German police have only just released pictures of a suspected sex attacker four months after the crime - because of the country's strict privacy laws and to protect his rights. CCTV footage from the Berlin underground shows the suspected Arab or North African man wearing an Adidas T-shirt and carrying a bottle of beer. He was seen on the day that a 15-year-old girl was followed to her home in the capital's suburb of Spandau on September 6 last year and subjected to an attempted rape. But media and feminist groups are questioning why it then took four months for the police to issue images of the suspect amid claims authorities are continuing to put the rights of criminals over victims. Police say the attacker tried to rape the teenager in the corridor of the block of flats where she lived. Her screams alerted other residents in the building who came out to see what was happening, scaring the attacker away. If the man is a refugee, he may have several identities anyway and will have gone to ground long ago. But a Berlin police spokesman said: 'Publishing a photo of a suspected perpetrator is a deeper engagement in the personality rights of the offender and must therefore be requested by a prosecutor and approved by a judge after all other existing discovery steps were exhausted.' Yet it took the police only one day to issue photos of seven refugee youths who tried to set fire to a homeless man in the underground at Christmas. One day later all of them were in custody having surrendered because their faces were in every newspaper and on every TV news broadcast. Police spokesman Winfried Wenzel went on: 'An attempted murder is a much more serious crime than an attempted rape. 'It was reasonable to assume that little usable traces could be found at the fire scene. 'In the case of attempted rape there are testimonies, evidence of witnesses, which must be pursued.' And he added: 'Ultimately it is an individual decision, when a public investigation with photos is requested.' One women's group spokeswoman in Berlin told local media: 'It is disgraceful that police think they are somehow harming the civil rights of this dangerous individual by keeping his identity secret. 'It is about time Germany thought more about the victims of crime than the criminals.' It is the latest example of Germany's obsession with privacy laws. Just weeks ago, the issue came under the spotlight in the wake of the Berlin Christmas market massacre. A photo of the chief suspect, Anis Amri, was released with his eyes obscured by a thick black line. While media in most countries named the Tunisian fully, many German newspapers referred to him only as Anis A. German privacy laws meant authorities would not fully identify any suspect in the attack. He was later shot dead by police in Milan, Italy, after a major Europe-wide manhunt. Suspects in criminal cases are often only identified in German media by their first name followed by the first letter of their surname. It was not the first example of full names being withheld during criminal cases in the country. In November, only first names were released as two Syrian men, Kamel T.H.J. and Azad R., were charged with membership in a terrorist organisation on allegations they fought with a militant Islamist groups in their homeland. A month earlier, a similar tactic was employed on the arrest of suspected ISIS airport bomb plotter Jaber al-Bakr. The 22-year-old, had built 'a virtual bomb-making lab' in a flat in Chemnitz and was thought to have planned an attack against either one of Berlin's two airports or a transport hub in his home state of Saxony, security sources said. He later hanged himself in his prison cell - despite being on suicide watch. Some newspapers even keep to the rule when referring to Austrian monster Josef Fritzl, who repeatedly raped his daughter, Elisabeth, and fathered seven children by her while keeping her imprisoned in his cellar for 24 years.