Madeleine McCann's mother returns to Portugal to begin libel case against claims made by ex police chief

Kate McCann will be present at first hearing over allegations made by former detective Goncalo Amaral in his book The Truth of the Lie

Heather Saul
Thursday 12 September 2013 09:53
Madeleine McCann pictured at the age of three, left, and as she might have looked aged nine
Madeleine McCann pictured at the age of three, left, and as she might have looked aged nine

The mother of missing Madeleine McCann has returned to Portugal to attend the beginning of the family's libel action against a former Portuguese police chief.

Goncalo Amaral, who initially led the inquiry into Madeleine's disappearance from her family's apartment in Praia da Luz, Algarve, published The Truth of the Lie which made allegations about the child's disappearance.

Madeleine was nearly four at the time she went missing from the bedroom of a Portuguese apartment as her parents dined at a nearby Tapas restaurant with friends.

The McCanns, of Rothley, Leicestershire, have vehemently denied allegations made in the book and say the former detective's claims caused damage to the hunt for Madeleine and increased the anguish endured by her relatives.

Their lawyer Isabel Duarte is expected to set out the case - on behalf of Mrs McCann, her husband Gerry and their twins Sean and Amelie, now eight - at Lisbon's civil court this morning.

Kate McCann will be accompanied by her mother Susan Healy for the first hearing of the case today. Relatives of the family are expected to appear in the witness box, including Michael Wright, Mrs McCann's cousin.

The McCann's spokesman Clarence Mitchell said: “Kate and Gerry McCann remain very confident that they will win the case.

“They have a strong case against Mr Amaral. The matter is now in the hands of their lawyer as it goes through court.”

Mr Amaral was removed from the investigation into Madeleine's whereabouts in October 2007 after criticising the British police. He is expected to argue that under Portuguese law he is entitled to make the claims published in his book, which is still on sale in Portugal.

The libel case will be heard today and Friday. It will then be adjourned until next Thursday when the court will sit again for two days. A final hearing is expected on 27 September. The judgment is expected to be deferred.

Additional reporting by PA

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in