Maddie McCann’s parents lose libel appeal

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The parents of missing Madeleine McCann have lost an appeal in Portugal’s highest court after they issued a libel writ against a police chief who claimed that their daughter was dead and that the couple had covered up her death.

Kate and Gerry McCann won a libel claim against ex police boss Goncalo Amaral. However, a lower court then reversed that win against the former detective. The couple then appealed that decision, but have lost that appeal in the High Court. The hearing was held in private and the decision will not officially be made public until later this week.

However, according to a source, the couple have lost the case and will now be facing huge court costs. Judges in the case eventually decided that the former detectives right to freedom of expression over rode the McCanns “right to honour”.

European Court

While there is no higher court the couple can appeal to in Portugal, they could decide to take their fight to the European Court of Human Rights. Amaral was the lead detective in the hunt for little Maddie when she vanished from an apartment in Portugal a decade ago.

The ex policeman was told he must pay Kate and Gerry 500,000 euros in compensation, along with interest, after he lost the initial case brought as a result of his book, The Truth of the Lie. However, appeal judges reversed that decision, and the appeal decision has been upheld.

So far, the investigation into the disappearance of Maddie has cost an estimated £12m. But there has been no sign of the little girl since she vanished on Portugal’s Algarve. Her parents, and a group of friends, were having dinner at a tapas restaurant close to the apartment, taking it in turns to check on the children regularly. However, when Gerry took his turn to check, he found Madeleine had disappeared.

 

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