Madeleine McCann’s abductor has got away with it because the police’s prime suspect is innocent, according to Britain’s top TV investigator.
Mark Williams-Thomas, who exposed Jimmy Savile as a paedophile, said he believes Christian Brueckner had nothing to do with the disappearance of the then-three-year-old Brit girl in Portugal in 2007.
He said the police probe into the case was flawed, had failed to unearth any evidence linking Brueckner to the crime and ignored his alibi.
Portuguese police made him an arguido – or formal suspect – just before the 15th anniversary of Madeleine’s disappearance on May 3 this year.
That allows them to bypass Portugal’s statute of limitations – which bars prosecutions for serious crimes more than 15 years after the event – and carry on investigating him.
But if Brueckner is not the culprit, as Williams-Thomas says, that means the real abductor has got away with it and can never be prosecuted.
The telly sleuth told the Daily Star: "In Portugal after 15 years any serious crime including murder can’t be prosecuted.
"Christian Brueckner was made an arguido to get around this. I believe he is innocent.
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"Therefore in Portugal Madeleine McCann’s killer is in the clear.’’
Williams-Thomas, 52, a former Surrey police child protection cop and anti-paedophile unit detective, said Madeleine’s doctor parents Kate and Gerry had been let down by investigating officers in three countries – Portugal, Germany and the UK.
He claimed Portuguese detectives failed to secure the crime scene and did not respond fast enough when the youngster vanished.
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The Metropolitan Police’s Operation Grange probe into the case had cost £12million of taxpayers’ cash and found neither Madeleine nor the culprit.
While German police had effectively publicly convicted Brueckner without evidence or a trial, he said.
Williams-Thomas said his own investigation – which features in a new Channel 5 documentary on Wednesday night (May 11) – set out to prove Brueckner was the killer but ended up “clearing him”.
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The telly ‘tec found a phone which Mr Williams-Thomas said police claimed the suspect had used outside the McCanns’ holiday apartment in Praia da Luz an hour before Madeleine vanished was not actually his.
Cellsite analysis could only place whoever the mystery caller was within a 21-mile radius of the crime scene.
At the other end of the line was a paedophile police have never been able to trace, he said.
Meanwhile Brueckner says he has an alibi.
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In a letter from his jail cell he told Mr Williams-Thomas he spent the week romping with a 17-year-old German holidaymaker in his camper van in Carvoeiro – a 40-minute drive away from the crime scene.
When Mr Williams-Thomas tracked her down for the documentary she backed up Brueckner’s claim.
And she told Mr Williams-Thomas days after Madeleine vanished she was with Brueckner when his camper was searched at a roadblock manned by police hunting the youngster.
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She said nothing was found, his demeanour never changed and until then he had not appeared to know a girl was missing.
When Mr Williams-Thomas broke the news to German authorities he claims they dismissed it.
He said Hans Christian Wolters, the German prosecutor heading the case, who last year publicly declared he was 100% sure Brueckner murdered Madeleine, lives in a parallel universe.
"No matter how horrible and nasty a person is we have to have the evidence to prosecute,’’ Mr Williams-Thomas said.
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"Somebody’s previous offending does not make them responsible. That is not how the criminal justice system should work.
"I am no fan of Christian Brueckner. He has committed some horrific offences.
"But that doesn’t make him the killer of Madeleine McCann unless there is the evidence to support that. And there isn’t.
"They cannot place him outside Madeleine’s apartment on the day of the disappearance and furthermore he has a credible alibi which places him away from there. And there is evidence of non-changing behaviour.
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"We know, having just abducted a child and murdered them, there would be a change of behaviour.
"Yet his then girlfriend said his demeanour never changed.’’
Williams-Thomas said he believed Brueckner had agreed to confide in him – rather than talking to police – because he fears he is effectively being "framed for the biggest crime in the world".
Mr Wolters has not responded to a request for comment.
Madeleine McCann: The Case Against Christian B is being shown at 9pm on Wednesday, May 11 – Channel 5.
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