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Germany investigates possible ‘Maddie’ suspect link to second missing girl

German prosecutors said Friday they are investigating if the man they suspect of murdering British girl Madeleine McCann might also be linked to the disappearance of another child in Germany.

Germany investigates possible 'Maddie' suspect link to second missing girl
Madeleine McCann's parents Kate and Gerry McCann in 2007. Photo: DPA

Police revealed this week that they are investigating a 43-year-old German with a long criminal past over the disappearance of three-year-old “Maddie” from the Portuguese holiday resort of Praia da Luz in 2007.

The suspect, named as Christian B. by German media, has a history of previous sex offences including child abuse and rape.

Prosecutors are now examining if the man could be linked to the case of a five-year-old girl named Inga from the town of Schönebeck in Saxony-Anhalt in 2015, national news agency DPA and regional broadcaster MDR said.

Inga disappeared without a trace in the woods while on an outing with her family.

According to local newspaper Magdeburger Volksstimme, the suspect owned a property in the region and was in the area around the period when she went missing.

READ ALSO: What we know so far about German suspect in “Maddie case”

Emergency workers searching for Inga in a forest in 2015. Photo: DPA

Thirteen years after Madeleine disappeared from her family's holiday apartment on May 3, 2007, German prosecutors made an appeal for information regarding the suspect, whom they believe killed the girl.

Madeleine disappeared a few days before her fourth birthday, as her parents dined with friends at a nearby tapas bar.

The tragedy sparked one of the biggest searches of its kind in recent years.

The Brunswick prosecutor's office said Thursday that investigators are working on the assumption that Madeleine is dead.

READ ALSO: German prosecutors assume Madeleine McCann is dead as they investigate new suspect

The suspect is currently serving a prison sentence for drug trafficking.

He has completed almost two thirds of his sentence and is therefore close to a decision on a possible release on probation, according to documents from Germany's Federal Court of Justice (BGH) seen by AFP.

However, that decision depends on the outcome of another case against him concerning the rape of a 72-year-old US tourist in 2005 – in the same seaside village of Praia da Luz where Maddie went missing.

Citing official investigation documents, Spiegel magazine on Friday published chilling extracts of a chat between the suspect and a friend in 2013.

Christian B. told an acquaintance he wanted to “capture something small and use it for days on end”, the report said.

In response to the suggestion that this was dangerous, he then allegedly  replied: “Oh, if the evidence – afterwards – is destroyed.”

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CRIME

101-year-old former Nazi guard pleads innocent in German trial

A 101-year-old former Nazi concentration camp guard on Monday once again denied being complicit in war crimes during the Holocaust as his trial drew to a close in Germany.

101-year-old former Nazi guard pleads innocent in German trial

Josef Schütz, the oldest person so far to face trial over Nazi crimes during World War II, is accused of involvement in the murders of 3,518 prisoners at the Sachsenhausen camp in Oranienburg, north of Berlin, between 1942 and 1945.

The pensioner, who now lives in Brandenburg state, has pleaded innocent throughout the trial, saying he did “absolutely nothing” and was not aware of the gruesome crimes being carried out at the camp.

“I don’t know why I am here,” he said again at the close of the proceedings, his voice wavering.

Dressed in a grey shirt and pyjama bottoms and sitting in a wheelchair, Schütz insisted he had had nothing to do with the atrocities and was “telling the truth”.

READ ALSO: Ex-Nazi death camp secretary who fled trial to face court in Germany

Prosecutors say he “knowingly and willingly” participated in the crimes as a guard at the camp and are seeking to punish him with five years behind bars.

But Schütz’s lawyer, Stefan Waterkamp, said that since there were no photographs of him wearing an SS uniform, the case was based on “hints” of his possible involvement.

“As early as 1973, investigators had information about him but did not pursue him. At the time, witnesses could have been heard but now they are all dead or no longer able to speak,” Waterkamp said.

Former Nazi guard

The 101-year-old former Nazi guard covers his face at the Neuruppin courthouse. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Fabian Sommer

It would be a mistake for the court to try to “make up for the mistakes of a previous generation of judges”, the lawyer said.

Antoine Grumbach, 80, whose father died in Sachsenhausen, told AFP Schuetz “does not want to remember”, calling it “a form of defence”.

The trial was not just about “putting a centenarian in prison”, he said. It had also produced evidence that Sachsenhausen was an “experimental extermination camp”.

“All the cruellest methods were invented there and then exported,” Grumbach said.

READ ALSO: Trials of aging Nazis a ‘reminder for the present’, says German prosecutor

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