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KATE McCANN felt closer to her missing daughter Madeleine after returning to Praia da Luz for the first time since she was named a prime suspect by police investigating the little girl’s disappearance, she has said.
McCann, who was cleared of any suspicion last year, travelled back to the Portuguese town with her husband Gerry after a court case they were planning to attend in the capital Lisbon on Friday was unexpectedly delayed.
Writing on the official Find Madeleine website, McCann said she had longed to return for two years for “personal and emotional reasons”, but added: “Our pain feels much rawer here.”
An update on the website on Saturday read: “We travelled to Praia da Luz yesterday afternoon. I have longed to come back here for two years for personal and emotional reasons.
“Early this morning we went to the lovely little church of Nossa Senhora da Luz. It was so quiet and peaceful – a real sanctuary.
“Although our pain feels much rawer here, it is comforting at the same time since we feel closer to Madeleine.”
The libel trial of Portuguese policeman Goncalo Amaral, who published a book including claims that Madeleine was dead, was postponed after Amaral’s lawyer failed to turn up for health reasons.
The McCanns, of Rothley, Leicestershire, told reporters outside court they were not disappointed by the delay because a hard-fought injunction on further sale or publication of the book remained in place.
“Freedom of speech should not include distortion of the truth, lies, fabrication and slander,” Ms McCann said, adding: “The key thing here is we’re here to fight for our daughter, and if anyone steps over the lines then they should be prepared to defend what they say in court.”
She said the book had “damaged” the search for Madeleine because it encouraged people to believe she was dead.
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