McCanns to speak about Madeleine book ban ruling

McCanns to speak about Madeleine book ban ruling

Kate and Gerry McCann will speak publicly for the first time today about a Portuguese court’s decision to uphold a ban on a book claiming their daughter Madeleine is dead.

A judge in Lisbon yesterday rejected an attempt by former senior detective Goncalo Amaral to overturn an injunction halting the sale and publication of his book, Maddie: The Truth Of The Lie.

The McCanns welcomed the ruling and said they hoped it would bring a fresh impetus to the search for Madeleine, who has been missing for nearly three years.

Outside court, the ex-policeman said he would appeal against the judgment and repeated his intention to fight the case all the way to the European Court of Human Rights.

Mr and Mrs McCann will speak about the ruling at a press conference in central London this morning.

Mr Amaral was the first head of the police investigation into Madeleine’s disappearance from Praia da Luz in Portugal in May 2007, shortly before her fourth birthday.

In July 2008 he published his book, which alleges that Madeleine died in her family’s holiday flat and that her parents faked her abduction – something they strongly deny.

A judge granted the McCanns a temporary injunction last September stopping Mr Amaral from selling his book and a TV documentary he made about the case.

The ex-policeman launched an appeal against the ban last month, calling a series of witnesses to support his claims.

But Judge Maria Gabriela Cunha Rodrigues rejected his challenge in a ruling delivered at Lisbon’s main civil court yesterday.

Mr and Mrs McCann, both 41 and from Rothley, Leicestershire, said they were “very pleased and relieved” at the decision.

The couple, who were not in Lisbon to hear the judgment, highlighted evidence from the court hearings that Portuguese police were not investigating reported sightings of Madeleine.

They said in a statement: “By upholding the injunction against Goncalo Amaral’s book and DVD, the judge has rightly agreed that there has been significant, ongoing damage to the search for our beloved daughter Madeleine and to the rights of our family.

“We are grateful to the judge for accepting that this injustice must not continue.”

The McCanns condemned the claims of Mr Amaral and others who “disgracefully and falsely” tried to implicate them in their daughter’s disappearance.

They vowed to continue their own search for Madeleine using private detectives, but appealed for help from both the public and official investigators.

Mr Amaral’s lawyers argued that the material in his book was contained in the official Portuguese police files for the investigation, many of which were made public when the case was shelved in August 2008.

The McCanns said their main motive for challenging the former policeman is the fear that people will stop looking for Madeleine if they think she is dead.

The couple are also seeking €1.2m in compensation for defamation in separate civil proceedings against Mr Amaral in Portugal.

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