A pedophile suspected of kidnapping and murdering Madeleine McCann’s could be transferred to a former Gestapo guillotine prison with maximum security prior to questioning.
Convicted pedophile and rapist Christian Brueckner, 43, is serving a 21-month sentence for an unrelated drug case in a prison in Kiel, northern Germany.
He will be transferred to a maximum security prison when that sentence ends in January and he is serving the remainder of a seven-year term for raping a 72-year-old American woman in Praia da Luz, Portugal.
Brueckner, who recently lost an attempt to reverse the rape conviction, could end up in the infamous Wolfenbuttel Category A prison, which the Nazis used to hang or behead Gestapo prisoners in gruesome executions.
About 700 prisoners were executed at the facility between 1937 and 1945 – one of the two most important Nazi execution sites in Northern Germany.
They included prisoners of war, civilians opposed to the Nazi regime, and deserters from the army.
A permanent monument now stands on the former execution site.
When transferred from Kiel, Brueckner will be moved to Wolfenbuttel or Celle prison, the Sun reported.
Both are maximum security prisons and are closer to Braunschweig (Brunswick), where prosecutors lead the German investigation into Brueckner.
It would make it easier for researchers to question him about Madeleine for the first time.
He is transferred to a prison in Lower Saxony because he has been convicted of rape there.
A source told the Sun: “He has not yet been questioned in connection with the Madeleine investigation as the evidence is still being collected and verified, but the idea is to wait until he is closer to the team.
“Driving 400 miles (640 kilometers) every week would waste a lot of time and resources and now that we know that he will be in prison until 2026, we know where he is and can reach him more easily.
“The feeling is that he won’t say anything even when we see him, but at least it will make it easier.”
The pedophile was previously held in Wolfenbüttel, about 35 miles southeast of Hanover, while on remand for the rape trial.
The modern Wolfenbuttel prison can accommodate about 400 inmates.
Brueckner attacked the American retiree in Praia da Luz, the same Algarve resort where Maddie disappeared about 18 months later.
The British girl, from Rothley, Leicestershire, disappeared from her family’s apartment in the Ocean Club complex days before her fourth birthday in May 2007.
Brueckner, then 30, was living near Praia da Luz at the time and traveling across the Algarve in a VW camper, researchers said.
German prosecutors allege he was on the phone outside the Ocean Club for 30 minutes around the time Madeleine went missing.
He reportedly bragged to friends that he was ‘making thousands’ from breaking into vacation homes and hotel rooms in the Algarve.
Brueckner, who has been convicted of sexually assaulting girls in Germany, has denied any involvement in Madeleine’s disappearance, his lawyer said.
Prosecutors in Germany have admitted they don’t have enough evidence to charge him in the McCann case.
They have previously said they suspect Brueckner of murdering Madeleine, whose body was never found despite a £ 12 million probe in several countries.
Earlier in November, Brueckner was told he would remain behind bars until 2026 after losing his bid to overturn the rape conviction.
The verdict came weeks before the German citizen could have been released.
German prosecutor Hans Christian Wolters, who is leading the McCann investigation, said Brueckner’s one year and seven months already spent in prison count towards the seven-year sentence.
“Therefore, he should remain in custody until the spring of 2026,” he told PA.
“We are pleased that the verdict is being upheld as it shows that Brunswick’s judiciary has worked objectively and carefully.”
Brueckner was hospitalized after sustaining two fractured ribs in a court incident before returning for a hearing the same day.
The Metropolitan Police is continuing its active investigation into Madeleine’s disappearance. Operation Grange is a missing persons investigation as there is no “definitive proof whether Madeleine is alive or dead”.