UK
02/10/2013 06:13 BST | Updated 02/10/2013 06:27 BST

Madeleine McCann's Father Gerry In Portugal To Give Evidence In Libel Case

Gerry McCann is hoping to give evidence at the trial
PA
Gerry McCann is hoping to give evidence at the trial

Madeleine McCann's father Gerry has returned to Portugal in a bid to give evidence at a libel case against a former police chief.

Arriving at the Palace of Justice on Wednesday, Mr McCann said he was not sure what would happen "after last week", when the case was adjourned due to the absence of a defence lawyer.

"We are here to listen to the judge and hopefully be heard," he told reporters.

Mr McCann wants to give evidence in the case against Goncalo Amaral, who published a book making allegations about Madeleine's disappearance in May 2007.

The McCanns say the former detective's claims in the book The Truth Of The Lie, including suggestions that they hid their daughter's body after she died in an accident and faked an abduction, damaged the hunt for Madeleine and exacerbated her family's anguish.

If successful in the case - brought on behalf of Mr and Mrs McCann and their twins Sean and Amelie - the family stands to gain around £1m in damages.

Gerry McCann travelled to the Portuguese capital with his sister Trish Cameron and Kate McCann's mother Susan Healy, who are both expected to appear as witnesses in the case.

Mrs McCann attended the court last month on the first day of the case where she told reporters she was in Portugal to "stop the damage" she believes was being caused to the search for her daughter.

The court has heard how she had suicidal thoughts after Mr Amaral claimed she had covered up her daughter's death.

Psychologist Alan Pike said that after the publication of the former police chief's book in July 2008, Mrs McCann "thought about not being around anymore".

It is not thought that Mrs McCann will travel to Portugal with her husband today.

Madeleine, who was then nearly four, disappeared from her family's holiday apartment in Praia da Luz in the Algarve on May 3 2007 as her parents dined at a nearby restaurant with friends.

Mr Amaral, the detective who initially led the inquiry into Madeleine's disappearance, was removed from the Portugese investigation in October 2007 after criticising the British police.

British detectives launched a fresh investigation into the youngster's disappearance in July this year - two years into a review of the case - and believe she could still be alive.

The Portuguese investigation into Madeleine's disappearance is officially closed.

The case, in which Mr Amaral denies defamation, is expected to finish hearing evidence in November.