Sunday 22 October 2017

Detective loses battle to overturn ban on Maddy book

Sam Marsden in Lisbon

FORMER Portuguese detective Goncalo Amaral yesterday lost an attempt to overturn a ban on his book claiming that Madeleine McCann is dead, a spokeswoman for the child's parents said.

Kate and Gerry McCann welcomed the ruling by a judge at Lisbon's main civil court, saying they were "very pleased and relieved".

Mr Amaral was the first head of the police investigation into the girl's disappearance from Praia da Luz in Portugal in May 2007, shortly before her fourth birthday.

In July 2008 he published a book, 'Maddy: The Truth of the Lie', which alleges that Madeleine died in her family's holiday flat and that her parents faked her abduction.

A judge granted the McCanns, both 41 and from Rothley, Leicestershire, a temporary injunction last September halting further sale or publication of Mr Amaral's book and a TV documentary he made about the case.

The ex-policeman launched an appeal against the ban last month, calling a series of witnesses to support his claims, but the challenge was rejected yesterday.

Mr and Mrs McCann reacted to the ruling by vowing to continue looking for their daughter and appealing for help from the public.

Relieved

They said in a statement: "We are very pleased and relieved with the judge's decision in Lisbon today.

"By upholding the injunction against Goncalo Amaral's book and DVD, the judge has rightly agreed that there has been significant, ongoing damage to the search for our beloved daughter Madeleine and to the rights of our family. We are grateful to the judge for accepting that this injustice must not continue.

"The court case has demonstrated, once again, that there is no evidence that Madeleine has come to any harm.

"It has also clearly shown that no police force is actively looking for Madeleine, even, shockingly, when they are presented with new information and leads."

Mr Amaral's lawyers argued that the material in his book was contained in the official Portuguese police files for the investigation, many of which were made public when the case was shelved in August 2008.

The McCanns say their main motive for challenging the former policeman is the fear that people will stop looking for Madeleine if they think she is dead.

The couple are also seeking €1.2m in compensation for defamation in separate civil proceedings against Mr Amaral in Portugal.

Speaking before the ruling, Mr Amaral vowed to go to the European Court of Human Rights if he lost.

Irish Independent

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