Portuguese police travel to the UK to apologise to the McCanns over their treatment during hunt for missing toddler – as detectives say paedophile Christian Brueckner is their prime suspect and Madeleine died in Portugal

Portuguese police have apologised to Madeleine McCann‘s parents over their investigation into the missing toddler’s case. 

The three-year-old disappeared during a family holiday in the Algarve in May 2007, sparking a nation-wide man hunt. 

In the immediate aftermath of the little girl’s disappearance her parent’s Gerry and Kate McCann were made ‘arguidos’ – or suspects’ – by the Portuguese police. 

Her parents were quizzed by detectives who suggested the pair had staged an abduction and concealed their daughter’s body. 

Mrs McCann later said she was offered a deal, where if she admitted to covering up her Madeleine’s death she would be handed a shorter sentence. 

Now, more than 16 years later, a number of senior police officers travelled from Lisbon to London to apologise to Mr McCann, cops told BBC‘s Panorama.  

The prime suspect in the ongoing case is 46-year-old German national Christian Brueckner. The convicted paedophile, currently serving a seven year sentence, is accused by detectives of killing Madeline in Portugal but is yet to be formally charged.

Madeleine McCann went missing during a family holiday in the Algarve in May 2007, sparking a nation-wide man hunt

Madeleine McCann went missing during a family holiday in the Algarve in May 2007, sparking a nation-wide man hunt

Police officers have now told BBC ‘s Panorama that a number of senior cops travelled from Lisbon to London earlier this year to meet Madeleine’s father Gerry McCann (pictured with his wife Kate McCann earlier this year)

The prime suspect in the ongoing case is 46-year-old German national Christian Brueckner

The couple’s status as arguido’s was lifted in 2008 but remained under suspicion in the country for years, mainly suggested by the investigation’s original lead detective Goncalo Amaral.

Amaral was later sacked from the investigation but continued to insist on air and through his book that the couple are ‘still suspects’. 

The McCann’s had tried to sue him over libel over the claims made in his book but this was thrown out by the Portguese supreme court. 

The parent’s then tried to take the case to the European Court of Human Rights but they lost this challenge in September of last year. 

Amaral’s claims came amid a horrific online campaign against the grieving mother and father accusing them of a cover-up.

The force has now apologised for its handling of the case and the way the family was treated. 

Officers have now admitted that not enough importance was given to missing children at the time of Maddy’s disappearance, adding that they should have been more understanding of her parent’s position as foreigners, the BBC said.

Portuguese police also updated the McCann’s on the ongoing investigation, giving their support to German authorities who believe that Christian Brueckner, a 46-year-old German national, killed Madeleine. 

Christian Wolters – one of the German prosecutors working on the long-running case – told the broadcaster regarding the apology: ‘It’s a good sign. It shows that, in Portugal, there is a development in the McCann case.’

Brueckner is currently serving a seven-year prison term in a high-security prison locally dubbed ‘Alcatraz of the North’ in Oldenburg, near the historic northern city of Bremen. 

In the immediate aftermath of the little girl’s disappearance her parent’s Gerry and Kate McCann were made ‘arguidos’ – or suspects’ – by the Portuguese police. Pictured: The McCann’s holding a poster in 2012 

Police officers are continuing to investigate little Maddy’s disappearance, 16 years later 

Personnel at Barragem do Arade reservoir, in the Algave, Portugal, as searches continue as part of the investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann

Earlier this month it was reported that the suspect could face trial as early as February next year for a string of heinous crimes, which include three shocking rapes and two sex attacks on children.

He is said to have filmed two of the rapes he is being tried for which are said to have taken place at his former residence outside Praia da Luz – the same area where Maddy disappeared.  

The trial is expected to span over a month and is likely to take place at Braunschweig High Court.

German prosecutors have not yet formally charged Brueckner with the abduction and killing of Maddy but authorities in Germany have indicated the McCann trial could take place closely on the heels of his upcoming trial, The Olive Press reported. 

He is currently serving his sentence for the brutal rape of an American pensioner in Portugal in 2005, but he now faces charges for the rape of a young Irish woman, Hazel Behan, in the Algarve in June 2004.

Behan endured a harrowing ordeal when a blond-haired German intruder with blue eyes broke into her apartment. 

The vicious assailant raped her at knifepoint and filmed the vicious four-hour attack.

Two witnesses reported seeing a man resembling Brueckner enter and exit the apartment in Portimao at dawn, with one hotel worker claiming he saw the German expat without his mask.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-12687457/Portuguese-police-apologise-Madeleine-McCanns-parents-person-way-investigated-missing-toddlers-case.html?ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490&ito=1490 Portuguese police travel to the UK to apologise to the McCanns over their treatment during hunt for missing toddler – as detectives say paedophile Christian Brueckner is their prime suspect and Madeleine died in Portugal

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