A NEW witness claims he saw Madeleine McCann suspect Christian Brueckner running from the rape of a young Irish expat in Portugal.
The hotel worker on the Algarve claims he saw the man dressed in black fleeing the apartment block in Portimao at dawn.
He was reportedly able to identify him as blonde-haired German expat Brueckner as he had taken off his mask to flee.
“He came forward recently with his evidence,” a German police source told the Olive Press. “His testimony is very credible.”
The employee had been arriving early for work at a hotel next to the Clube Praia da Rocha when he allegedly spotted Brueckner.
His evidence given to German BKA detectives comes after ‘others’ said they saw a man in black climb up into the apartment of Irish 20-year-old Hazel Behan in June 2004.
Behan, now 40, had been out with pals nearby and believes she was followed across a footbridge to her first floor apartment, which had a balcony ‘easy to climb onto’.
She told the Olive Press this week: “I’m sure I was being watched for a while and someone had been in my room in the weeks before.”
She added: “On that night, I had been out with friends and came back late.
“He must have followed me across a footbridge to block 3 where I lived and then climbed up to my window and came in wearing a mask having taken off his shoes.
“He held a huge knife and knew my name.
“It was a terrifying four hour ordeal in which he beat and raped me, all on camera.”
She added: “I’m sure it was piercing blue eyed, blonde-haired Brueckner, who spoke to me in English with a German accent.
“If the Portuguese police had put a ‘call’ out for information at the time, this witness might have come forward immediately then.
“As it is, I have had to wait 20 years for justice, but I’m looking forward to finally facing him in court soon.”
Witnesses had already reported seeing a figure draped all in black scaling an apartment block to break into the Irish girl’s room.
A trial over the rape – and four other sex offences, including two against children – is set to begin in early 2024.
Prosecutor Hans Christian Wolters, at Braunschweig Court, which convicted Brueckner of the rape of a 72-year-old American expat in 2005, told the Olive Press last week: “We have everything we need in the Hazel case.
“Our evidence is very good. The court is just sorting out the actual date for the trial now.”
Brueckner is also the chief suspect in the disappearance of British toddler Madeleine McCann, 10 miles away in Praia da Luz in May 2007.
The case will be heard in Braunschweig after the conclusion of the other trials.