German police to question prime suspect Madeleine McCann over scarring link to 2004 rape of Irish woman

The main suspect in the disappearance of Madeline McCann has agreed to be questioned by the police in relation to the rape of an Irish woman.

German national Christian Brückner (45), a convicted sex offender, is also being investigated for the attack on Hazel Behan in Portugal in 2004.

The sexual assault happened while Ms Behan was working as a holiday representative in the Algarve, two weeks before her 21st birthday.

Brückner, who is currently serving a prison sentence for the rape of a pensioner, is the main suspect in the attack on Ms Behan.

His lawyers have now reportedly said he would agree to be interviewed by police after investigators hand over their case file relating to Ms Behan’s attack.

It would include a statement she gave to police saying her attacker had a large cross-shaped scar on his right thigh.


Christian Brueckner. Image: Getty

Christian Brueckner. Image: Getty

The suspect’s attorney, Friedrich Fülscher, said prosecutors will have to exonerate his client if that scar isn’t on his leg.

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Mr Fülscher told a German publication Image: “If it were true that Mr. Brückner does not have this characteristic, he should be excluded as an author.”

Ms Behan had woken up to a man found standing in her bedroom with a machete before being subjected to a lengthy attack.

Investigators are continuing to investigate the attack and are examining the methods used by the German sex offender, including similarities to other assaults.

Brückner, who can only be identified by German authorities as Christian B due to the country’s strict privacy laws, is currently serving a seven-year prison sentence for the rape of an American woman (72) in 2005.

A vagrant with a string of previous convictions for sexual offenses and child abuse, he spent long periods in the Algarve between 1995 and 2007.

In June 2020 he was named the prime suspect in the disappearance and alleged murder of Madeleine McCann (3), who was last seen on May 3, 2007.


Hazel Behan once opened up about her ordeal on The Late Late Show

Hazel Behan once opened up about her ordeal on The Late Late Show

Hazel Behan once opened up about her ordeal on The Late Late Show

A month later, the investigation into Ms Behan’s rape was reopened after she came forward saying she believed Brückner was her attacker.

At the time she told police, the man involved was around 6ft 1in (1.85m) tall, had “blonde eyebrows, piercing blue eyes” and spoke English with a German accent.

Ms Behan, who is originally from Dublin but now lives in Westmeath, said she also noted similarities between her attack and the rape of the American woman.

She previously said she was ‘blown away’ when details of her attack on the 72-year-old emerged, saying there were similar tactics and methods in both crimes.

Recalling her previous attack, she said she was woken up by someone calling her and saw a man armed with a 12-inch machete standing in the room.

In 2019, Ms Behan was chosen as the Sinn Féin candidate for the Kinnegad region in the local elections and is also an advocate for people who have experienced domestic or sexual abuse.

Harry D. Gonzalez