Madeleine McCann: German prosecutors face 'tough battle' to charge prime suspect

German prosecutors hoping to charge the prime suspect in the Madeleine McCann case face a "tough battle", according to his lawyer.

The British toddler went missing from a family holiday in Portugal in 2007.

Later, convicted child abuser Christian B was accused of being responsible - an allegation he denies.

The 47 year old, who has never been formally charged over her disappearance, is currently on trial in Germany for a string of unrelated sex offences.

On Wednesday the court in the current case confirmed his arrest warrant has been overturned.

"The court has, as requested by the defence, lifted the arrest warrant, as the court denies that there is an urgent suspicion of guilt on all counts," a statement from Braunschweig Regional Court read.

Reacting to the decision, Christian B's lawyer, Dr Friedrich Fülscher, told Sky News: "I said on the first day of the trial that the defendant would be acquitted, and now after all the evidence has been presented it looks like this will end up happening. I am certain that those accusations would not have led to a trial if Mr B had not been the accused."

Asked whether he expected his client would ever face charges in relation to Madeleine McCann, he replied, "The public prosecutor's office at least now knows it will be a tough battle."

Christian B, whose last name is withheld due to German privacy laws, has denied the three rapes and two sexual offences he is on trial for.

The prosecution claims the alleged crimes took place in Portugal between 2000 and 2017.

A pensioner and a 10-year-old are among the alleged victims.

None of the charges relate to Madeleine McCann.

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In response to the announcement the arrest warrant was being lifted, Prosecutor Sascha Rüegg said: "We will examine the explanation for the decision and then decide how to go forward."

Christian B is currently serving a prison sentence for the 2005 rape of a 72-year-old.

His defence team says if he is acquitted in his ongoing trial, he could walk free from jail next spring at the latest once his current sentence is served.