A friend of the man suspected of abducting Madeleine McCann said he is sure the convicted sex offender was responsible for the young girl’s disappearance.
Earlier this month, German police identified Christian Brückner as the prime suspect in McCann’s case and launched an appeal for information.
Austrian drifter Michael Tatschl, who lived with Brückner in Portugal in the early 2000s, said he had told authorities that his “sick” and “perverted” friend was “more than capable of snatching a child”.
“I know he did it,” Tatschl told the Telegraph.
“He was my best friend and he was definitely a pervert and more than capable of snatching a child, for sexual kicks or money.
“I was sure it was him the minute the police came to find me in Austria.”
Tatschl claimed Brückner bragged about making money by burgling apartments in Praia da Luz – where McCann was last seen – and once talked about “selling children maybe to Morocco”.
In 2006, the pair spent eight months in the same prison after they were caught stealing diesel from lorries in Portugal, the Daily Mail reported. They were released five months prior to McCann’s disappearance.
Tatschl said he became convinced that Brückner was involved in McCann’s disappearance after watching the Netflix documentary The Disappearance of Madeleine McCann.
“The part where the female tourist talked about the man turning up at her door while her child played by the front door, the creepy guy with acne and blonde hair. I just knew it was Christian for sure.”
Tatschl gave his testimony in April 2019 after Austrian and German police officers visited his house.
“They were very clear with me from the first minute. They said, ‘we are investigating Maddie McCann and Christian Brückner’ and I told them I knew it already. I was convinced it was him,” he said.
“I really hope they can finally close this case for the family and find Christian guilty for what he has done. He needs to admit it to the police and close it for good.”
Last week, Brückner’s lawyer Friedrich Fulscher said his client is remaining silent on the matter.
“It is the duty of the state to prove that a suspect committed a crime. No accused person has to prove his innocence to the investigating authorities.”
Brückner is currently serving a prison sentence in the northern German city of Kiel for drug trafficking. He was also convicted last year of the rape of a 72-year-old American woman in Praia da Luz in 2005.
This article originally appeared on Over60.