ABOVE: Madeleine McCann vanished in 2007
A SCHOOLGIRL who vanished close to where Madeleine McCann
disappeared was sold to child traffickers, a court will be told this
Joana Cipriano was eight when she went missing from Figueira on
Portugal’s Algarve in 2004.
Her mum Leonor and uncle Joao Cipriano were each jailed for 16
years for her murder.
But Leonor says she now has evidence her daughter was smuggled
out of the country by traffickers.
Her partner claims Joao confessed to him that – acting alone –
he’d sold the youngster to the trafficking gang to raise cash to fund
his drug addiction.
Leonor will put her case during an appeal hearing at a Portuguese
Madeleine’s doctor parents Kate and Gerry, both 41, are convinced
Madeleine, then three, was snatched by child traffickers from their
holiday apartment in Praia da Luz on May 3, 2007.
The spot where she vanished is just 10 miles from where Joana
The McCanns will fly to Portugal later today for a courtroom
showdown with the ex-police chief who still claims they lied about their
They are suing Goncalo Amaral, 49, for £1million after he penned
a best-selling book,
The Truth Of The Lie, about the case.
He alleges Madeleine died in an accident and claims her parents
covered it up. Now the couple want a judge to permanently ban the book.
Their spokesman, Clarence Mitchell, said last night: “Both Kate
and Gerry want to be present for the proceedings. They want to see
justice being done.’’
They will use any damages they are awarded to pay private
detectives to continue the search for Madeleine.
The couple are convinced their daughter – who would now be six –
was abducted and is still alive.