The man suspected of murdering Madeleine McCann will not answer questions unless prosecutors prove he was involved, it has been reported.
The suspect, a 43-year-old German man named in reports as Christian B, is currently in prison.
His lawyer says he will refuse to answer questions about Madeleine until the German authorities provide proof he was involved in her disappearance, The Times reported.
German investigators believe Christian B killed Madeleine soon after abducting her from a holiday apartment in the Portuguese resort of Praia da Luz in May 2007.
German police said there are people who may have information on where her body was left.
The Times said investigators are searching for a link connecting the suspect to an incident involving a 10-year-old British girl in the same resort in 2005, the same year he raped a woman at a villa nearby.
It reported that police were aware of nine sexual assaults and three attempts against British girls aged from six to 12 who were holidaying in the area between 2004 and 2006.
Christian B’s lawyer, Friedrich Fulscher, told the newspaper: “Mr B is remaining silent on the allegation at this time on the advice of his defence counsel. This is quite common in criminal proceedings.
“It is the duty of the state to prove that a suspect committed a crime.
“No accused person has to prove his innocence to the investigating authorities.”
The 43-year-old suspect is in prison in Germany for drug dealing. He is appealing against a conviction for the 2005 rape.
Asked how his client will respond to reports linking him to other cases around Europe, Fulscher said: “We are reviewing every article and will decide on a case-by-case basis whether to take legal action against the media concerned.”
Meanwhile, a former German police chief has admitted it was a “huge mistake” to notify Christian B in 2013 that he was a person of interest in Madeleine’s disappearance.
Police in Braunschweig, northern Germany, sent him a summons letter seven years ago to appear for “questioning” in relation to the “missing persons case Madeleine McCann”, the Daily Telegraph reported.
The move happened before a significant police investigation and may have allowed Christian B to destroy any evidence that may have existed, experts told the German newspaper Der Spiegel last week.
Ulf Kuch, the former head of police in the German city of Braunschweig, said sending the letter “was a huge mistake”.
Kuch said he did not know about the summons despite his role at the time as supervisor for the officer who issued the notice, The Daily Telegraph reported.
Portuguese police are said to be considering searching abandoned wells near a farmhouse rented by Christian B on the outskirts of Praia da Luz in the hope of finding clues into Madeleine’s disappearance, The Times said.