Maddie suspect ‘set to be charged as witnesses told be ready for court date’

MADELEINE McCann suspect Christian B could be charged by the end of summer, it’s reported.

The rapist, 45, was declared an “arguido” by police in Portugal ahead of the 15th anniversary of the three-year-old vanishing on the Algarve.

Madeleine McCann was snatched in Portugal in 2007 aged three


Madeleine McCann was snatched in Portugal in 2007 aged three
Christian B was made a formal suspect last month over Maddie's disappearance


Christian B was made a formal suspect last month over Maddie’s disappearance

An “arguido” – normally translated as “named suspect” or “formal suspect” – is someone who is treated by Portuguese police as more than a witness but has not been arrested or charged.

Christian B could face trial in light of “extremely strong” new evidence from the tot’s 2007 disappearance, according to former Chief Met Police Officer Jim Gamble.

It’s understood potential witnesses have been told be on standby to give evidence in a German courtroom as he may be charged within weeks.

A former friend of B told the Mirror: “I got a call from the Germans asking questions about a previous statement I made.

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“They said I should be prepared to come to Germany, possibly at the end of the summer.

“They said they were hoping to charge Christian with something but didn’t go into any more detail.”

It’s unclear, however, whether the charges will relate to Maddie‘s disappearance or another alleged crime.

German prosecutor Hans Christian Wolters’ police team suspect he abducted Madeleine from a holiday apartment in Praia da Luz, Portugal in 2007.

And they claim to have evidence proving beyond doubt that she was murdered soon after.

Sources suggested forensic work was ongoing to trace “potentially crucial” evidence from a VW van he drove at the time.

But the suspect — serving seven years in a German jail for raping an OAP in Portugal — denies involvement in Madeleine’s disappearance.

Yet he has not provided an alibi to police, according to cops.

The convicted paedophile has told a US documentary he was elsewhere when the Brit when the tot was snatched.

Mr Wolters told The Sun: “We’re not aware of any alibi at all.”

The frustrated investigators believe the prime suspect is “playing games with them”.

After stonewalling German interrogators, Christian B has instead chosen to give details of his alleged alibi to a US TV documentary.

Prosecutors will remain none the wiser until Madeleine McCann: Prime Suspect is aired on Tuesday — the 15th anniversary of the three-year-old Brit’s abduction.

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Her parents are preparing to remember her at a prayer service on Tuesday.

Kate and Gerry are expected to join family, friends and supporters in their home village of Rothley, Leics.

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