutor’s office in Braunschweig, Hans Christian Wolters, claimed at the time the Met Police asked them to investigate Christian B as a potential suspect.

Speaking in the programme, he claimed: “Because this was about a German, the British police asked the German police to look into this person in administrative cooperation without a concrete investigation, just to check out what kind of person he is, does he even exist, what are the personal circumstances – just to look at it broadly.”

Asked to expand on the interview in 2013, Mr Wolters said: “He was asked a few questions just to see if this person could say anything about the disappearance of the British girl in 2007.

“After he gave his first answers the matter was basically resolved. There was no reason to think about whether Christian B was actually involved in this case or knew about it.”

The documentary claimed this was a missed opportunity, as it warned Christian B that he was a suspect and, if it was him who took Madeleine, would have allowed him to destroy evidence linking him to the crime.

In 2020, German newspaper Der Spiegel reported that Christian B had been invited in for questioning via a letter which stated the matter was in reference to Madeleine McCann.

Officers told the paper that this had been a blunder, as such a high-profile case would have required more evidence to be gathered before approaching a potential suspect.

One investigator claimed: “This should not have happened and in no way complies with common procedure in such a delicate case.”

Christian B was believed by prosecutors to be living in the Algarve between 1995 and 2007.

The day after Madeleine disappeared, the suspect transferred his Jaguar car to someone else’s name.

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Police also uncovered phone records that appeared to place him in the Praia da Luz area on the evening of Madeleine’s disappearance.

The Sat.1 documentary also claimed it had evidence that Christian B “repeatedly worked” at the Ocean Club resort where the McCanns stayed, and would have been “very familiar” with the area.

In recent weeks, revelations about Christian B’s appetite for children have included claims that he had stashes of child pornography and that he “he liked the bodies of girls before they reached puberty”.

However, Christian B rebutted claims that he was responsible for the kidnap of Madeleine in letters written from his German prison cell.

In excerpts shown on the Sat.1 documentary, he claimed that his drug dealing while he was in the Algarve precluded him from abduction.

He said: “I was never caught by the police because I followed a few key principles.

“Where possible, only driving during the day so that my battered ‘hippy bus’ didn’t attract attention, only driving on the roads I needed to and, most importantly never provoking the police.

“So that means not committing any crimes, certainly not abducting anyone.”

“Having said that, this was just as absurd to me at the time as starting a nuclear war or slaughtering a chicken.”

The public prosecutor’s office in Braunschweig was contacted for comment. The Metropolitan Police declined to comment.

Additional reporting by Monika Pallenberg

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