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Madeleine McCann's parents lose libel appeal over claim they were involved in cover up

A former investigator made the claims in a book about her disappearance.

Madeleine McCann has been missing for almost 10 years.
Madeleine McCann has been missing for almost 10 years.
Image: PA Archive/PA Images

PORTUGAL’S SUPREME COURT has upheld the acquittal of an ex-policeman sued for libel by the parents of Madeleine McCann, the British toddler who disappeared during a family vacation in 2007.

Goncalo Amaral, who had led the inquiry into the child’s disappearance just a few days before her fourth birthday, in Praia da Luz in southern Portugal, was sued over his 2008 book The Truth of the Lie.

In the book, he accused Kate and Gerry McCann of being involved in a cover up surrounding her disappearance.

Goncalo had originally been ordered to pay the parents of the missing girl €500,000, plus more than €100,000 in interest, but that judgement was struck down on appeal last April.

The supreme court has ruled that “Goncalo Amaral did not abuse the liberty of expression”, as his claims remained “within the limits tolerated in an open and democratic society”.

Portugal Missing Girl Kate and Gerry McCann sued a former police officer for libel. Source: AP/Press Association Images

The decision is final in Portugal, but can be appealed before the European Court of Human Rights.

After 14 months of controversial investigations, which saw Madeleine’s parents investigated and Amaral sacked, Portuguese police closed the case in 2008 before reopening it five years later.

British police opened their own inquiry in July 2013, but excavations in Praia da Luz yielded no evidence.

Comments have been closed for legal reasons. 

© – AFP 2017

Read: Madeleine McCann’s parents lose libel appeal over claims they were involved in her disappearance >

Read: Madeleine McCann’s parents say they haven’t given up hope of finding their daughter >

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