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    Madeleine McCann detectives handed sketches in rape case

    German prosecutors probing Madeleine McCann suspect Christian Brueckner are handed sketches of ‘distinctive’ mark on a sex attacker’s leg as they investigate link to 2004 rape

    • The sketch drawn by Irish rape victim has been sent to German prosecutors 
    • She has described being attacked by a man with a German accent in Portugal
    • Case files also include her sketches of the machete-style knife and whip used 

    German prosecutors probing an Algarve rape linked to Madeleine McCann suspect Christian Brueckner have been handed a sketch of a ‘distinctive’ mark on a sex attacker’s right leg.

    An Irish mother-of-two has described a man with a German accent and piercing blue eyes attacking her in Praia da Rocha, a half-hour drive from Praia da Luz where Madeleine vanished. 

    The cross-shaped image, drawn by the victim, was sent to German authorities after she asked detectives investigating the toddler’s disappearance to review her case. 

    Case files which Portuguese prosecutors have made available also include her sketches of the machete-style knife and whip used by her masked rapist, along with descriptions of his rucksack and a camera he filmed the horrific sex attack with. 

    Madeleine McCann

    German prosecutors probing an Algarve rape linked to Christian Brueckner (left), the German  criminal suspected of kidnapping Madeleine McCann (right) 

    Braunschweig-based prosecutor Hans Christian Wolters confirmed earlier this week he had re-opened an investigation into the June 2004 rape. 

    The victim asked detectives probing Madeleine’s disappearance to review her case in June after discovering Brueckner had been convicted last year in Germany of the August 2005 rape of an American OAP in Praia da Luz.

    She told police her masked attacker spoke English with a German accent and had piercing blue eyes like the 43-year-old drifter being probed over Madeleine’s disappearance.

    And she also recalled a mark on top of his right thigh, describing it as a ‘pull in the tights, a birthmark or a tattoo’ in an interview about the attack in Praia da Rocha.

    Brueckner, convicted of the 2005 rape through a hair found at the crime scene which Portuguese investigators had failed to test, is said to have birthmarks on his upper right thigh. 

    Portuguese court files make it clear DNA was obtained but no match was made at the time.

    The DNA samples including blood and semen collected from the crime scene by Portuguese police were later destroyed on the orders of prosecutors, leaving question marks over whether a successful prosecution can ever be mounted.

    Portuguese authorities agreed to hand over the archive material, and new police statements the Irish rape victim made to Gardai in June which were forwarded to them, following an official German request for cooperation.

    The request reached the court in the Algarve town of Portimao which is probing Madeleine McCann’s disappearance on August 24.

    Prosecutor Joana Ribeiro Garcia sent the case files to German authorities on September 9.

    The Irish woman was attacked in Praia da Rocha, not far from Praia da Luz where Madeleine disappeared in 2007

    The Irish woman was attacked in Praia da Rocha, not far from Praia da Luz where Madeleine disappeared in 2007 

    The rape victim has previously told how she ‘puked’ when she read about Brueckner’s rape of an American pensioner.

    The woman told the Guardian in June: ‘Reading about it took me back to my experience.’

    She revealed she woke up to find the attacker in her apartment with a ’12 inch long machete’ in his hand and recalled how he set up a video camera to film the ‘planned-out’ attack and used scissors to remove her clothes and ropes to tie her up.

    She also criticised the Portuguese police response in the interview, claiming she was told at the time to keep quiet to avoid putting off tourists and revealing she had been asked to strip off by the crime scene while officers left her feeling ‘humiliated’ by taking pictures of her in a ‘star jump-like stance.’

    Explaining she had contacted police in Ireland because she ‘knew in her gut it was the right thing to do’, she added: ‘I think if the police had done their job investigating what happened to me, if this is indeed the same man that attacked the American and abducted Madeleine McCann, they might have prevented the attack on her, and Madeleine would now be at home with her parents.’ 

    Algarve prosecutors are letting Germany take the lead in the case, as they did with the OAP sex attack Brueckner was convicted of last year. 

    German authorities are also investigating Brueckner over a sex crime on a beach near Praia da Luz a month before Madeleine vanished. 

    The German paedophile was held on suspicion of exposing himself to four young children at the playground in Sao Bartomoleu de Messines a 40-minute drive from Praia da Luz.

    The Irish woman was raped in apartment in Praia da Rocha, Portugal, in 2004 (building exterior pictured)

    The Irish woman was raped in apartment in Praia da Rocha, Portugal, in 2004 (building exterior pictured)

    Despite protests from their parents, Brueckner was never prosecuted in Portugal after police discovered he was wanted in his homeland for child sex abuse and possession of child pornography and he was extradited without facing charges.

    Mr Wolters admitted last week there was still no ‘smoking gun’ evidence enabling charges to be brought against the 43-year-old paedophile over Madeleine’s disappearance.

    But he told investigative reporter Sandra Felgueiras on RTP show Sexta as 9 there were ‘many pieces’ of the Madeleine McCann ‘puzzle’ pointing towards Brueckner.

    Brueckner’s lawyer Friedrich Fulscher has insisted his client, currently serving a 21-month drug sentence in prison in the German city of Kiel, has nothing to do with the rape or Madeleine’s disappearance.

    Last week he claimed to have found bombshell information he said would clear the German.

    Yesterday Brueckner was told he would remain in jail after losing a legal challenge against an earlier extradition from Italy to Germany which he insisted should lead to him being freed early.

    The ruling means he will now stay in jail until 2024 at least.

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