Maddie McCann, so Christian Brueckner was arrested in Milan

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The carabinieri waited for him as he descended from the German consulate in via Solferino, in Milan, where he had presented himself to report the loss of his passport. It was the morning of 28 September two years ago and the police of the IV section of the Investigation Unit had executed a European arrest warrant issued only nine days earlier by the Flensburg Judicial Authority in Germany. Christian Stefan Brueckner, born in Wurzburg (Germany) on December 7, 1976, had to serve a sentence of 6 years and 10 months for drug trafficking. Nobody knew that actually that man, officially in Milan without a fixed abode, was actually a pedophile and suspect of the disappearance of Maddie McCann, the 3-year-old English girl vanished into thin air in May 2007 during a holiday in Portugal with her parents.

The investigation launched by the carabinieri led by Lieutenant Colonel Michele Miulli had been swift. German police suspected that Brueckner was spending his hiding in Italy, but not much information was available to investigators. However, the German authorities have obtained the issuance of a Mae, the European arrest warrant linked to the suspicion that it was in our country. The turning point came almost by accident. The signal, around 7.30 in the morning, that Brueckner had presented himself to the German consulate in via Solferino to report the loss of the passport. Perhaps the man hoped that the consular authorities were unaware of his past, or perhaps he did not imagine that the arrest warrant was also valid in Italy. The police of Catturandi, then led by captain Marco Prosperi, had waited for the man on leaving the consulate. They had approached and stopped him with an excuse. A few minutes later Brueckner was in the nearby offices of the investigative unit in via della Moscova. The rest was routine: the report to Interpol and the man placed at the disposal of the German police. For the Italian police force, therefore, Brueckner was a simple drug dealer. Nobody knew of his reports of sexual offenses nor of the ongoing investigation into the terrible suspicion of his involvement in the disappearance and murder of little Maddie.

June 4, 2020 (change June 4, 2020 | 7:39 pm)

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