Met Police detective who investigated Madeleine McCann case is FIRST Brit cop to appear in court over prime suspect

A MET cop from the £13m investigation to find Madeleine McCann will become the first officer quizzed in court over the missing tot today.

Detective Mark Draycott was central to the Scotland Yard Maddie investigation after it was switched to UK police in 2011.

Dan CharityMaddie McCann prime suspect Christian Brueckner arrives at court on Thursday[/caption]

Dan CharityThe paedophile is pictured arriving at court in Braunschweig, Germany[/caption]

Dan CharityThe rape trial of Brueckner was extended by three months[/caption]

AFPMadeleine McCann disappeared in Praia da Luz, Portugal on May 3, 2007[/caption]

In a bombshell twist, the man who spent 13 years trying to bring her abductor to justice will now be called to give evidence in defence of prime suspect Christian Brueckner.

DC Draycott was the Scotland Yard officer who took a statement from the lead McCann witness Helge Busching in 2017 when he came forward to report Brueckner.

Brueckner’s sneaky lawyers are expected to try and eek out details of the McCann investigation in a bid to discredit witnesses ahead of a Maddie trial next year.

Deraycott has worked on the Met’s Maddie investigation Operation Grange since it was launched on a request from David Cameron in 2011.

Brueckner is accused of a string of rapes and indecent exposure allegations uncovered during the investigation into Madde.

He denies the claims against him and the trial continues.

Brit tot Madeleine McCann vanished from her family’s Portuguese holiday home in Praia da Luz, in the Algarve, on May 3, 2007 as her parents dined at a tapas bar just 120 metres away.

Gerry and Kate had left their three children, including Maddie and toddler twins Sean and Amelie, asleep in the apartment.

Kate returned to check on the kids about 10pm and discovered Maddie was not in her bed, but missing.

Seventeen years on, her whereabouts remains unknown – despite a £13million police investigation.

Maddie would be turning 21 this month.

The prime suspect in the case is 47-year-old German national and convicted sex offender Christian Brueckner.

He is currently serving a prison sentence for raping a woman in Praia da Luz in 2005, and is suspected of further rapes and child sexual abuse committed in the area between 2000 and 2017.

Last month, it was confirmed by a German court that DC Draycott would be called to give evidence in defence of Brueckner.

He was to be brought to Germany as part of a defence bid to pick holes in Busching‘s witness testimony.

The move was designed to help clear rapist Brueckner of current charges, and to discredit Busching, 52, ahead of a Maddie trial next year.

Busching claims he saw two rape videos after taking them from Brueckner’s Praia da Luz lair – offences currently being tried.

He was the first person to name Brueckner to police.

The witness’ Maddie evidence is centred on allegations Brueckner told him “she didn’t scream” while discussing the tot in 2008.

DC Draycott was the Scotland Yard office who took the statement from Busching in 2017, when he came forward to report Brueckner.

Brueckner’s lawyers believe they can highlight claimed inconsistencies in the lead McCann witness’ testimony.

The prosecution has meanwhile insisted the cop should only be questioned in relation to the current allegations, which do not include the McCann case.

Busching, who committed crimes with the convicted rapist in Portugal in the early 2000s, is the key witness in Brueckner’s ongoing rape case and has called the prime snatch suspect “really dangerous”.

He recently told a court that he took videos taken from Brueckner’s lair which showed the lowlife raping an elderly woman, 80, and a girl as young as 13 – and said not reporting Brueckner sooner was the “biggest failure” of his life.

Dan CharityChristian Brueckner is the man German police believe abducted Maddie from her family’s holiday flat in Portugal[/caption]

Key dates in Madeleine McCann’s disappearance

MADELEINE McCann vanished on May 3, 2007 – and cops believe Brueckner could have been behind her disappearance.

Almost 17 years on, no one has been charged in connection. These are the key dates:

May 3, 2007 – Kate McCann finds Madeleine missing at 10pm

May 14, 2007 – Property developer Robert Murat is named an “arguido” or formal suspect

August 31, 2007 – The McCanns launch libel action against Tal e Qual – a newspaper that claimed the couple killed Madeleine

September 7, 2007 – Kate and Gerry McCann are made “arguidos”

September 9, 2007– Madeleine’s parents return to England with their two-year-old twins

October 2, 2007– Lead detective Goncalo Amaral is taken off the case after criticising British police in a newspaper interview

July 21, 2009 – Portuguese police lift the “arguido” status of  both Robert Murat and the McCanns

May 12, 2011 – On Madeleine’s eighth birthday, Scotland Yard launches a review into the case 

April 25, 2012 – Scotland Yard officers say they believe Madeleine McCann is still alive

July 4, 2013 – Two years into a review of the case, Scotland Yard launched its own investigation into Madeleine’s disappearance

October 24, 2013– Portuguese police reopen their case after new lines of inquiry are found

November 27, 2013 – Met Police Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe called for British and Portuguese police to work together

October 28, 2015 – Scotland Yard reduces the number of officers working on Madeleine’s disappearance

March 11, 2017  – The Home Office grants Operation Grange an extra £85,000 to continue from April until September

September 28, 2017 –  British police are granted £154,000 to keep the probe going until March 2018

November 2017 – Cops moved the search to Bulgaria

May 2018 – Another round of funding, thought to be in the region of £150,000 is granted

September 2018 – An extra six months of funding is requested from the Home Office

November 2018 – More funding, thought to be in the region of £150,000 is granted

November 2018 – UK police re-examine a theory Madeleine left the apartment to look for her parents

June 2019 – Another round of funding, believed to be £300,000 of government cash is granted

June 2019 – Portuguese police are probing a “new clue and suspect” after talks with British officers

June 2020 – New prime suspect revealed as a German paedo Christian Brueckner

April 2022 – Brueckner formally made an “arguido”

May 2023 – Police search remote Algarve reservoir Brueckner called his “little paradise”

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