Madeleine claims difficult to hear says mother

15 January 2010
The Irish Examiner

KATE McCann admitted yesterday that listening to claims that she faked her daughter Madeleine’s abduction was difficult – but said nothing could be as bad as losing her child.

She and her husband Gerry have sat through two days of court hearings in which former Portuguese detective Goncalo Amaral has called witnesses to support his allegation that the little girl died in her family’s holiday flat.

Ms McCann insisted that the couple were right to take legal action against Amaral and said she was confident they would win.

Speaking as she arrived for a third day of hearings at the main civil court in Lisbon, she acknowledged that this week had taken its toll.

"If I’m honest, our daughter’s been taken and nothing’s ever going to be as bad as that," she said.

"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.

"At the bottom of all this is a little girl, and I think it’s important that we don’t forget that."

Mr McCann flew back to Britain on Wednesday night to return to work and his wife was accompanied to court today by Fiona Payne, one of the friends on holiday with the couple when Madeleine disappeared.

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.

He has called a series of top Portuguese law enforcement officials as witnesses in his attempt to overturn the McCanns’ injunction on his book about the case, Maddie: The Truth Of The Lie.

Chief Inspector Tavares de Almeida told the court on Tuesday he believed that Madeleine died in her family’s holiday apartment and her parents covered up the death by inventing a kidnapping.

Former detective Francisco Moita Flores also dismissed the theory that the child was abducted and said the McCanns’ legal challenge was "pathetic" when he gave evidence yesterday.

Mrs McCann said about the case: "This is definitely the right course of action.

"I truly believe we are doing this to help the search for Madeleine."

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.

But Mr Cabrita said his client had not said anything in English and Portuguese journalists suggested that he said "I’m not talking about the McCanns" in Portuguese.

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