Maddy police officer’s booklaunch timing ‘regrettable’

THE decision of a Portuguese policeman to launch his second book on the day a libel trial is to start concerning his first book on Madeleine McCann was described as “regrettable” by her parents’ spokesman yesterday.

Goncalo Amaral, who was involved in the investigation into Madeleine’s disappearance, will launch his second book, A Mordaca Inglesa (The English Gag), at a Lisbon bookshop today.

The launch, set to take place in the evening, co-incides with the start of a libel trial in the Portuguese capital today. Kate and Gerry McCann will attend the trial opening.

Their spokesman Clarence Mitchell said: “It’s regrettable that Mr Amaral chooses to do this on the same day as the trial opening. Most people would expect him to concentrate on the trial rather than launching any new book and the court will take its own view of his activities.” The McCanns are expected to return to Britain after the opening.

Madeleine was nearly four when she went missing from her family’s holiday apartment in Praia da Luz on May 3, 2007, while her parents dined with friends nearby. Despite a massive police investigation and huge publicity worldwide, she has not been found.

Mr and Mrs McCann, from Rothley, Leicestershire, were at one point made arguidos, or formal suspects, by Portuguese police investigating their daughter’s disappearance.

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

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

In his first book, The Truth Of The Lie, he claimed Madeleine was dead and questioned the McCanns’ account that she was taken while they were eating with friends.

After a year-long campaign by the McCanns’ lawyers to prevent the publication of the book and a subsequent DVD, in September a Portuguese judge granted an injunction banning its further sale or publication. It also banned Amaral from repeating his claims about Madeleine or her parents.

A Mordaca Inglesa will be launched at Lisbon bookshop Ler Devagar at 6.30pm, according to the shop’s website. It also includes information, in Portuguese, from Amaral defending the publication of his original book.


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