The Madeleine McCann suspect is to remain in jail after losing his appeal to overturn a rape conviction.
Christian Brückner, a 43-year-old German currently in prison for drug offences, was convicted of raping a 72-year-old American woman in Praia de Luiz in 2005 - two years before Madeleine went missing in the same Portuguese village.
Brückner, who was convicted of the rape in December last year, appealed the decision in the European Court of Justice (ECJ) on a legal technicality relating to his extradition back to Germany from Portugal.
But the ECJ ruled that the extradition was lawful, meaning the seven year sentence for the rape conviction stands. He will remain in custody until 2027 at the latest.
According to court documents, Brückner was extradited from Portugal for sexually abusing a minor in June 2017, then travelled to the Netherlands and Italy whilst still on probation after his release.
He was extradited to Germany from Italy in October 2018 on a warrant for drug trafficking before being tried and convicted of rape and extortion in December last year.
The ECJ case centred on whether the German authorities needed Portugal's consent to bring rape proceedings because of the 2017 extradition.
Italy had agreed Brückner could be tried for rape and extortion in Germany.
ECJ judges ruled on Thursday that only the permission of the Italian authorities was needed for the Germans to carry out their proceedings legally.
The decision is final and cannot be appealed but the case will now be returned to the German court to finally decide on Brückner’s appeal, which he is likely to lose in light of Thursday's ruling.
The decision comes after German prosecutor Hans Christian Wolters, who is leading the Madeleine investigation, claimed his investigators have "concrete evidence", but not "forensic evidence", that he killed her.
Speaking to the broadcaster RTP, Mr Wolters answered “Yes” when asked: “Do you have any material evidence that Madeleine is dead?” He refused to elaborate any further.
The Metropolitan Police maintain their active investigation into Madeleine's disappearance, Operation Grange, is a missing person inquiry as there is no "definitive evidence whether Madeleine is alive or dead".
Brückner’s lawyers have denied he was involved in Madeleine’s disappearance.