A close friend and former cellmate of Christian Brueckner, the man suspected of abducting Madeleine McCann, says he is sure the German paedophile took the young girl and sold her to a human trafficking ring.
Michael Tatschl, who lived with Brueckner in Portugal and Spain and even shared a remand cell with the convicted rapist, described him as a pervert who was "more than capable of snatching a child for sexual kicks or money."
Tatschl said Brueckner used to brag about making money by trafficking drugs and "selling children to Morocco" and believes probably he sold Madeleine to another individual or possibly a sex ring.
"I know he did it. I was living with him at the time. I was sure it was him the minute the police came to find me last April," he said. "He even talked about selling kids, maybe to Morocco, I think he probably sold Madeleine to someone. Maybe a sex ring. I didn't really think about it at the time. Perhaps I should have."
Tatschl and Brueckner spent eight months in the same prison after being caught stealing 320 litres of diesel from lorries in Portugal. They were both released in December 2006, five months before three-year-old Madeleine disappeared from her family's holiday apartment in Praia da Luz.
Tatschl claims he was convinced of his friend's involvement after watching the eight-part documentary series covering the case last year. In one of the episodes, a tourist describes how a man fitting Brueckner's description started acting strangely around her child in Praia da Luz in the days leading up to Madeleine's disappearance.
"A female tourist talks about the man turning up at her door while her child played by the front door — the creepy guy with acne and blonde hair — I just knew it was Christian," the Austrian revealed, before adding that he did not alert the police at the time because of his dislike for law enforcement and his criminal past.
Stolen Loot at Farmhouse
Tatschl said Brueckner hid his stolen loot in the rafters of his farmhouse, which overlooks Praia da Luz. While he was in prison, the convicted sex offender had asked a German friend to get rid of the haul from the farmhouse and hide it somewhere safe so the police wouldn't find it.
The stolen loot included a video of Brueckner raping and assaulting three women, including a 70-year-old woman while she was chained to a post. "That's how I found out he was sick," Tatschl said. "I told the police all about that. Christian was always on the dark web. I don't know exactly what he did but I suspect it involved drugs and pornography."
Christian Brueckneris is in prison in Germany for drug-related offences. He has denied any involvement in Madeleine's disappearance.