An investigation has been launched into how the prime suspect in the disappearance of Madeleine McCann suffered two broken ribs while in a courthouse holding cell, as he is pictured for the first time since being linked with the toddler's case.
Christian Brückner, a convicted paedophile and rapist, was rushed to hospital in Northern Germany on Monday and has been photographed leaving the court complex in handcuffs and leg restraints after the incident.
Wearing a face mask, a green jumper, dark blue jeans and black leather trainers, the 43-year-old looked disheveled as he was marched into a waiting ambulance and taken away under armed guard.
The circumstances of the incident are now under investigation by authorities, amid three conflicting reports from Braunschweig, where his court appearance in connection with another offence was delayed.
Court staff insist he fell over, while Brückner's lawyer Friedrich Fulscher claimed he had been hurt by officials. He has launched an official criminal complaint against the officers which is now the subject of a police investigation.
German newspaper Bild reported that one guard told paramedics: "Someone's rioting in there."
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.''
Christian Brückner has not been seen in public since he was named by German authorities as the prime suspect in the disappearance of Madeleine McCann in June.
The German national was living and working in the Algarve at the time when Madeleine went missing in May 2007.
He lived a chaotic life, and has a long list of convictions stretching back to when he was just 18, and was found guilty of exposing himself in front of a young girl at a playground.
More recently, he was found guilty of the rape of a 72-year-old American tourist in Praia da Luz in 2005, but he is appealing his seven-year prison sentence.
Brückner has also been convicted of possessing thousands of indecent images of children, found hidden in a black bag buried underneath the body of his dead dog.
German police say that they believe that Madeleine is dead and that Brückner killed her, but they have not charged him and he denies the claims.
Yesterday, he was in court for a parole hearing on drugs charges.
The injuries are believed to have been suffered while he was in a holding cell before his case could be heard.
One source at the complex said there was "rioting" on site.
The hearing in the northern German city of Braunschweig had to be delayed while he underwent treatment.
His injuries are not believed to be serious and the hearing eventually got underway two hours late following his return from hospital.
Brückner was rushed to hospital under police escort and treated under guard. Afterwards he returned to the court complex in handcuffs and leg restraints.
He is currently serving a 21-month sentence for drug offences and will be eligible for parole on January 6.
But even if parole is granted he will remain behind bars. He is also facing a seven-year sentence for rape. Brückner has appealed but will be remanded in custody until his appeal is heard.