Ex-detective will take Madeleine McCann book fight to Europe

15 January 2010
Leicester Mercury

Goncalo Amaral has vowed to appeal to the European Court of Human Rights if he loses a legal battle over his book which claims Madeleine McCann is dead.

The former detective said his case was about "fundamental rights" for all Portuguese citizens and pledged to keep fighting all the way.

Madeleine's parents, Kate and Gerry McCann, were left facing the prospect of years of court hearings at which Mr Amaral's allegations against them will be repeated.

The couple, both 41, from Rothley, flew to Lisbon this week to hear Mr Amaral attempt to overturn their ban on his book, Maddie: The Truth Of The Lie.

The ex-policeman called a series of witnesses to support his claims that Madeleine died in her family's holiday flat and that her parents faked her abduction - something they strongly deny.

Mrs McCann admitted yesterday that sitting through the evidence was difficult but added that nothing could be as bad as losing Madeleine.

She also insisted that she and Mr McCann were right to take legal action against Mr Amaral and said she was confident they would win.

Yesterday, Mrs McCann said: "Our daughter's been taken and nothing's ever going to be as bad as that. It's still been difficult, it's been emotive, because I know what's in the case files, I know what the conclusions are.

"So it's difficult to hear something that's incorrect and inaccurate."

Mr Amaral was the first head of the Portuguese police investigation into Madeleine's disappearance from Praia da Luz in the Algarve on May 3, 2007, shortly before her fourth birthday. A judge granted the McCanns a temporary injunction in September last year banning further sale or publication of Mr Amaral's book and a TV documentary he made about the case. Mr Amaral's lawyers argue that the material in his book is contained in the official Portuguese police files for the investigation, many of which were made public in August 2008.

Mr Amaral emerged from the hearing yesterday and said he would take his case to Portugal's higher courts and even the European Court of Human Rights if he lost.

Police made the McCanns "arguidos", or formal suspects, in the case four months after Madeleine disappeared.

But this status was lifted when the investigation was shelved in July 2008 with prosecutors concluding they had no evidence that they committed any crimes. The case is to be adjourned until February 10.

Meanwhile, Mr Amaral's lawyer, Antonio Cabrita, has denied that the former policeman said " f    the McCanns " in response to a question from a BBC reporter about whether his book was hurting the couple.

Regional news programme East Midlands Today broadcast the exchange with the allegedly offending word bleeped out.

A BBC spokesman said: "The reply was clearly ' f    the McCanns '."

Return to top of page Copyright © 2010 | Flash News Converted into Blogger Template by HackTutors