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HomeNewsMadeleine McCann inquiry 'to end' after 11 years - fears chief suspect...

Madeleine McCann inquiry 'to end' after 11 years – fears chief suspect won't be charged

Funding for the inquiry, known as ‘Operation Grange’, is reportedly set to come to an end on March 31 this year. It was launched four years after she disappeared from her family’s holiday home in Portugal. A source told The Sun “there are currently no plans to take the inquiry any further”.

In 2020, a man known as Christian B was identified as a suspect.

However, prosecutors have yet to charge him.

He is currently serving a seven-year jail sentence in Germany for raping an elderly woman in Praia da Luz in 2005, two years before Madeleine McCann disappeared from the same resort.

Christian B has described the allegations as “absurd”.

Operation Grange is a missing person inquiry as there is no “definitive evidence whether Madeleine is alive or dead”, the Met Police said.

However, German prosecutor Hans Christian Wolters told Madeleine’s parents, Kate and Gerry McCann, that he has “concrete evidence” she is dead.

He did not reveal the evidence, saying that to do so would jeopardize his investigation into Christian B.

Last night, Met detective chief inspector Mick Neville told the Sun that there are “still excellent lines of inquiry”.

He said: “There are still leads to be followed, with social media images and any CCTV footage from the time.

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Mr Neville said: “Much effort has been put on linking the crime to the convicted rapist and paedophile Christian B, but this has failed.

“No tangible proof has been produced he was ever involved.

“German prosecutor Hans Wolters’ statements, that the authorities had ‘concrete evidence’, were misinterpreted here.

“The phrase, in German, means the police have tangible reasons to suspect someone and can legally question them.

“It does not mean hard proof as it does here.”

Speaking to the paper about Operation Grange, a source said: “The end of the road for Operation Grange is now in sight.

“The team’s work is expected to be completed by autumn.”

Previously, outgoing Met Police Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick had told LBC that the inquiry “will continue until there is nothing left to do”.

She added: “There is not a funding issue.

“So far (we have) received support every time we have felt there was a line of inquiry to pursue.”

The Met Police was provided with a special grant from the Home Office to fund the investigation.

It received an extra £300,000 in March 2021 to continue working on it until 2022.



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