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Madeleine McCann key witness calls for prime suspect to stay ‘in jail for long time’

Helge Busching, who was reportedly the first person to give police Christian Brueckner’s name in connection with the Madeleine McCann case, has said that the German is ‘guilty’

A key witness in the Madeleine McCann case hopes that prime suspect Christian Brueckner “stays in jail for a long time”.

Helge Busching, 48, was reportedly the first person to tell police the German’s name in connection with the Maddie probe back in 2017.

The information helped German police identify Christian Brueckner, who is currently in prison, as the prime suspect in the disappearance case in June this year.

When asked what he thought of the suspect by The Sun newspaper, Mr Busching said: “One word. Guilty.”

The recycling worker added: “He is in the right place at the moment and hopefully he will stay there a long time.”

Busching made a statement to police claiming Brueckner, 43, told him at a kite festival in Orgiva, Spain in 2008 that he played a part in the 2007 abduction.

He claims he knew the convicted rapist, who is currently locked up in Justizvollzugsanstalt Kiel prison, from time they spent together in the Portugese resort where Maddie vanished.

Busching has previously been convicted himself of assaulting a female beggar in Brindisi, Italy in 2011 and of trying to smuggle migrants into Italy and Greece in 2017.

The paper claims it was while under investigation for the latter crimes that he was put in touch with the Metropolitan Police’s Operation Grange, whose detectives he told about Brueckner.

After Met Officers flew out to Athens to speak to him, a Greek police report was compiled which described the information he gave as ‘cross checked’ and ‘reliable’.

Busching was later jailed for two years after being found with three migrants in his car.

He now lives in a village in Corsica from where he told reporters he could not speak about the case, aside from suggesting Brueckner was guilty.

Busching and friend Manfred Seyferth knew the suspect from when they lived in resort Praia da Luz, where Maddie went missing.

The pair reportedly helped convict him of the rape and torture of a 73-year-old there in 2005, a conviction Brueckner is looking to overturn.

The German’s lawyer Friedrich Fulscher says that his client is innocent of rape and has nothing to do with Maddie’s disappearance.

He said: “My client is being investigated on the claims of two very dubious and unbelievable witnesses who are convicted criminals themselves and have problems with drink and drugs.”

He has spent time in Portugal this week looking for witnesses who hopes will clear Brueckner.

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