Madeleine McCann suspect Christian B employs team of Brit lawyers to help clear his name despite having no income

THE prime suspect in the disappearance of Madeleine McCann has hired a crack team of Brit lawyers, it's been revealed tonight.

Christian B, 43, has instructed a UK legal firm to assist him in his bid to prove his innocence – but it's not yet known who's footing the bill.

His German lawyer ­Friedrich Fuelscher told the Mirror: “I can confirm we are using UK lawyers.”

But he refused to comment on who is responsible for paying lawyers' fees.

B, described as a "drifter", is currently serving a sentence in a German jail.

He has no independent source of income – and the person or organisation responsible for footing legal bills remains shrouded in mystery.

When asked who was funding his representation, Mr Fuelscher replied: “I’m afraid I cannot answer that question.”

However, he said one of the lawyers’ roles was “looking at the media coverage surrounding him”.

Mr Fuelscher has gone on record complaining about the “lack of ­objectivity” in some of the press reporting in Germany and the UK.

It is understood the legal firm combs all British news websites and reads every national newspaper each day to check coverage.

And earlier this week, Mr Fulscher insisted police have the wrong man – telling reporters: "I cannot go into details but it is very significant and involves someone who has provided me with vital information. 

"When I reveal it you will fall off your chair."

B was named earlier this year as the chief suspect in ­Madeleine’s disappearance.

Police say mobile phone records place him at Portuguese resort Praia da Luz on the night the tot went missing in 2007.

She was nearly four years old at the time.

The latest news on the case was revealed just hours after German chief prosecutor Hans Christian Wolters said there is “material evidence” Madeleine is dead.

Wolters told Portuguese broadcaster RTP that investigators have evidence that she is no longer alive.

He was asked: "Do you have any material evidence that Madeleine is dead?"

Mr Wolters answered: "Yes", but refused to give further details. 

The latest development will bring more heartache to parents Kate and Gerry, who had hoped the German police investigation would end their ordeal. 

During the summer, police searched allotments on the outskirts of Hanover, not far from where Christian B lived for a time in 2007.

They discovered a cellar, which was searched with sniffer dogs. Reports said officers were looking for memory sticks, but prosecutors would not confirm if any were found.

B has previously been convicted of a string of charges including possession of child sex images and the rape of a pensioner

He is currently serving a 21-month sentence in Kiel, northern Germany, on drug dealing charges.

But he claims he had nothing to do with Madeleine’s disappearance.

Last week The Sun revealed German prosecutors are now formally investigating Christian B for a violent rape in the Algarve in 2004.

The victim, then 20, was tied up at knifepoint by a masked intruder who spoke with a German or Dutch accent.

The fiend beat her and filmed the attack in Praia da Rocha.

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