The parents of missing child Madeleine McCann have vowed to continue fighting the release of a book accusing them of covering up the death of their daughter by staging a false abduction.
For the past eight years Gerry and Kate McCann, parents of still-missing UK girl Madeleine McCann, have been fighting the publication of a book written by former Portugeuse detective Goncalo Amaral. It’s called The Truth of the Lie and in it Amaral, who was the first lead investigator into Madeleine’s disappearance back in 2007 , claims the girl died that night and her parents covered up her death by staging an elaborate abduction.
Now in what is a huge blow, the McCanns have lost their fight against publication of the book, with Portugal’s Supreme Court ruling the book can be released and the McCanns are left once again fighting against allegations they are somehow responsible for their daughter’s disappearance. They are also facing a hefty legal bill.
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Four-year-old Madeleine McCann disappeared during a family holiday to Praia da Luz in Portugal in May 2007. Madeleine and her younger twin siblings were left asleep in a ground-floor apartment while her parents dined at a restaurant 50 metres away, the parents taking turns to check the children at regular intervals.
She was discovered missing at approximately 10pm and since then there has been speculation the McCanns were responsible for Madeleine’s disappearance, with Portuguese authorities initially treating the tragedy as an abduction before pointing the finger at her devastated parents.
Kate and Gerry McCann have worked tirelessly to try and find their daughter who would now be 14.
The McCanns released a joint statement via their website Find Madeleine:
What we have been told by our lawyers is obviously extremely disappointing.
It is eight years since we brought the action and in that time the landscape has dramatically changed, namely there is now a joint Metropolitan Police-Policia Judiciaria investigation which is what we've always wanted.
The police in both countries continue to work on the basis that there is no evidence that Madeleine has come to physical harm.
We will, of course, be discussing the implications of the Supreme Court ruling with our lawyers in due course.
Gerry and Kate
In the book, Amaral - who was the first investigator to look into the girl's abduction - claims Madeleine 'died' and her abduction was a 'cover up'.
Initially, the McCanns were successful in stopping Amaral's outrageous claims, winning a 2015 libel case against him, with Amaral being ordered to pay the McCanns $500,000 euros or approximately $692,000 AUD. However that decision was reversed in 2016, prompting a new fight that has now been ruled in the former detective's favour.
To make matters even worse for the still devastated parents, who have been formally cleared of having anything to do with the disappearance of Madeleine, the judge ruling in the libel case said the McCanns are now not "formally in the clear".
“It should not be said that the appellants were cleared via the ruling announcing the archiving of the criminal case,” the 78-page ruling said, reported in the Mirror.
The supreme court judge stated that Amaral has a "right to freedom of expression" and that his exercise of his freedom of expression "was not considered abusive" and "was within admissible limits in a democratic and open society."
That right to express himself is apparently more important than "possible damage to the honour of the McCanns".
Gerry and Kate McCann have vowed to fight against the book and continue their desperate search for information about the disappearance of their daughter Madeleine.
Their next step has been to lodge a formal complaint against the ruling and if that too fails, they will consider taking their case to the European Court of Human Rights, if they can find the money for the legal fees that will accumulate.
The parents of Madeleine McCann have never given up hope of finding their daughter and have released many photos of their still missing daughter. Click through the gallery.