Madeline McCann suspect agrees to be interviewed by police investigating rape of Irish woman

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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 is the main suspect in the attack and is currently serving a prison sentence for the rape of a pensioner.

Reports say his lawyers have now said he would agree to be interviewed by police after investigators handed over their file relating to the attack on Hazel Behan.

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

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

Mr Fülscher told German publication Bild: “If it were true that Mr Brückner did not have this feature, 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.

He spent a lot of time in the Algarve between 1995 and 2007, where he was a drifter with a string of previous convictions for sex offenses and child abuse.

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

A month later, the Hazel Behan rape investigation was reopened after she came forward saying she believed Christian 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.

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