Prosecutors have admitted Madeleine McCann was “possibly” killed after she was kidnapped and sold to a child trafficking gang.
Hans Christian Wolters, the German lawyer leading the criminal investigation into her disappearance, made the revelation during an interview broadcast on Portuguese television.
Convicted sex offender Christian Brueckner was named a suspect by police in Potugal last month and has been under investigation by officials in Germany for the past two years.
They built a case against him during that time, but Mr Wolters conceded Bruckner would not be charged any time soon – although he said this week his team had found “new evidence”.
The prosecutor told journalist Sandra Felgueiras during the interview that aired on Friday: “We are sure that he is the murderer of Madeleine McCann.”
But his answers to other questions prompted fresh speculation about whether the former drifter might have had an accomplice or the boy was “sold” before he was killed.
When asked if he was sure Brueckner kidnapped and killed Madeleine, Mr Wolters simply replied: “We are sure he killed Madeleine McCann.”
He went on to admit that he “didn’t know” if Madeleine could have been kidnapped by anyone with no help or inside information on the McCanns’ holiday moves, adding, “All I can say is that we have a suspicious person at the moment, and This is Christian B
“There is no other person for us who is suspicious.”
But he later conceded there was a “possibility” that the youngster had been “sold”.
After first insisting, “I’m not allowed to talk about those details,” he then added, “Maybe it’s a possibility.”
Five years ago, former Scotland Yard officer Colin Sutton suggested that a “kidnapping on command” was the most likely and credible scenario for Madeleine’s disappearance.
Speculation that a child trafficking gang was behind the unsolved crime has never translated into hard evidence.
Madeleine was three years old when she disappeared on May 3, 2007 while on vacation in Portugal.
Brueckner, who was identified as a murder suspect by German prosecutors in June 2020, has reportedly denied any involvement in the case and has not been charged.
Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at email@example.com.
For more stories like this, Visit our news page.
Get the top news, feel-good stories, analysis and more
https://metro.co.uk/2022/05/07/madeleine-mccann-investigators-say-she-could-have-been-sold-16604145/ Madeleine McCann: Investigators say she could have been 'sold'