'Rape charge' for German suspected of kidnapping Madeleine McCann

‘Rape charge’ for German suspected of kidnapping Madeleine McCann after probe into 2004 sex attack claim

  • Christian Brueckner is accused of brutally attacking Irish tour rep Hazel Behan  
  • German national lived in the Algarve for much of the period from 1995 to 2007 
  • He is serving a seven-year sentence for raping an American pensioner in 2005 

The man suspected of snatching Madeleine McCann will be charged with the 2004 rape of a woman next year, German officials have said.

Christian Brueckner, 45, is accused of brutally attacking Irish tour rep Hazel Behan, who was 20 at the time, on the Algarve three years before the British toddler disappeared.

German news website Der Spiegel reported that prosecutors will ‘conclude the investigation’ early next year.

Christian Brueckner, 45, is accused of brutally attacking Irish tour rep Hazel Behan, who was 20 at the time, on the Algarve three years before the British toddler disappeared

Brueckner is currently serving a seven-year sentence for raping an American pensioner in 2005.

The German national lived in the Algarve for much of the period from 1995 to 2007 and made a living doing odd jobs in the area where Madeleine vanished

German prosecutors have not yet revealed what evidence they have that implicates Brueckner in Miss Behan’s case. 

His lawyer declined to comment.

The German national lived in the Algarve for much of the period from 1995 to 2007 and made a living doing odd jobs in the area where Madeleine vanished.

He is also known to have burgled hotel rooms and holiday flats.

Portuguese police files on Ms Behan’s case seen by the German news weekly say there are numerous parallels between her ordeal and the attack on the 72-year-old woman.

She came forward in June 2020, waiving her anonymity, and demanded her case be reopened after reading about Brueckner’s conviction in the media.

Ms Behan revealed at the time details of the attack in which she described how a masked man climb over the balcony to her apartment in the early hours of the morning.

She said a knife was held to her throat before the man tied and gagged her before raping her repeatedly for a period of four or five hours.

The assailant then threatened to kill her before fleeing over the balcony and leaving her bleeding.

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