lawyers are working on the case and we will take the
McCann couple to court and perhaps other people for
defamation, slanderous denunciations and false
statements," he said.
"We will see who has
spoken the truth in this case."
Mr Amaral, 49,
published a book called The Truth of the Lie last
year in which he alleged that the McCanns covered up
Madeleine's death, even though they have been
formally cleared by the Portuguese authorities. He
has repeated his claims in a television documentary
and a recent newspaper article.
In a statement
announcing their legal action, the McCanns said the
former officer had "brought indescribable
devastation and suffering to our lives" and was
hindering the hunt for Madeleine.
"We can no longer
stand back and watch as Mr Amaral tries to convince
the entire world that Madeleine is dead," they said.
The McCanns, from
Rothley in Leicestershire, have attempted to
kick-start the search for their daughter by
releasing a photo of how she may look today, and
appealing for more information in an appearance on
the Oprah Winfrey show.
The couple had
their status as "arguidos" removed in July 2008, 10
months after being named formal suspects. Portugal's
chief prosecutor said the police had found no
evidence linking the McCanns, or fellow suspect
Robert Murat, to Madeleine's abduction.
Mr Amaral was
taken off the investigation after claiming that the
British police were too responsive to the McCanns'