and Gerry McCann outside court in Lisbon yesterday. They are
suing Mr Amaral for libel over his allegations that the
couple faked Madeleine's death
It was dramatically produced yesterday by lawyers for a disgraced
Portuguese detective whose campaign of vilification the McCanns are
trying to stop.
The couple want Gonzolo Amaral to be legally barred from accusing
them of being involved in Madeleine's disappearance.
The detective was sacked from the investigation after he made an
outspoken attack on English police, accusing them of failing to
investigate the McCanns. He has since retired from the police force.
His lawyer Antonio Cabrita, reading from a Portuguese translation
of the previously- confidential report, said: 'The family is a lead
that should be followed.
The McCanns want Gonzolo Amaral (pictured
yesterday) to be legally barred from accusing them of
being involved in Madeleine's disappearance
'The contradictions in Gerald McCann's statement might lead us to
suspect a homicide. This is a lead that should be investigated.'
The lawyer added: 'Portuguese police had only considered the
abduction theory. It was British police who said they must consider
homicide as well.'
Mr Cabrita did not outline what ' contradictions' had been found
in Mr McCann's statements and refused to give any further details
after the Lisbon hearing.
Mr Rainbow, 37, leads a team of five criminal profilers at the
NPIA, and specialises in sex crimes and murders.
The Home Office agency, which describes itself as 'part of the
police service', aims to improve police use of information, evidence
and science and to support operations.
It is understood to have provided Portuguese police with a
'checklist' of how to proceed.
A spokesman said last night: 'In disappearance cases it is common
for the NPIA to advise officers to consider the possibility of the
involvement of family and close friends.
'This is good practice for investigating cases. The NPIA gave
similar generic advice to Portuguese police.'
Mr Rainbow, who has worked on major investigations including the
Ipswich prostitute murders and the disappearance of Shannon
Matthews, did not say there was any evidence the McCanns were
But his confidential report appears to have been a turning point
in the Portuguese investigation.
Madeleine's distraught parents were named as official suspects a
few weeks later, despite Portuguese police failing to find any
evidence against them.
The report by Mr Rainbow, of the National
Policing Improvement Agency, was sent to Portugal in June
2007, a month after three-year-old Madeleine disappeared
Mr and Mrs McCann, both 41, listened intently as Mr Cabrita said
Mr Amaral should be allowed to repeat his claims that they were
involved in Madeleine's disappearance.
The 50-year-old ex-detective has alleged in a new book that she
died in a 'tragic accident' and her parents faked an abduction.
Lawyers for the McCanns say he is using the book and the court
case to take 'revenge' on them for the end of his career.
Mr and Mrs McCann, from Rothley, Leicestershire, are suing Mr
Amaral for libel over his allegations and are seeking £1.2million in
damages and compensation.
They have won an injunction which bars him from repeating his
allegations but he is trying to overturn it, claiming it affects his
right to freedom of speech.
The hearing ended yesterday, and the judge will give her verdict
Kate McCann, a former GP, admitted last night that she had found
it painful to listen to three days of evidence in the court. But she
insisted the couple had been right to take legal action.
She said: 'I think this will truly help the search for Madeleine
and that's why we have gone through with it. It hasn't been easy but
if it helps, then we will go through anything.'