Gonçalo Amaral has won his appeal
against a Lisbon court’s decision last
year to award half a million euros in
damages to Kate and Gerry McCann.
The award arose from the McCanns’
objection to Amaral’s book Maddie: The
Truth of the Lie published in 2008. The
overturning of the damages ruling and
the lifting of the ban on the book is
said to have come as a huge relief to
Amaral and his many supporters and
As the former coordinating detective in
the original Portuguese investigation
into the disappearance of Madeleine
McCann, Amaral has always questioned the
McCanns’ insistence that Madeleine was
abducted. He believes they were involved
in their daughter’s disappearance and
fabricated a cover-up story.
After last year’s judgement, Amaral
described the court’s libel ruling as
unfair in that it questioned every
Portuguese citizen’s right to freedom of
expression and of opinion. “For that
reason I do not resign myself to the
decision and I will appeal it until the
very last judicial instance,” he said.
The court’s latest decision was a
unanimous one by three judges. It is
another dramatic twist in a long-running
saga that may not yet be over. The
McCanns are likely to appeal against the
latest judgement and take the matter to
Portugal's Supreme Court.
The McCanns began their action in 2009.
It has been lurching along between
lengthy delays ever since. The award of
€500,000 plus interest was made last
April, though no money was actually
handed over. Madeleine’s parents had
been hoping for €1.2 million in damages.