MADELEINE McCann suspect Christian B was wrongly convicted of raping an OAP and was stitched up by his ex-pals, his lawyer claims.
Christian B, 43, is currently jailed in Germany for a horrific sex attack on a pensioner in Praia da Luz, Portugal in 2005 near where Madeleine went missing two years later.
However, the suspect's lawyer Friedrich Fülscher has insisted that his clientwas wrongly convicted of raping the American, 72, and also has nothing to do with the Madeleine case.
Fülscher believes his client was the victim of a miscarriage of justice despite there being DNA and video evidence proving that the German-born criminal carried out the 2005 assault.
He claims that police probes in both the rape and Madeleine murder case "are based on statements of the same dubious witnesses."
The lawyer told Bild: “I don’t believe anything these witnesses say."
Mr Fülscher is referring to Christian B's two former friends who told police about video evidence of the rape they had stolen from his home, the German news outlet reports.
I think that he shouldn't have been convicted of the rape
The tape also allegedly included footage of a younger woman tied to a wooden beam in a different house.
Mr Fülscher said: "I think that he shouldn't have been convicted of the rape.
"The same witnesses initiated the investigation into the Maddie case against my client."
He claims one of Christian B's former friends had been jailed for seven years for human trafficking but was released after just two years.
The lawyer told Bild that he believes the criminal's cooperation in the Madeleine case may have helped reduce his sentence.
Christian B's ex-pals said they had previously carried out a number of small-time burglaries with him, but what they saw on the tape was "out of the question".
Speaking to German broadcaster RTL, one said: “[Christian B] told me he does his break-ins in hotels and really goes right inside the rooms.”
Christian B was convicted of the 2005 rape last year and jailed for seven years after DNA evidence placed him at the scene.
He also has multiple previous convictions for the sexual abuse of children.
In the Madeleine case, prosecutors said that data from a mobile phone mast shows that Christian B was in the Praia de Luz resort or the surrounding area at the time of the child's disappearance.
The German is known to have lived in properties in the area and to have spent time travelling around and sleeping in a camper van.
He is also alleged to have confessed to abducting Madeleine while in a German bar with a friend and watching a news report about the tenth anniversary of her disappearance.
Last month, police excavated an allotment he is known to have used for a time near the city of Hanover, Germany.
Neighbours have recounted seeing him remove large amounts of earth from the plot.
The owner of another plot in the city of Braunschweig has also claimed Christian B once asked her if he could build a cellar-like structure beneath the site.
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