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McCanns insist there is no evidence Maddy died

Gerry McCann spoke out last night after Portuguese detectives used a court case to accuse him and his wife of faking the abduction of their daughter Madeleine.

Mr McCann defended the couple's decision to take legal action over a book and TV documentary by former police chief Goncalo Amaral.

And he insisted there was "absolutely no evidence" to support Mr Amaral's claims that Madeleine died in her family's Algarve holiday flat on the night she vanished in 2007.

A visibly frustrated Mr McCann spoke to reporters outside the main civil court in Lisbon, where Mr Amaral is trying to overturn a ban on publishing his book.

"Over the last two days, we've heard a lot about Mr Amaral's thesis that Madeleine is dead," he said. "And I also hope you've heard that there is absolutely no evidence to support that thesis.

"A thesis without evidence is meaningless and that is what we are challenging."

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.


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 yesterday he believed Madeleine died in her family's holiday apartment and that her parents covered up the death by inventing a kidnapping.

He said the main evidence for this was the findings of British police sniffer dogs sent to Portugal to examine the flat.

A former senior detective called as a witness also dismissed the theory that Madeleine was abducted.

Francisco Moita Flores, who is now a city mayor, criminologist and writer, told the court it would be impossible to pass a child through the window of the McCanns' apartment.

Mr McCann launched a strong defence of what he and his wife have done since their daughter's disappearance. Speaking to journalists, he criticised some detectives who still see him and his wife as suspects.

He said: "I think it is particularly disappointing that certain police officers within Portimao who considered us as possibly involved in Madeleine's disappearance have not been able to change their minds despite a lack of evidence.

"It is these officers we are dependent on for pursuing the investigation within Portugal."

Irish Independent