Madeleine McCann’s parents have received an apology from Portuguese police regarding how they handled their daughter’s disappearance.
In May 2007, Madeleine disappeared from a vacation complex in the Algarve.
BBC Panorama has been informed that a group of high-ranking officials made a trip from Lisbon to London earlier this year.
They apologized to Madeleine’s father, Gerry McCann, for the way the detectives handled the family during the case investigation.
The McCann family has not responded to the apology, and the case of their missing daughter is still open.
Four months after Madeleine disappeared, in September 2007, Kate and Gerry McCann were added to the Portuguese investigation’s “arguidos” list, which means suspects. Detectives questioned both of them because they thought they had staged an abduction and hidden Madeleine’s body.
Mrs. McCann claimed that in exchange for a lighter sentence, she was offered an arrangement to acknowledge covering up her daughter’s death.
Despite having their arguido status removed in 2008, the couple faced years of suspicion in Portugal.
The senior detective who oversaw the case, Goncalo Amaral, was eventually relieved of his duties, but he continued to write a book in which he accused the McCanns of being complicit in their daughter’s disappearance. He claimed to be protecting his standing in the industry.
The Portuguese Supreme Court dismissed McCann’s libel case against the former detective for the allegations he made about them in his book. In September 2022, the couple lost their appeal to the European Court of Human Rights.
A vicious online campaign accusing the couple of causing Madeleine’s death and then covering it up has also been directed towards them.
Between 2000 and 2017, when the McCann family was on vacation in the Praia da Luz resort, Brueckner was a resident nearby.
Prosecutors in Portugal designated him as a formal suspect in 2022. Presently, he is serving a seven-year prison sentence in Germany for drug trafficking and the 2005 rape of a 72-year-old woman in the same neighborhood where Madeleine disappeared.
German authorities conducted a three-day search of a Portuguese reservoir earlier this year in an attempt to find evidence connecting Brueckner to the disappearance of the British toddler.
“We think that he was involved in the disappearance of Madeleine McCann and we think that he murdered Madeleine McCann,” said Wolters.
Brueckner is already facing charges for three additional rapes, as well as sexual assault and child sexual assault. It is claimed that the five offenses were committed on the Portuguese Algarve. It was confirmed by Mr. Wolters that a trial would take place in February 2024.
Friedrich Fulscher, Brueckner’s attorney, claimed his client was using his right to remain silent.
“We know the contents of the files and I think the charges are all based on very, very shaky foundations,” said Mr. Fulscher.
On the 16th anniversary of their daughter Madeleine’s disappearance, on May 3, Kate and Gerry McCann said Madeleine is “still very much missed” and that they “wait for a breakthrough.” They did not respond to the Portuguese police’s apology.