Tuesday 20 February 2018

Police chief to pay McCanns €500,000 over Maddie book

Kate and Gerry McCann, parents of disappeared girl Madeleine McCann.
Kate and Gerry McCann, parents of disappeared girl Madeleine McCann.
Former Portuguese police inspector Goncalo Amaral.
Madeleine McCann, who disappeared aged three.

Martin Evans in London

Goncalo Amaral, the police chief who led the initial investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann, has been ordered to pay her parents €500,000 in damages because of hurt caused to them following the publication of his book 'The Truth of the Lie'.

The Civil Court of Lisbon also banned further sale of the book in which Mr Amaral claimed Madeleine had not been abducted, but had died in an accident in Praia da Luz.

Kate and Gerry McCann launched a libel action against Mr Amaral, who was sacked from the investigation after several months of blunders, claiming they and their family had suffered emotional and psychological harm as a result of the claims made in the book.

Mr Amaral's legal team have leave to appeal the award. Madeleine disappeared from her family's holiday apartment on May 3, 2007 as her parents dined at a nearby tapas restaurant with friends. She was aged three at the time.

Her disappearance became one of the most famous missing person's cases of all time and the investigation has led to a series of apparent dead ends.

The McCanns - once named arguidos, or formal suspects - were finally cleared in July 2008, when the Portuguese police investigation was shelved for lack of evidence.

But the following month, Mr Amaral, who was sacked from the investigation and has since left the police force, published a book accusing them of faking their daughter's abduction to cover up her death in the apartment.

In 2010, they won a court battle in Lisbon to ban sales of the book entitled 'The Truth of the Lie', a ruling that was overturned later that year.

Mr McCann, a heart specialist, and Mrs McCann, a former GP, then sought damages for themselves and their twins, plus further damages for the harm caused to the search for Madeleine.

In a 36-page writ, first lodged in June 2009, they described Mr Amaral as a "self-obsessed, manipulative money-grabber" and accused him of libel and breaching their human rights.

Portuguese police closed down their investigation over Madeleine's disappearance in 2008.

But the UK's Metropolitan Police launched their own operation three years later with Detective Chief Inspector Andy Redwood at the helm.

Scotland Yard said in December that Mr Redwood, who has now retired, was being replaced by Detective Chief Inspector Nicola Wall. (© Daily Telegraph, London)


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