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Kate and Gerry McCann lose legal challenge against detective who suggested they were involved in disappearance

Daisy Phillipson

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Kate and Gerry McCann lose legal challenge against detective who suggested they were involved in disappearance

Featured Image Credit: Reuters/Alamy Matt Crossick/Alamy

Kate and Gerry McCann have lost the latest leg of their legal battle against the detective who suggested they were involved in the disappearance of their daughter.

The parents took action against retired Portuguese detective Goncalo Amaral, who previously led the investigation into the Madeleine McCann case when it unfolded in 2007.

In a book, documentary and newspaper interview, Amaral implicated the McCanns in their daughter's disappearance and accused them of hiding her body.

Although they initially won a libel case against the detective in 2015, the country's high court later reversed the decision.

Kate and Gerry McCann have lost the latest stage of their libel case. Credit: PA
Kate and Gerry McCann have lost the latest stage of their libel case. Credit: PA

In their latest bid, the McCanns appealed to the European court, with their lawyers arguing Portuguese authorities had breached their right to a private and family life due to how the libel claims were dealt with.

But the court did not rule in their favour, stating that their reputation had been damaged by the fact they were made official suspects for a short period of time, rather than by Amaral's allegations.

Kate and Gerry now have three months to appeal the decision, according to PA.

LADbible has contacted the Find Madeleine campaign for a comment.

Investigators have been working to discover what happened to McCann since 2007, when the then-three-year-old vanished from an apartment in the Algarve while on holiday with her parents.

Convicted sex offender Christian Brueckner was officially made a suspect in the case earlier this year.

Madeleine McCann went missing in 2007. Credit: PA Images/Alamy Stock Photo
Madeleine McCann went missing in 2007. Credit: PA Images/Alamy Stock Photo

The 45-year-old, who is currently serving a rape sentence in Germany, denies any involvement in Madeleine's disappearance.

In 2007, Kate and Gerry were made arguidos - named suspects - but their status was lifted the following year when the Portuguese police’s investigation was archived. 

In July 2020, the McCann's family lawyer Rogerio Alves warned that Portugal’s 15-year limit on prosecutions was nearing and authorities had just a short amount of time to take action.

That same summer, German police dug up an allotment plot once used by Brueckner and reportedly found a cellar that was part of a torn-down garden house.

Brueckner is believed to have lived at the location on the outskirts of Hanover in 2007, the same year the garden house was torn down.

Christian Brueckner is the official suspect in the Madeleine McCann case. Credit: Alamy
Christian Brueckner is the official suspect in the Madeleine McCann case. Credit: Alamy

Braunschweig prosecutor Hans Christian Wolters has repeatedly claimed the force has solid evidence that the suspect abducted the toddler and that she is now dead.

The inmate recently said his life had been destroyed by the 'Hitler-like behaviour' of Wolters, writing in a letter: "The whole world is watching him.

"To cover the blame he starts more and more inquiries against me, all of them happened many years ago and far away from Germany."

Topics: Crime, World News, UK News, Madeleine McCann

Daisy Phillipson
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