Last year the former police chief who led the investigation into the 2007 disappearance of Madeleine McCann was ordered to pay damages to Kate and Gerry McCann, the child’s parents, for making allegations that their missing child was in fact murdered by her parents. That judgment has now been reversed by an appeals court. In his book, The Truth of the Lie, and based on no evidence, Goncalo Amaral accused Gerry and Kate McCann of killing their daughter and stuffing her in a freezer. The lower court issued an injunction against further sales of the book. The appeals court says he has a right to his opinion. Now the former police chief who was in charge of the inept investigation is suing the McCanns for damages claiming his reputation was harmed by their lawsuit.
In 2007 3-yr old Madeleine McCann disappeared from the Algarve, Portugal resort where the family was vacationing. The parents, Kate and Gerry McCann left their children alone in their holiday lodging while they dined with friends less than 200 feet away. A 14-month investigation came up with nothing. Portuguese prosecutors reviewed the police work and were highly critical of the investigation. They noted the parents made a mistake to leave their children alone but added—
“we must also recognise that the parents are paying a heavy penalty — the disappearance of their daughter — for their carelessness in monitoring and protecting their children.”
Kate McCann said she was unable to sleep at night and their efforts to continue searching for their little girl were hampered by Amaral’s book. The accusations in the book and a Portuguese TV documentary based on the book turned the Portuguese people against the parents. The policeman’s charges also prompted the McCann’s 9-year old son to question his parents about his missing sister.
Kate branded the allegation “far-fetched” and added: “It was about Madeleine being killed and us having moved the body and then storing her in a freezer and then transporting the body in a hire car several weeks later.
He insists Madeleine was dead. He also essentially accuses myself and my husband of being somehow involved in her disappearance and of faking an abduction. Throughout the book he consistently smears myself and my husband.”
Kate and Gerry sued Amaral for libel, claiming his book and interviews on TV and radio are wrecking their bid to find their daughter, who was three when she vanished.
Gerry also told the court: “The book is an affront to me, my wife, my family and the people who believe in us. The documentary is even worse. It starts off that Madeleine is dead, that there is no abduction and essentially claims myself, my wife and our friends are liars and would be so cold and ruthless as to hide our daughter’s body rather than try to help her should something have happened. “When the file was closed it was made clear there was no evidence Madeleine was dead and no evidence Kate and I were responsible for hiding her body.”
With the appeals court reversal the defamatory book can now go on sale again. It’s a “victory of freedom against the inquisition” said Gonçalo Amaral to TVmais.
Related: Madeleine McCann: Ex-cop ordered to pay damages to Kate and Gerry after claiming they covered up daughter’s death
Madeleine McCann police chief wins libel appeal
The litany of police bungling that allowed Madeleine trail to go cold
Police Cases: “Truth of the Lie” is on its Way