Legal bid ... Gerry and Kate McCann
KATE and Gerry McCann were 'totally delighted' today after former
Portuguese police boss Goncalo Amaral failed in his bid to get a ban on
his book about Maddie lifted.
Amaral had claimed in the book ? The Truth of the Lie ? that Maddie was
dead and her parents had faked her abduction.
Kate and Gerry, from Rothley, Leicestershire, branded Amaral a
'disgrace' after hearing that the ban had been upheld.
In a statement they said: "The motives of those who have tried to
convince the world that Madeleine is dead, and who've disgracefully and
falsely tried to implicate us in her disappearance, need to be seriously
They will now press ahead with a ?1million libel case against Amaral
which is due to be heard at the end of the year.
Kate and Gerry, both 41, won a ban on Amaral's book last September
claiming it libelled them and was harming the hunt for their daughter.
Amaral, 54, applied for the ban to be lifted but today Judge Maria
Rodrigues threw out his submissions that he had a right to publish his
book under Portuguese freedom of speech laws.
... Goncalo Amaral
The McCanns were said to be "hugely relieved and totally
delighted" by the ruling at Lisbon's Palace of Justice.
They had attended three previous court hearings of the case but
were not in the capital for the ruling.
Their spokesman Clarence Mitchell said: "They are very pleased,
totally delighted and hugely relieved.
"The Judge has done the right thing by keeping the ban in place.
She has recognised that this injustice by Amaral is utterly wrong and
"The judgement also recognises that what he has done is harming
the search for Madeleine."
A furious Amaral, who was sacked from the Maddie inquiry after
five months, stormed from the court building with a face like thunder.
He refused to comment but his lawyer later said his client would
be appealing the decision.
Kate and Gerry had had to endure hearing harrowing evidence
during previous sessions of the court case.
They listened as former police colleagues of Amaral claimed that
Maddie had died on the night she disappeared on May 3 2007 from a
holiday apartment in Praia da Luz, Portugal, shortly before her fourth
They also had accusations that they disposed of her body hurled
at them and claims that they were "lying" about her abduction.
Amaral was the police boss first drafted in to head the hunt for
... Maddie McCann
As it later transpired in his book, which he wrote in July 2008 after
retiring from the police force, he began to suspect Kate and Gerry of
lying about Maddie's disappearance within hours of her going missing.
As the inquiry continued instead of concentrating police efforts on
finding Maddie, he appeared to have focused instead on proving the
Amaral claims in the book that Maddie died as a result of an accident in
the apartment, that her parents hid her body then pretended she had been
snatched from her bed.
In court he claimed the allegations were based on official police files
and called a string of former colleagues to back up his claims.
They supported his story, saying they too suspected the McCanns ?
pointing out that two sniffer dogs brought in by British police found
the 'smell of death' in the holiday flat.
But the McCanns' lawyer Isabel Duarte claimed there was no evidence the
McCanns were involved in Maddie's disappearance.
She also accused Portuguese police of failing to follow up many new
leads and sightings of Maddie because they believed she was dead.
Amaral is believed to have made hundreds of thousands of pounds from the
book and also from a DVD documentary based on it.
The DVD has also been banned under the court order. Since September's
ban Amaral has had all his assets seized by the Portuguese courts.
The McCanns' statement told of their "relief" that the ban had stayed in
The couple, both doctors, said: "We are very pleased and relieved with
the judge's decision in Lisbon.
"By upholding the injunction against Goncalo Amaral's book and DVD, the
judge has rightly agreed that there has been significant, ongoing damage
to the search for our beloved daughter Madeleine and to the rights of
"We are grateful to the judge for accepting that this injustice must not
continue. The court case has demonstrated, once again, that there is no
evidence that Madeleine has come to any harm."
Talking about the evidence in the case the couple added: "It has also
clearly shown that no police force is actively looking for Madeleine,
even, shockingly, when they are presented with new information and
They went on: "As painful and personally damaging as the
slanderous claims of Mr Amaral and his supporters have been to us and
our family, our primary focus has always been, and always will be, to
find Madeleine through our own best investigative efforts.
"It is still incumbent upon the British and Portuguese
authorities to ensure that every credible lead has been investigated and
that a meaningful search for our innocent and vulnerable little girl is
properly carried out."
Kate and Gerry ended their statement by calling on people to keep
looking for their daughter saying: "We must and will keep looking for
Madeleine and those responsible for her abduction.
"We implore the public, especially the Portuguese people, to help
us look for Madeleine, to remain vigilant and to give us any information
that could help us find our daughter."
There will be a full trial at a later date on whether the
injunction banning the book should be made permanent, said Ms Duarte.
The McCanns are seeking 1.2million euros (?1.08million) in
compensation for defamation in separate civil proceedings against Amaral
Speaking later an angry Amaral, who wears a diamond stud earring,
said he would appeal the decision saying it violated his freedom of
He also accused the McCanns of 'persecuting' him and his family.
He said: "It was an unbalanced decision and I will appeal.
"What is at stake is freedom of speech."
Ms Duarte welcomed the verdict. She said: "This decision will
protect clients because they have suffered a living hell with this book
and all these lies."