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Judge bans policeman's Madeleine book

A Portuguese judge today banned further sales or publications of a former policeman's book which claimed Madeleine McCann is dead, a spokesman for the missing girl's parents said.

Clarence Mitchell said Kate and Gerry McCann were "absolutely delighted" that a judge at Lisbon's main Civil Court had banned any further publication of The Truth Of The Lie by Goncalo Amaral.

He said the book had hampered the search for missing Madeleine and added to her parents' distress.

Mr Amaral worked on the investigation into three-year-old Madeleine's disappearance from an apartment in Praia da Luz in May 2007 during a family holiday.

He was removed from the investigation after criticising British police.

The injunction, granted today after a hearing last week, means he has to ensure that all unsold copies of the book are removed from shops and warehouses across Europe or he faces a 1,000 euro-a-day (£877) fine.

Mr Mitchell said: "Kate and Gerry McCann are absolutely delighted that the judge in Portugal has done the right thing by granting this injunction."

He said Mr Amaral's claims that he believed Madeleine was dead were "threatening the search".

Mr Amaral said he did not believe the McCanns' account that Madeleine was taken while they were eating with friends nearby.

Mr Mitchell said the Mr Amaral's claims had "added to their distress".

The injunction bans Mr Amaral from repeating his claims about Madeleine or her parents.

The terms of the injunction also apply to a TV programme about Madeleine's disappearance which Mr Amaral produced several months ago.

The injunction forces copyright for the book and the film to be passed to the McCanns' lawyer.