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Madeleine McCann: Libel ruling overturned

The McCanns initially won the libel case Credit: PA

A former police chief who accused Madeleine McCann's parents of faking her abduction has won his appeal over a court libel loss against them.

Gonçalo Amaral was ordered to pay Kate and Gerry McCann half a million euros worth of libel damages in April last year after making the accusation.

But on Tuesday three judges ruled in his favour and overturned the ruling.

"This decision, not only means my client hasn't got to pay the €500,000 to the parents, but also - equally important and apparently not much highlighted by media - allows him to express his freedom of speech and the chance to republish his book", Mr Amaral's lawyer said.

Madeleine went missing whilst on holiday with her parents in the Algarve, Portugal, in 2007.


Madeleine McCann parents awarded £358,000 libel payout

Kate and Gerry McCann, the parents of missing Madeleine, have been awarded a libel payout by a court in Portugal against the former police chief who led the investigation into their daughter's disappearance.

Kate and Gerry McCann. Credit: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire

Goncalo Amaral was ordered to pay damages of €250,000 to each of the McCanns, a total of £358,000, after they sued following the publication of his book The Truth of the Lie.

The court also ordered sales of the book to be halted.

Giving evidence at Lisbon's Palace of Justice last year the couple spoke of their "devastation, desperation, anxiety and pain" over the claims.

They added that the book hampered support from in Portugal as they looked for their daughter.

Mrs McCann told the court her young son had asked about Mr Amaral's allegations after hearing about them on the radio while travelling on the school bus.

Three-year-old to play Madeleine in reconstruction

A BBC Crimewatch reconstruction of Madeleine McCann's disappearance will star a three-year-old actress as Maddie.

A small production team from the programme have spent a week filming abroad for the new appeal, which goes to air on Monday 14th October.

Crimewatch presenter Kirsty Young speaks to the McCanns in the new programme, while presenter Matthew Amroliwala has been to Praia da Luz in Portugal to explore the new focus of the police investigation.

The McCanns and the senior investigating police officer will also be live in the studio.


Phone records help police identify new Maddie leads

The Metropolitan Police have promised "targeted and new appeals" for information about Madeleine McCann's disappearance as detailed phone records are helping them build up a picture of who was in the area at the time.

Earlier this week, Scotland Yard revealed that:

  • 41 people of interest have been identified
  • These include 15 UK nationals
  • 31 international letters of request have been sent, mostly European countries
  • A large list of phone numbers belonging to people in the area has been drawn up

Police hope appeal will bring forth new witnesses

The senior investigating officer into Madeleine McCann's disappearance has said he hopes the forthcoming appeal will prompt new witnesses to come forward.

Metropolitan Police's Detective Chief Inspector Andy Redwood who is leading the investigation Credit: PA/PA Wire

Metropolitan Police's Detective Chief Inspector Andy Redwood said: "We now believe we have the most complete picture to date of the events surrounding her disappearance.

"We are now making targeted and new appeals for help from the public.

"I truly believe there are people out there who hold the key to Madeleine's disappearance, and that so far they may be completely unaware of that fact."

McCanns 'greatly encouraged' by new information

Madeleine McCann's parents are "greatly encouraged" by new information about the disappearance of their daughter, they said in a statement ahead of a fresh appeal.

Gerry and Kate McCann hold a picture of daughter Madeleine Credit: John Stillwell/PA Wire

Next Monday, the BBC's Crimewatch will show a reconstruction of the "latest, most detailed understanding" of the events surrounding her disappearance, and a fresh appeal for information.

Madeleine's parents, Kate and Gerry McCann, said: "We are greatly encouraged by new information coming to light with pieces of the jigsaw now fitting together.

"We are really hopeful that the forthcoming appeal on Crimewatch will bring further new evidence which will take us a step closer to finding Madeleine and to bringing those responsible for her abduction to justice," they added.

'Fresh, substantive' evidence found by Madeleine cops

Gerry and Kate McCann's daughter, Madeline, disappeared from a holiday flat in Portugal six years ago on May 2007. Credit: John Stillwell/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Kate and Gerry McCann are to make a significant television appeal in light of "fresh, substantive" material unearthed as part of a British police investigation into their daughter's disappearance.

The McCanns will appear live in the studio during an episode of BBC Crimewatch on Monday October 14, which will also feature a reconstruction and pre-recorded interviews with the couple.

Scotland Yard is for the first time trawling through a vast log of mobile phone traffic identified in Praia da Luz, in Portugal, at the time of Madeleine's disappearance.

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