Portuguese Court Says Gerry And Kate McCann Haven't Been Proved Innocent
Judges from Portugal's Supreme Court have said that Kate and Gerry McCann have not been proven innocent over the disappearance of their daughter.
The couple were given 'arguido' - or formal suspect - status back in September 2007. This status was removed in July 2008, when Portuguese police archived their investigations.
However, judges announced yesterday that the lifting of the 'arguido status' should not be 'equated to proof of innocence'.
Portuguese police search for Madeleine McCann in 2014; Credit: Ruptly
The comments were part of a 76-page Supreme Court dossier, which was released last week. In the document, judges also claimed that the investigation into the couple was only dropped due to lack of evidence.
They added that they had 'serious concerns' over the theory that Madeleine was abducted from the apartment where the family were staying in Praia da Luz in May 2007.
The apartment block in Praia Da Luz, Portugal where Madeline McCann went missing from in 2007. Credit: PA
The document states: "The archiving of the case was determined by the fact that public prosecutors hadn't managed to obtain sufficient evidence of the practice of crimes by the appellants.
"There is therefore a significant, and not merely a semantic, difference between the legally admissible foundations of the archive ruling.
"It doesn't therefore seem acceptable that the ruling, based on the insufficiency of evidence, should be equated to proof of innocence."
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Despite being the highest court in the country, the Supreme Court has no criminal authority and the judges added that their job wasn't to decide if the McCanns held any responsibility over the disappearance of the three-year-old.
The couple have not responded to the comments made by the court.
This is just one of several blows to the couple, who earlier this month lost their libel case against ex-detective Goncalo Amaral. He was previously sued by the couple for the comments he made in his book, The Truth of the Lie.
Goncalo Amaral. Credit: PA
In the book, which the McCanns originally managed to successfully ban, Amaral, who led the initial investigation into the disappearance, alleged that the couple faked an abduction after Madeleine died in the apartment.
The McCanns were awarded £430,000, to be paid by Amaral, in April 2015.
Amaral decided to appeal the decision and the Supreme Court ruled in his favour, meaning that sales of the book can go ahead and now the McCanns face massive legal bills as well as running the risk of being sued by Amaral.
This was followed by the news that Amaral is working on a second book about the case and is looking for a British publisher. His follow-up, which is apparently almost finished, will criticise the way Scotland Yard handled the case.
Madeleine McCann. Credit: PA
Amaral worked as the investigation co-ordinator when Madeleine vanished. He was moved off the case and resigned six months later after accusing British officers of not 'fully cooperating' with the Portuguese force.
The McCanns have always said that they believe their daughter is alive and have said they will never stop searching until she is found.
Featured Image Credit: PA