The prime suspect in the disappearance of Madeleine McCann has been hospitalised after his lawyer claims he was attacked in court cells before his first public appearance.
Christian Brueckner, 43, received two broken ribs in the incident, the Sun reported.
It came as Brueckner, a convicted paedophile, was waiting to appear in a parole hearing in Braunschweig, Germany.
The Sun reported his lawyer Friedrich Fulscher claimed he had been hurt by officials, but the court said Brueckner had "fallen over".
Police were reportedly called and Brueckner was taken to a nearby hospital for treatment.
Last night a spokesperson for the court said: ''The exact sequence of events is now the subject of investigation.
"Against this background, we cannot comment on the details."
Brueckner was before the court seeking parole after serving nearly two-thirds of 21-month drugs sentence.
The German drifter is believed to have lived in a campervan near a remote reservoir less than 15km from Praia da Luz, where McCann went missing in 2007 and was named earlier this year as a prime suspect in her disappearance.
Police were initially flooded with leads but the investigation has slowed and Brueckner has refused to cooperate.
His lawyer admitted in September that he wouldn't trust his client to ever be around his children.
Fulscher told the Daily Mirror if he had a daughter, he would never let him "babysit" her.
Despite Brueckner claiming his innocence in the McCann case, Fulscher said: "I'd let him look after my dogs but I wouldn't let him look after my children or my daughter - if I had them.
"He could be my dog sitter, yes, but because of his record I would not let him look after my own daughter."
He told the Mirror his client is "as relaxed as a man can be when the whole world thinks he is guilty of murdering a young girl".