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Witness who started new Madeleine McCann probe says ‘guilty’ Christian B must ‘stay in jail for a long time’

THE key witness who started the new Madeleine McCann probe has said of prime suspect Christian B: “One word. Guilty.”

Helge Busching, 48, was the first person to name him to police.

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He was traced by The Sun to Corsica, and stood by claims Christian B was behind her disappearance in 2007.

The recycling worker said he hopes Christian B will “stay in jail for a long time”.

The chief suspect is currently in jail for drugs offences, and is appealing a seven-year sentence for raping a 73-year-old woman.

Busching, who knew his fellow German from their time together in the resort where Madeleine vanished, said: “He is in the right place at the moment and hopefully he will stay there a long time.”

In 2017, Busching was the first person to give police Christian B’s name in connection with Madeleine’s disappearance.

In a redacted statement seen by The Sun, he claims Christian B, 43, told him he was involved in her 2007 abduction.

Busching said the revelation emerged in 2008 when they were at a kite festival in Orgiva, Spain.

His statement talks about a “German male person, whom I know by the name of Christian”.

He adds how he will “talk in detail of his knowledge’’ of his connection with Madeleine, whose parents Kate and Gerry have never given up hope of finding alive.

Christian B, who has been convicted for child sex abuse, was identified in June this year by German cops as the prime suspect in the three-year-old’s disappearance. Officers also said they had “concrete evidence” she was dead.

Busching and another friend Manfred Seyferth knew Christian B from when they all lived in Praia da Luz, the Portuguese resort where Madeleine was on holiday.

Busching’s own previous convictions include assaulting a female beggar in Brindisi, Italy, in 2011.

Six years later he was arrested after trying to smuggle migrants between Greece and Italy.

While under investigation he was put in touch with Operation Grange — the Met Police’s team investigating Madeleine’s disappearance — and gave them Christian B’s name.

Greek media reported this summer that their police said he wanted to speak to British cops. Grange detectives flew to Athens to question Busching in 2017.

According to an internal Greek police report, Busching’s information was described as “given voluntarily and without monetary or other consideration”.

It added that it had been “cross-checked and is considered a reliable source”. It also revealed how Busching had tried to report his concerns to the Portuguese police but had been fobbed off.

The report detailed how Busching was in custody at the time after three migrants were found in his car at Igoumenitsa in Greece.

He was jailed for two years and released in 2019.

Met detectives and their German counterparts were investigating his claims before they were made public this summer.

When The Sun tracked him down to a village in Corsica, Busching said: “I am not allowed to say anything about Christian B but I hope he stays in jail.’’

Asked if Christian B had ever shown him images of Madeleine, he said: “Look, I can’t talk about any of this. OK? I’m not allowed.”

Before he left, The Sun asked what he thought of Christian B and he said: “One word. Guilty.”

It is unclear why Busching waited nearly ten years before telling cops of Christian B’s alleged involvement.

Busching and Seyferth helped convict Christian B last December for the rape and torture of a 73-year-old in Praia da Luz in 2005. Christian B and Seyferth regularly broke into apartments there.

The American victim told cops her attacker filmed the attack and appeared to get a thrill out of seeing her begging him to stop.

Busching and Seyferth are said to have stolen a video camera in Christian B’s home while he was in jail for theft. They contacted police after seeing the images and told them it was Christian B.

He has denied the charge and is appealing a seven-year sentence.

Friedrich Fulscher, Christian B’s lawyer, insisted his client is innocent of rape and has nothing to do with Madeleine’s disappearance.

Mr Fulscher has been in Portugal this week looking for witnesses who he believes will clear him.

He told The Sun: “My client is being investigated on the claims of two very dubious and unbelievable witnesses who are convicted criminals themselves and have problems with drink and drugs.”

Christian B is in jail serving 21 months for drug offences and was eligible for parole in June — with officials considering his request.

Last week he was linked to a sex attack on a ten-year-old German girl on a beach in Portugal a month before Madeleine was taken.

Hans Christian Wolters, the lead prosecutor investigating Madeleine’s disappearance, said of Busching: “I know the name, but I see no reason to tell you anything about this person. Hope you understand that.”

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