The McCanns' lawyer has accused the opposing side in a Portuguese
libel trial of trying to "do in civil court what it could not do in
Kate and Gerry McCann are trying to ensure a ban is upheld on a
book written by former policeman Goncalo Amaral, in which he suggests
their daughter Madeleine died in the apartment from which she vanished
in May 2007.
After witnesses called on behalf of Mr Amaral backed his version
of events, Isabel Duarte, the McCanns' top lawyer, said that the team
had known they would open a "Pandora’s box".
Sky News Crime Correspondent Martin Brunt commented: "They always
said it was not going to be an easy court case to sit through, but I
think even they have been surprised
Nonetheless Mrs McCann said it had been shown once again that
there is no evidence to support Mr Amaral's claims.
Mr Amaral was originally in charge of the investigation into
Madeleine McCann's whereabouts after she disappeared during the
family trip to Praia da Luz in the Algarve.
However, he was taken off the case five months later after
criticising the British police, and went on to write Madeleine: The
Truth Of The Lie, published the following summer.
Kate McCann outside court in Portugal
The book and a
subsequent documentary prompted the McCanns to launch a legal fight
for a ban and £1m compensation, which they say would be put towards
efforts to find Madeleine.
The first witness
to speak on the third day of the trial was Antonio Paulo Santos,
general manager for a video production industry body, and a former
investigator for Portuguese police, making him a colleague of Mr
Mr Amaral, he
told the court, never accused the McCanns of guilt, either in the
documentary or the book.
Next up was
Carlos Coelho da Silva, TV director at VC Films, the production
company behind the film based on Mr Amaral's book.
Mr da Silva said
he did not include the public attorney's verdict that the
conclusions arrived at by the investigators were incorrect, because
he was telling a story.
Earlier, as Mrs McCann arrived at court with Fiona Payne, a
member of the 'Tapas Seven' group of friends who dined with them on the
night Madeleine disappeared, she paused to speak to the waiting press
"This is definitely the right course of action," she said. "I
truly believe we are doing this to help the search for Madeleine.
"I believe in the Portuguese judicial system and that we will get
justice, and that we can take the search for Madeleine forward."
Meanwhile Mr Amaral has denied a report that he said "f*** the
McCanns" in response to a question from a reporter about whether his
book was hurting the couple.
He has also pledged that if he loses the case he is prepared to
go all the way to the European Court of Human Rights.
The trial has so far consisted of witnesses called on behalf of
Mr Amaral, mostly current or former policemen who back his version of
The 'Tapas Seven'
Chief Inspector Tavares de Almeida told the court on Monday he
believed Madeleine died in her family's holiday apartment and that her
parents covered up the death by inventing a kidnapping.
On the second day Francisco Moita Flores, a former senior
policeman who is now a politician, criminologist and writer, told the
court it would be impossible to pass a sleeping child through the window
of the McCanns' holiday flat.
Their testimony has been challenged by Ms Duarte, who pointed out
there were other ways in which the youngster could have been taken from
The McCanns, both 41, from Rothley, Leicestershire, sat together
in court until on the trial's second day Mr McCann left early, saying he
had to fly back to the UK to honour work commitments.