The parents of missing Madeleine McCann today launched a furious attack on the former Portuguese police chief who led the search for their daughter for delaying a libel action against him.
Kate and Gerry McCann are suing Goncalo Amaral following claims he made about them in a 2008 book called The Truth Of The Lie.
The couple had travelled to Portugal to deliver personal statements on how the accusations in the book were affecting them.
Mr and Mrs McCann were originally told they could not make statements to the long-running trial at Lisbon's Palace of Justice, but the decision was overturned after an appeal by their lawyer.
However, a 10-day adjournment to the libel trial was granted after Mr Amaral sacked his legal team at the last moment. It is the fourth delay in the now five-year trial.
Speaking outside the court the couple told reporters that the delay of the trial was exasperating and caused them "more pain and distress". The couple also said there was still a "good chance" that Madeleine was still alive.
Madeleine, who was nearly four when she went missing, disappeared from her family's holiday apartment in Praia da Luz in the Algarve on May 3 2007 as her parents dined at a nearby restaurant with friends.
The McCanns' case is that the false allegations in Mr Amaral's 2008 book, including suggestions that they hid Madeleine's body after she died in an accident and faked an abduction, damaged the hunt for their daughter and exacerbated their anguish.
If successful the family stand to gain around £1 million in damages.
The McCanns' return to Portugal comes after they said last week that the fact police found no evidence relating to their missing daughter during recent searches in Praia da Luz had reinforced their belief that she could still be alive.
Speaking today the parents expressed their anger at the further delay in the case: "We're exasperated that the hearing has been cancelled once again at Mr Amaral's request.
The Madeleine McCann case
The Madeleine McCann case
1/25 Madeleine McCann
One of the last photos of Madeleine before her disappearance
2/25 Madeleine McCann
Madeleine McCann was three when she was abducted during a family holiday in 2007
3/25 Top worn by a man that detectives investigate with connection to disappearance of Madeleine McCann
A computer generated image of the distinctive burgundy long sleeve top worn by a man that detectives investigating the disappearance of Madeleine McCann are looking for
4/25 Apartment in Portugal from where Madeleine went missing
An aerial view of the Ocean Club apartments and pool where Madeleine McCann went missing
Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images
5/25 Kate McCann
Kate McCann speaks to the press outside the court house in Lisbon on 12 September 2013 following the first audience of the McCann couple's libel proceedings against former inspector Goncalo Amaral for a book written about the case of their missing daughter
6/25 Kate and Gerry McCann
Kate McCann and Gerry McCann before the start of the 'Miles for Missing People' charity run in Regent's Park in London, 2011
7/25 Kate and Gerry McCann
Kate and Gerry McCann make an appeal at a press conference in the holiday resort of Praia da Luz, Portugal 7 May 2007
8/25 Kate and Gerry McCann
The McCann's give an interview with a Spanish television channel at their home in Rothley
9/25 Kate and Gerry McCann
Madeleine McCann was abducted in Portugal in May 2007
10/25 Kate and Gerry McCann
Preliminary forensic analysis on samples recovered from the McCanns' hire car raised the possibility of a match with Madeleine's DNA profile, according to the leaked report
11/25 Kate and Gerry McCann
Pope Benedict XVI blesses a photo of four-year-old abducted British girl Madeleine McCann, while meeting her parents Gerry and Kate McCann, after his weekly general audience at the Vatican, 2007
12/25 Kate and Gerry McCann
Gerald McCann and Kate McCann speak to the press on 4 May 2007 at the Ocean club appartement hotel in Praia de Luz in Lagos after Madeline vanished while her parents were out to dinner
13/25 Portuguese police search for Madeleine
Dozens of Portuguese police aided by dogs search for missing three-year old British girl Madelaine McCann in front of the Ocean club appartment hotel in Praia de Luz in Lagos
14/25 Kate and Gerry McCann
Gerald McCann and Kate McCann walk holding their two other children outside the Ocean club apartment hotel in Praia de Luz in May 2007
15/25 Madeleine McCann
Madeleine McCann pictured at the age of three, left, and as she might have looked aged nine
16/25 Kate and Gerry McCann
The parents of missing Madeleine McCann have described as "pure speculation" reports in the Portuguese press suggesting that a chief suspect in the disappearance of their daughter was killed in a tractor accident four years ago.
17/25 Tribute for missing Madeleine in Rothley, Leicesteshire
Three year old Cally prepares to add a yellow ribbon to a floral tribute for missing Madeleine McCann in Rothley in Leicesteshire, 2007
18/25 Support for the missing Madeleine
Everton captain Lee Carsley (L) leads his team onto the field, followed Mikel Arteta (C) and Manuel Fernandes (R) wearing Tshirts bearing a message of support for the missing British toddler Madeleine McCann, prior to the English Premiership match between Chelsea and Everton, at Stamford Bridge in London, 2007
19/25 Madeleine McCann
A poster appealing for information about Madeleine McCann at a Spanish railway station
20/25 BBC's Crimewatch reconstruction of Madeleine McCann's disappearance
Former porn star Mark Sloan (L) was cast in the BBC's Crimewatch reconstruction of Madeleine McCann's disappearance
21/25 Clarence Mitchell holds two artist's impression of the new suspect
McCann family spokesman Clarence Mitchell holds two artist's impression of the new suspect on 20 January 2008 in London. The description has come from British woman Gail Cooper, who was staying with her family close to the McCann's apartment in Portugal
22/25 Image of a woman sought in the case
Clarence Mitchell, the press spokesman for the McCann family, releases a photofit image of a woman sought in the search for missing Madeleine McCann
23/25 Suspect in disappearance of Madeleine McCann
Police released two e-fits of suspect in disappearance of Madeleine McCann
24/25 Raymond Hewlett
Convicted paedophile Raymond Hewlett, who is being sought in connection with the disappearance of Madeleine McCann
25/25 A picture of a suspect
An artist's impression of a suspicious man seen by a witness apparently watching the McCann family's apartment in Praia da Luz, Portugal, the day before Madeleine McCann went missing
"This is the fourth time this has happened and we've travelled to Portugal.
"The legal case has been running now for over five years and we want to get justice for Madeleine.
"Today is a blatant and cynical attempt to wear us down and it's Madeleine who is suffering.
"We're not going to give up - we're going to keep going."
Clearly angry and upset, Mrs McCann said: "We need to make it clear to people: we took on this case because of the pain and distress that Mr Amaral has brought to us and our children.
"And every time he postpones the case like this it brings us more pain and distress.
"Every time we come here we have to make arrangements for our children to be looked after, we have to book flights, we have to book hotels, we have to take time off work to come here.
"And Mr Amaral handed that letter in apparently around nine o'clock this morning. That letter could have been handed in before we left the country.
"And this has happened about four times. As Gerry said, this can't be seen as anything but blatant and cynical. We just want justice. This is not fair."
Mrs McCann said Mr Amaral was trying to deny Madeleine the "human right" to be looked for and found, adding that the detective was "not the victim in this".
Mr McCann said Madeleine "is completely innocent in all of this, this is what it's about, an innocent child who is missing".
When asked what he would say to Mr Amaral, Mr McCann said curtly: "We are not speaking to Mr Amaral."
The latest delay in the case comes as Mr Amaral made more outlandish claims today about Madeleine's disappearance in an interview with Portuguese newspaper Correio da Manha and its sister TV channel CMTV.
The McCanns said they would return to Portugal for the next hearing, which has been scheduled for July 8th.Reuse content