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Madeleine: Fresh agony for Kate and Gerry McCann



Original Source: Express: Sunday 01 September 2013

Published: Sun, September 1, 2013


KATE and Gerry McCann face more agony next week when their libel action against a former Portuguese police chief comes to court in Lisbon.

The couple are seeking £1m in damages from Goncalo Amaral

The couple are seeking £1million in damages from Goncalo Amaral over allegations he made about the fate of their daughter Madeleine.


The hearing could not come at a worse time, however, as Scotland Yard detectives begin work in the Algarve to try to solve the six-year-old ­mystery of Madeleine’s disappearance. The Sunday Express understands officers have advised the couple not to attend the civil hearing.


They believe Kate and Gerry’s presence would provoke a media circus and could seriously damage their sensitive work on Portuguese soil.


However, Mr Amaral is expected to attend and give interviews on the steps of the court to support his view that Madeleine died in apartment 5a of the Ocean Club in Praia da Luz on May 3, 2007.


He will say that under freedom of the press he has the right to air his views, especially as he was in a senior coordinating role early in the investigation.


A family friend said: “He has spent months working on his case and is very confident he will win.”

The search for Madeleine McCann continues

Isabel Duarte, the McCanns’ lawyer in Lisbon, said: “Kate and Gerry do not have to give evidence so they do not need to be here. I am confident of winning.” She is seeking damages for Kate, Gerry and their twins Sean and Amelie, plus further damages for the harm caused to the search for Madeleine.


It is expected some of the McCanns’ family will give evidence at the trial to explain the impact Mr Amaral’s allegations had on them and on the global hunt for the missing child.


A source said: “Because of the sensitivity of the situation, police don’t want the McCanns anywhere near the country because they fear it could turn into a media circus. They have faith in the Yard investigation and will do what the police feel is best. It will be bad enough having all the old allegations dragged up again and repeated. No doubt Mr Amaral will want to say his bit outside the court and it will all flare up again. It will not be helpful for the Yard.”


Heart specialist Gerry and former GP Kate, both 45, of Rothley, Leicestershire, have vowed never to give up the search for Madeleine, who would now be 10.


Their spokesman Clarence Mitchell said yesterday: “The court process in Portugal is in the hands of Kate and Gerry’s lawyers and is purely a matter for them to proceed with.”


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