Private detectives hunting the whereabouts of Madeleine McCann are hoping to use DNA testing to determine whether pedophile Raymond Hewlett was involved in the little girl’s disappearance.

Investigators hired by the McCann’s are flying to Germany today, in an effort to question Hewlett, 64, who is recovering from throat cancer surgery in a hospital in Aachen.An Aachen police spokesman confirmed the public prosecutor will decide whether to give Hewlett the test in the next few days.

Hewlett, a convicted child rapist, was living near the Algarve resort in Praia da Luz at the time of Madeleine’s disappearance May 2007.Police will compare Hewlett’s DNA samples to unidentified samples found in the McCann’s holiday flat at the time of the original investigation. The family’s spokesman Clarence Mitchell said he hoped Hewlett would comply with the tests.’Mr Hewlett has denied any involvement in Madeleine’s abduction.’Our investigators hope he will co-operate by giving them whatever information is needed so they can eliminate him from the investigation.’

Marianna Schmuker, wife of Hewlett, said her husband had nothing to do with the little girl’s disappearance, declaring him ‘innocent’; even after it emerged that he had been spotted outside the apartment in Praia da Luz ‘many times’.Yesterday a witness came forward to reveal that Hewlett had talked non-stop about the Madeleine case in the weeks after she vanished in May 2007.

It was reported that Hewlett had been almost boastful about knowing Praia da Luz ‘very well’ and being very familiar with the Ocean Club complex where Kate and Gerry McCann were staying with their children and friends.Hewlett had been living in the area at the time of the abduction, but left and went to Morocco soon after. According to witness Peter Verran, a former Scots Guardsman, Hewlett seemed to know a lot about the McCann’s and the resort where Madeleine was taken from.

Mr Verran had expressed concern that police would think his child was Madeleine, since she bore a resemblance to the missing girl, but Hewlett quickly replied that Madeleine was not in Morocco.He seemed to know a lot about the Ocean Club complex where the McCann’s had been staying, explaining that he had visited the resort many times and often parked his van close to their apartment. He boasted about knowing the layout of the resort and the flat where the girl was taken from.

Verran was quoted as saying, ‘He (Hewlett) said it was common knowledge among locals that Praia da Luz in general and the Ocean Club in particular was a magnet for Romanian gipsies who abduct and then traffic children.’I asked him why he’d left and come to Morocco. He told me he’d had to leave Portugal in a hurry.’He said he’d packed his family up in half an hour and just driven out of the area. That was just after Maddie was taken.’

The McCann’s spokesperson has said that although Hewlett is, ‘a person of interest’ to the investigation, he is just one of many leads. Hewlett has denied having anything to do with Madeleine’s disappearance, saying, ‘I’ve done nothing wrong – nothing, nothing.’