The prime suspect in Madeleine McCann’s disappearance is only in the frame because German police think they are smarter than Brits, according to his lawyer.
The claim by the man acting for Christian Brueckner, 43, comes ahead of Monday’s 14th anniversary of the youngster’s disappearance on holiday.
Paedophile Brueckner, a German, is suspected of taking the then three-year-old while he was living on Portugal’s Algarve.
His lawyer Friedrich Fuelscher, speaking on German TV, said: “Different authorities have investigated – the Portuguese police and British.
“My client has not been charged in these proceedings, he is considered as ‘accused’. Based on this, I don’t assume that there is any solid evidence against him.
“Maybe that’s a bit typical for us Germans, that at least in Europe we somehow think we’re something special and we can do things better than others.
“We’ll see if that’s the case here, but I personally don’t believe it.”
Brueckner is being held in Kiel prison in northern Germany after he was convicted of unrelated offences.
German prosector Christian Wolters said: “Murder never becomes time-barred in Germany. So we can hold Christian B. criminally responsible for as long as he lives.”
Madeleine vanished from a holiday flat in Praia da Luz on May 3, 2007.
Tomorrow, mum Kate, 53, a former GP now a medical worker, and heart doctor dad Gerry, 52, will remember her at home after an outdoor prayer meeting was cancelled for the second year because of coronavirus.
The couple, of Rothley, Leics, still hope she is alive and are preparing for her 18th birthday on May 12.