GERMAN cops have admitted the prime suspect in Madeleine McCann’s case Christian B will not be charged this year.
The convicted German paedo has been held since June 2020, after he was named as a main suspect in Maddie’s disappearance.
Investigator Hans Christian Wolters dashed hopes the sex offender would be charged anytime soon but insisted he was confident authorities would have enough to charge him next year.
He told the Portuguese daily Expresso: “The investigation is ongoing but it’s going to take a lot longer.
“Perhaps we won’t finish this year.”
He declined to explain the delays in bringing the case to court despite Christian B being named as a suspect by German police in June 2020, claiming he didn’t want to “share the results or the current state of the investigation.”
His comments follow reports prosecutors had admitted to his friends and associates they were struggling to get enough evidence against him while interviewing them in a bid to crack the case once and for all.
Mr Wolters has repeatedly insisted he believes they have the right man despite growing concern about the failure so far to charge him over Madeleine’s disappearance and increasing fears he may never stand trial.
He told Portuguese journalist Sandra Felgueiras during an interview last May: “We are convinced he is the murderer of Maddie McCann.
“We have one suspicious person and this is Christian B. There is no other person for us who is suspicious.”
Wolters made it clear the indictment would be made in Germany and said that although Portuguese authorities were assisting them, there was no “joint investigation.”
A Portuguese PI team based in the northern Portuguese city of Porto, led by Helena Monteiro, is still working on the case.
A source involved in the Portuguese side of the investigation said last night: “The team in Porto continue to have direct contact with the German and British authorities.
“Now of course it’s more with the Germans.
“It’s an informal bilateral contact in which direct help involving the checking of information is provided.”
In October last year Christian B was charged by German prosecutors with three offences of aggravated rape and two offences of the sexual abuse of children, in alleged crimes spanning 17 years between 2000 and 2017.
No date has yet been set for the trials.
Christian B, who denied any involvement in the young Brit’s disappearance, claimed in a letter penned from his prison cell that the decision to charge him was linked to a “fairy tale” indictment.
Informers with chequered pasts. who knew him when he lived in Portugal and were involved in criminal activity with him, are understood to be key to the case German prosecutors are trying to build up against him over Madeleine’s disappearance.
One friend, who knew the German when they were living in the Algarve together and spoke to detectives in recent months, told the Mirror last month: “They believe Chris did it, they say they know he did it, but they told me they don’t have proof.
“That’s why they are going back over old interviews. When they spoke to me they were very open about what the situation is.
“It felt like they are struggling. They just asked the same questions again, there was nothing new.”
Christian B is currently serving a seven-year sentence in Germany over the rape of a pensioner in Praia da Luz-the same area in Portugal where Maddie went missing in 2007 aged three.