Kate and Gerry McCann
have condemned claims published by website
WikiLeaks that British police helped gather evidence against them.
The McCanns, from Rothley, said the publication of the claim, made last
week, had led to repeated allegations and smears against them.
In a Christmas message published on their website, they thanked their
supporters in their search for Madeleine but said they continued to be
subject to "heartbreaking" injustices.
The couple are preparing for their fourth Christmas without their
daughter, who went missing from the Portuguese resort of
Praia de Luz
in May 2007 during a family holiday.
message published on their official website, they said: "We
would like to thank all our supporters for staying at our side in spite
of the injustices that we continue to be subjected to.
"Madeleine is the person who suffers most from all of this injustice.
"It is this fact alone which causes us the most distress.
"It is absolutely heartbreaking.
"The WikiLeaks news has led to the repetition of many unfounded
allegations and smears both in the UK and in Portugal in particular.
"This has been seized on as an opportunity by those who wish to compound
our suffering and hamper our efforts.
"Those who could help Madeleine but choose to do nothing are also
complicit in this injustice.
"Without the love and help from so many good people around the world we
would not be able to find the strength to continue the fight to find our
Britain's ambassador to Portugal reportedly made the claim to an
American diplomat two weeks after Portuguese police named Kate and Gerry
McCann, of Rothley, as "arguidos", or formal suspects, in their
The message, contained in a US diplomatic communication, surfaced on the
WikiLeaks website last week.
Mr and Mrs McCann's status as
was lifted in July 2008 when Portuguese detectives
shelved the case.
Mr and Mrs McCann said: "We hope with all our hearts that wherever she
is, she is safe and well and whoever may be with her is treating her
with the love and respect she so deserves."
More than 37,000 people have signed the couple's online petition calling
on the UK and Portuguese Governments to conduct an independent review
into the evidence collected during the search for Madeleine.
Mr and Mrs McCann added: "Along with our family, we would like to thank
everyone who has sent us Christmas cards, letters, donations and gifts
at this difficult time of year.
"It is impossible to find enough positive words to describe such
kindness or the hugely important and heart-warming effect it has on us.
"Without any doubt, it helps us immensely and we are incredibly
Madeleine fund, set up by the McCanns to help search for
their missing daughter, stood at £470,034 at the end of March, according
to accounts published at Companies House.
Since then, Mr and Mrs McCann have signed a deal to write a
about Madeleine's disappearance, with all proceeds going to the
Last year, the fund paid for the
private investigators, a telephone
hotline for public information and the McCanns'
to ban a
about what happened to Madeleine by former Portuguese
A Home Office spokesperson said: "The Government wants to ensure
everything feasible is being done to progress the search for Madeleine.
"The British authorities will maintain a dialogue with the Portuguese
and continue to liaise with Madeleine's family on any developments."