Madeleine McCann's parents return to Portugal

Kate McCann returned to Portugal today for the first time since being quizzed by police over her daughter Madeleine's disappearance.

Mrs McCann and her husband Gerry went to the capital, Lisbon, to update their lawyers on the search for Madeleine, who was three when she disappeared in the Algarve resort of Praia da Luz in May 2007.



Although her husband has been back, this is Mrs Cann's first visit since 2007.



The couple's spokesman, Clarence Mitchell, said: "They will be attending a series of meetings with their lawyers and advisers in Lisbon and they are planning to return to the UK tonight.



"Obviously this is Kate's first return to Portugal since Madeleine's abduction and, whilst this is undoubtedly difficult for her, she remains determined to do whatever is necessary to assist in the search for her daughter."



One of the topics to be discussed will be the recent injunction against further publication of a book by former Portuguese police detective Goncalo Amaral.



Mr Amaral was involved in the initial investigation but was later taken off the case.



In his book, The Truth Of The Lie, he claims Madeleine is dead and questions the McCanns' account that she was taken while they were eating with friends nearby.



Earlier this month a Portuguese judge banned further sale or publication of the book.



The injunction also banned Mr Amaral from repeating his claims about Madeleine or her parents, who are both doctors.



At one point Portuguese police made Mr and Mrs McCann "arguidos", or formal suspects, in their daughter's disappearance.



They were questioned by detectives but their arguidos status was later lifted.



Mr Mitchell said discussions between the couple, both 41 and from Rothley, Leicestershire, would remain private.



But it is understood that, as well as updating lawyers about the search for their daughter, who would now be six, they will be meeting representatives from a new PR agency, whom they hope can turn public opinion in Portugal in their favour.



Earlier this month, Mr McCann criticised Mr Amaral, labelling claims in his book "unforgivable".



Mr McCann said the false allegations had done immense damage to the search for their daughter because Portuguese people would be dissuaded from coming forward with information.



Commenting after the injunction was imposed, he said: "There's a lot of people in Portugal, who might have evidence, that believe Madeleine is dead.



"If people believe that, they won't search for her and they won't come forward with information.



"I know for a fact people have been told Madeleine is dead. There is no evidence to support that and that is unforgivable."



The decision to impose the injunction came after a year-long campaign by the McCanns' lawyers to prevent the publication of the book and a subsequent DVD.



Another topic of discussion between the McCanns and their Portuguese team today is thought to be a possible compensation claim against Mr Amaral.



The couple said earlier that any money awarded by the courts would be ploughed straight back in to paying for private investigators to probe their daughter's disappearance.

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