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Madeleine McCann’s parents to attend policeman’s libel trial

Original Source:  TIMES: THURSDAY 10 DECEMBER 2009
From The Times December 10, 2009

The parents of Madeleine McCann will fly to Portugal today for the start of a libel trial against the former senior police officer Gonçalo Amaral.

Kate and Gerry McCann are planning to attend the opening of the trial in Lisbon tomorrow, their spokesman Clarence Mitchell said.

Mr Mitchell said: “I can confirm that Kate and Gerry McCann will be travelling to Portugal to attend the opening of the defamation case against Gonçalo Amaral in Lisbon on Friday morning.

“They intend to appear at the opening and I would expect that they will return to the UK fairly swiftly.”


Madeleine was nearly four years old when she vanished from her family’s holiday apartment in Praia da Luz, in the Algarve, on May 3, 2007.

Despite a massive police investigation and huge publicity worldwide, she has not been found. Mr Amaral was involved in the initial investigation to find Madeleine but was later taken off the case.

In his book, The Truth of the Lie, he claimed that Madeleine was dead and questioned the McCanns’ account that she was taken while they were eating with friends.

In September, a Portuguese judge granted an injunction banning further sale or publication of the book.

It also banned Mr Amaral from repeating his claims about Madeleine or her parents.

The injunction came after a year-long campaign by the McCanns’ lawyers to prevent the publication of the book and a subsequent DVD.

Speaking after it was granted, Mr McCann said that false allegations had done immense damage to the search for their daughter because Portuguese people would be dissuaded from coming forward with information.

At the time he said: “There’s a lot of people in Portugal, who might have evidence, that believe Madeleine is dead.

“If people believe that, they won’t search for her and they won’t come forward with information.

“I know for a fact people have been told Madeleine is dead. There is no evidence to support that and that is unforgivable.”

At one point Portuguese police made Mr and Mrs McCann, from Rothley, Leicestershire, arguidos, or formal suspects, in their daughter’s disappearance.

They were questioned by detectives but their arguido status was later lifted.

Since then they have continued to campaign to find their daughter


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