The background is a legal dispute that revolves around the question of the last domestic residence of the accused Christian B.. He often stayed abroad and also frequently changed his place of residence within the country. The Braunschweig regional court therefore declared itself incompetent in April with the argument that his last place of residence was not in its judicial district, but in Saxony-Anhalt.
None of this has anything to do with the Maddie case. B., who is also classified by the Braunschweig public prosecutor's office responsible for him as a suspect in the case of the British girl Madeleine "Maddie" McCann, who disappeared in Portugal in 2007, has, among other things, previous convictions for serious sexual crimes and is suspected of further crimes.
Almost a year ago, the authorities charged B., who is currently in prison on another matter, with several alleged rapes of girls and women that he is said to have committed in Portugal between 2000 and 2017. According to German investigators, the accused used to stay there regularly and break into holiday resorts and hotels.
The charges were brought before the Braunschweig Regional Court, which then declared that it had no jurisdiction. A decision has therefore not yet been made regarding the admission of the indictment and the opening of a trial.
According to the decision of the Braunschweig Higher Regional Court, the regional court now has to deal with it. The Higher Regional Court explained that B.'s last domestic residence could be established in Braunschweig "based on a large number of different indicators and evidence". Contrary to the regional court's statements, there was no "sufficient evidence" that the accused lived in the neighboring federal state of Saxony-Anhalt.
On Tuesday, the Higher Regional Court also reinstated an arrest warrant that had been revoked by the Braunschweig Regional Court for formal reasons. However, this had no practical impact anyway because B. is currently serving several years in prison after a previous final conviction for raping a 72-year-old woman in Portugal.
The Braunschweig public prosecutor's office has been investigating B. since 2020 on suspicion that he murdered Maddie. However, there have been no charges so far. Despite years of international investigations and manhunts, there is still no trace of Maddie. In the case, there have been various suspects and theories about what happened over time.
About four months ago, at the request of German investigators, police officers again searched the area around a reservoir in southern Portugal in order to gain further information about Maddie's disappearance. According to the Braunschweig public prosecutor's office, items were also found that should be examined. However, it is unclear whether they have anything to do with the case. The reservoir had been searched previously in the search for Maddie.