Madeleine McCann’s parents return to Portugal

Author: PA

Mrs McCann and her husband Gerry went to Lisbon to update their lawyers on the
search for their daughter, who was three when she went missing in the resort
of Praia da Luz in May 2007.

The couple’s spokesman Clarence Mitchell said: “I can confirm that Kate and
Gerry McCann have this morning returned to Portugal.

“They will be attending a series of meetings with their lawyers and advisers
in Lisbon and they are planning to return to the UK tonight.

“Obviously, this is Kate’s first return to Portugal since Madeleine’s
abduction and whilst this is undoubtedly difficult for her she remains
determined to do whatever is necessary to assist in the search for her
daughter.”

One of the topics to be discussed will be the recent injunction against
further publication of a book by former Portuguese police detective Goncalo
Amaral.

Mr Amaral was involved in the initial investigation but was later taken off
the case.

In his book The Truth of the Lie he claims that Madeleine is dead and
questions the McCanns’ account that she was taken while they were eating
with friends nearby.

Earlier this month a Portuguese judge banned further sale or publication of
the book.

The injunction meant Amaral had to ensure that all unsold copies of the book
were removed from shops and warehouses across Europe.

The injunction also banned him from repeating his claims about Madeleine or
her parents.

At one point Portuguese police made Kate and Gerry McCann “arguidos”, or
formal suspects, in their daughter’s disappearance.

They were questioned by detectives but their arguidos status was later lifted.

Mr Mitchell said discussions between the couple, both 41, and from Rothley,
Leicestershire, would remain private.

But it is understood that as well as updating lawyers about the search for
their daughter, who would now be six, they will be meeting a new PR agency,
who they hope can turn public opinion in Portugal in their favour.

Earlier this month, Gerry McCann criticised Mr Amaral for his book, labelling
it “unforgivable”.

Mr McCann said the false allegations had done immense damage to the search for
their daughter because Portuguese people would be dissuaded from coming
forward with information.

Commenting after the injunction was imposed, he said: “There’s a lot of people
in Portugal, who might have evidence, that believe Madeleine is dead.

“If people believe that they won’t search for her and they won’t come forward
with information.

“I know for a fact people have been told Madeleine is dead. There is no
evidence to support that and that is unforgivable.”

The decision to impose the injunction came after a year-long campaign by the
McCanns’ lawyers to prevent the publication of the book and a subsequent DVD.

Another topic of discussion today between the McCanns and their Portuguese
team is thought to be a possible compensation claim for damages against Mr
Amaral.

The couple said earlier that any money awarded by the courts would be ploughed
straight back in to paying for private investigators to investigate their
daughter’s disappearance.

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