MADELEINE McCann suspect Christian WAS illegally extradited for his rape case – putting his conviction at risk, a court in Luxembourg has ruled.
The European warrant for the German, who was found guilty of raping a 72-year-old woman, was illegal according to an EU court adviser, reports news agency Reuters.
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The widow raped by Christian B feared he would kill her during a horrific 15-minute ordeal in Portugal in 2005.
The American woman was beaten with a razor-sharp sword after the fiend broke into her villa.
Christian B, 43, was convicted and sentenced for her rape in December 2019 – 14 years after the brutal attack which devastated her so much she fled to the US.
A seven-year jail term for the rape in Praia da Luz is due to kick in at the end of him serving time for drugs trafficking, in January next year.
The convicted rapist and paedo applied for early release from his 21-month drugs trafficking sentence in June, and was eligible after serving two-thirds of his sentence.
Christian B was already due for parole from Kiel prison after being given time off for good behaviour from a 21-month sentence imposed by a German court in 2018.
But, a European arrest warrant for the man, whom German and British investigators suspect of murdering toddler Madeleine McCann, issued for another case – the drugs trafficking one – was illegal, an adviser to Europe’s top court said on Thursday.
Christian B was extradited to Germany from Italy under the warrant in 2018.
German authorities were required to get the consent of the Italian authorities to carry out their proceedings lawfully, Advocate General Michal Bobek at the Luxembourg-based Court of Justice of the European Union said in a non-binding opinion.
His lawyers had argued that it was a breach of international law to put him on trial for the rape.
Portuguese police had failed to crack the rape case at the time, but Christian B was arrested 12 years later when two pals reported him after finding disturbing films in his home.
They said the films, which had never been found until then, showed him raping and torturing his elderly victim.
DNA sample taken from a hair at the scene helped convict him and he was jailed for seven years last December.
He also bound, gagged and tortured her during the sex attack and she told police: “I feared I was going to die.”
The battered and bruised victim was so traumatised she gave up her Portuguese retirement home and fled to the US.
Evil Christian B escaped justice for 12 years before he was nailed by DNA evidence taken from a hair at the scene.
The woman spent two days with investigators recounting her ordeal in Praia da Luz, Portugal, in September 2005 — two years before Madeleine vanished from the Ocean Club complex in the same Algarve resort.
A female FBI agent interviewed the widow about the attack on behalf of Portuguese police.
'IT CHANGED MY WHOLE LIFE'
Official documents tell how she failed to notice balaclava-clad fiend slipping into her home because she was gripped by TV news about Hurricane Katrina.
She told the agent: “I went to the study. I was grabbed by a very strong and tall man by the neck in the dark and pulled up the five stone stairs into the bedroom.
“I was briefly able to recognise a masked figure.
“Dark eyes looked out of slits and he had held a long, curved knife, which looked like a sabre.
“He gagged me, tied my arms behind my back and then, as I later found out, put bedclothes and other material on the windows so no one could look inside."
“I remember thinking, ‘I hope he won’t kill me.
“It lasted about 15 minutes and I got the feeling he enjoyed it.
“I insulted him and called him a son of a b**** and an a*******.
“The rape then happened almost casually, as if he had already lost interest.
“Finally, in basic Portuguese, he asked me where I had my money, saying, ‘Onde dinheiro?’,
“He removed the gag because he realised that otherwise I could not answer and loosened the shackles.
“He was sawing back and forth with his knife.
“He said he was careful not to hurt me, which made me a little calmer, as I had previously been afraid that he would kill me after I initially saw the knife. I had feared for my life.
"He led me to the bathroom and ordered me, ‘No call police’. It changed my whole life and led to me moving back to the United States.”
Christian B fled the house and a short time later the woman, who had suffered cuts and bruises all over her body, raised the alarm with a neighbour.
She later discovered her attacker had also stolen her Apple iBook laptop, worth about £1,400.
The woman and her husband had moved to Portugal on their retirement because they had grown to love the area so much on holiday, but he had died a few years later.
The widow stayed on but struggled to cope following the attack.
She was unable to sleep unless she had the light on and put up heavy blinds on the house, which was on a path to a beach, so no one could see in.
Within a few months she sold up and moved back to Pasadena, California, because she didn’t feel safe.
Christian B is currently serving a sentence for drug offences in a German jail, having appealed against the rape conviction.
He was only 18 when he moved to the Portugal with his then-girlfriend in 1995.
He had reportedly left his homeland to flee a prison sentence at the time.
Christian B spent 12 years living in the Algarve, and was based in a ramshackle farmhouse in hills overlooking Praia and just a short drive from the Ocean Club.
His reported total of 17 previous convictions also includes theft and forging documents.
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