NEWS

Kate And Gerry McCann 'Will Fight Portuguese Detective Over Libel Case'

Goncalo Amaral was cleared of breaching the country’s libel laws.

30/04/2017 15:49

Kate and Gerry McCann have said they will challenge the Portuguese courts’ decision to clear retired detective Goncalo Amaral of breaching the country’s libel laws.

In this weekend’s television interview, the McCanns were asked if they would continue to fight Amaral over claims he made in his 2008 book about Madeleine’s disappearance.

The McCanns expressed disappointment in February after learning that Portugal’s highest court had thrown out their libel claim against Amaral, who also took part in a Portuguese television documentary claiming Madeleine was dead, there had been no abduction and her body had been hidden.

PA Wire/PA Images
Kate and Gerry McCann during an interview with the BBC's Fiona Bruce at Prestwold Hall in Loughborough.

Amaral was initially ordered to pay the McCanns €250,000 euros (£209,000) each in damages in 2015 over claims made in The Truth Of The Lie after a court banned further sales of the book.

But Portugal’s Supreme Court ruled against the libel action, saying claims made in his book are protected by freedom of expression laws.

During the interview conducted ahead of Wednesday’s 10th anniversary of Madeleine’s disappearance, BBC presenter Fiona Bruce asked the McCanns: “One of the police officers in Portugal has been a thorn in your side for many years, he was thrown off the investigation but then he wrote a book... and you fought it through the courts. 

“At the moment you’ve lost and he’s won. Is this the end for you now, are you going to continue to fight him?”

PA Wire/PA Images
Goncalo Amaral, as Kate and Gerry McCann have said they will challenge the Portuguese courtsÕ decision to clear the retired detective of breaching the country's libel laws.

Mr McCann replied: “I think the short answer is we have to because the last judgment I think is terrible.

“I think it’s also important to say that when we lodged the action was eight years ago, and the circumstances were very different, where we felt there was real damage being done to the search for Madeleine at that time, particularly in Portugal.”

Mr McCann added that it was important to challenge Amaral in the European courts on behalf of the wider family, including his children.

Agreeing that Amaral’s claims needed to be challenged, Mrs McCann said: “I find it all incomprehensible to be honest

“It has been very upsetting, and it has caused a lot of frustration and anger which is a real negative emotion.”

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