A man who used to be friends with Christian Brueckner said his ‘paedophile past’ leads him to believe Brueckner kidnapped Madeleine McCann.
Brueckner, 45, was named as the prime suspect in the disappearance of the then-three-year-old in June 2020 but denies any involvement in the case.
He is currently serving a seven-year jail sentence in Germany for raping a 72-year-old American woman in 2005, in the same Portuguese resort where Madeleine was taken from two years later.
He is yet to be charged and there are fears he never will be as funding for the investigation is set to run out this year.
But now an old friend of Brueckner’s, Christian Post, has spoken to The Mirror about wanting to help in the investigation.
Mr Post met Brueckner in an Algarve bar in the early-2000s and the two became friends until they fell out in 2006.
The 54-year-old said he knew Brueckner was on the ‘fringes’ of crime because Brueckner boasted about burgling holiday flats during ‘night crawls’.
But Mr Post, who now lives in Cambodia, insists he had no idea about Brueckner’s history of sex crimes.
He said: ‘Now I know about Brueckner’s paedophile past, his rapist past. I’m 100% certain it was him.
‘I think he found her by chance and just took her on the spur of the moment.
‘If he saw a little girl asleep, alone in her apartment, he would definitely have taken her.’
In the ‘paedophile past’ Mr Post is referring to, Brueckner was extradited from Portugal to Germany twice for sex crimes against children.
He was convicted of sexually abusing a child in 1999 – for which he spent two years in youth custody.
He was again jailed for 15 months in 2017, after being found guilty of sexually abusing a child and possession of child pornography.
Mr Post said he did not know about any of this until it came out in the press.
Indeed, Mr Post gave evidence against Brueckner during his 2019 trial over raping the pensioner.
He was reportedly interviewed by detectives investigating the McCann kidnap twice.
Mr Post regrets not telling the police about Brueckner’s burglaries but said he was scared about being linked to the McCann case.
He said: ‘But now I’m willing to go back to court, to face him again, and help convict him if they want me to.’