Madeleine McCann suspect suffers broken ribs during German court incident

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A suspect in the disappearance of Madeleine McCann, a British toddler who vanished from the Portuguese resort where her family was vacationing 13 years ago, suffered two broken ribs in an incident at a German court, authorities said Tuesday.

Christian Brueckner, 43, was driven about two hours from prison in the northern German city of Kiel to Braunschweig’s High Court for a routine hearing on an unrelated drug conviction case.

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An incident broke out at the courthouse, and Brueckner was briefly treated in a hospital for two broken ribs, court spokeswoman Jessica Knab-Henrichs told The Associated Press. Brueckner was then returned to the court where the hearing was carried out.

No additional information was immediately available about how Brueckner was injured. Knab-Henrichs said the incident was under investigation and more details would be released later in the day.

His attorney, Friedrich Fulscher, filed a formal complaint against Brueckner’s guards, Sky News reported.  

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Madeleine McCann is shown in this handout photo released Sept. 16, 2007. (Photo by Handout/Getty Images)

Although Brueckner is a suspect in McCann's disappearance, prosecutors have said they do not yet have enough evidence to hold him on the case alone. He will finish his drug trafficking sentence in January, but an appeal court is still weighing another seven years behind bars for Brueckner, who was convicted in 2019 of the 2005 rape of a 72-year-old American woman in Portugal.

McCann was 3 years old at the time of her 2007 disappearance from an apartment while her family vacationed in the seaside town of Praia da Luz in Portugal’s Algarve region.

Brueckner, a German citizen and a convicted pedophile, was living near the resort at the time of McCann’s disappearance. German authorities identified the 43-year-old as a suspect in June and were investigating him on suspicion of murder.

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Authorities are also investigating Brueckner in connection to the alleged rape of an Irish woman and two sexual assaults on young girls in Portugal between 2004 and 2017.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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