Missing Maddie’s parents return to Lisbon court

The parents of missing British girl Madeleine McCann returned to court on Wednesday for the last session of their libel case against the Portuguese police officer who led the initial probe in the case.

Kate and Gerry McCann are suing Goncalo Amaral for €1,2 million ($1,7 million dollars) for defamation over allegations he made in a book that their daughter was dead and that they were involved in her disappearance.

As they arrived at the Lisbon court, a small group of Amaral supporters greeted them with chants of “Long Live Amaral!”

A court issued an interim injunction in September banning sales of the 2008 book in which Amaral made the claims, Maddie: The Truth Of The Lie, and prohibiting him from repeating them in the media.

The McCanns, who have always said they believe their daughter was abducted, have asked the Lisbon court to confirm the interim ruling as definitive.

Madeleine went missing from a holiday apartment in the Algarve resort of Praia da Luz on May 3, 2007, a few days before her fourth birthday, as her parents and their friends dined at a nearby restaurant.

The McCanns were named as official suspects in their daughter’s disappearance in September 2007 although this was lifted in July 2008.

Amaral initially headed the inquiry but was removed in October 2007 after he criticised British police in a newspaper interview.

The Portuguese are no longer investigating the case, but other investigators acting on the couple’s behalf are still looking for the missing girl and appealing to the public for information.

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever. But it comes at a cost. Advertisers are cancelling campaigns, and our live events have come to an abrupt halt. Our income has been slashed.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years. We’ve survived thanks to the support of our readers, we will need you to help us get through this.

To help us ensure another 35 future years of fiercely independent journalism, please subscribe.


Ayo report: CFO acted in the PIC’s interests

A disciplinary inquiry has cleared Matshepo More of all charges, but she remains suspended

A lifeline for the homeless people in eThekwini

eThekwini plans to retain permanent and safe open spaces for people with nowhere to sleep

Judge trashes entire lockdown regime as constitutionally flawed

The high court ruling will delight gatvol South Africans but is unlikely to stand the test of time

The backlogs, denials and future of testing Covid-19

The National Health Laboratory Services finally admitted to a bottleneck last week, after denying there were any issues since April. According to the service, the backlog of 80 000 tests started in the first week of May

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…

The best local and international journalism

handpicked and in your inbox every weekday