Madeleine McCann suspect 'taken to hospital with broken ribs after row in cell'

·2-min read

The suspect in the Madeleine McCann case has been injured after an argument in a court cell, according to a German newspaper report.

Christian B, as he is known under German privacy laws, was waiting for the start of a parole hearing in a bid for early release from a current drug-trafficking jail sentence.

He suffered two broken ribs and needed hospital treatment, according to the national newspaper Bild.

His lawyer, Friedrich Fulscher, is said to have a filed a formal complaint against the suspect's guards and an investigation was launched.

Mr Fulscher, who is thought to have witnessed the incident, refused to comment when contacted by Sky News.

Christian B, 43, had been driven to the hearing in Braunschweig's High Court from his prison in Kiel two hours away in Northern Germany.

The German drifter is the prime suspect over the disappearance of British girl Madeleine McCann, who was nearly four when she vanished from a holiday apartment in a Portuguese holiday resort in 2007.

Christian B, a convicted paedophile, had been living nearby and was identified three years ago by German police, who are trying to build enough evidence to charge him.

Braunschweig prosecutor Hans Christian Wolters has said he believes Christian B was responsible for Madeleine's disappearance and that he has evidence that she is dead.

But he also said he does not have enough evidence to charge him, and continues to appeal for information about the suspect's movements and Madeleine's disappearance.

The case against Christian B is circumstantial - his criminal past, his time living near where Madeleine vanished, the alleged proximity of his mobile phone on the night she disappeared, and his behaviour the next day when he is said to have re-registered his car in a friend's name.

He is also alleged to have confessed his guilt to a criminal associate in a bar some years later.

Even if he wins parole from his drugs sentence, it is highly unlikely he will be released from jail, as an appeal court has yet to decide whether to trigger a seven-year jail sentence imposed for a rape conviction a year ago.

He is also being investigated for the alleged rape of an Irish woman and two sex assaults on young girls in Portugal between 2004 and 2017.

Christian B is now back in his cell at a prison in the German city of Kiel.