Madeleine McCann and her parents

Parents of Madeleine McCann dealt huge blow as they break silence over claims they hampered search for daughter

She's been missing since 2007

The parents of Madeleine McCann have been dealt a blow after a decision was reached in their libel case.

Back in 2008, in a book called The Truth of the Lie, Goncalo Amaral accused Kate McCann and Gerry McCann of being behind their daughter’s disappearance.

Of course, she went missing in Portugal in 2007.

She was aged just three at the time.

Kate and Gerry McCann looking sad
The parents of Madeleine McCann have been dealt a fresh blow (Credit: Splash News)

Parents of Madeleine McCann: Libel case explained

Kate and Gerry sued Amaral for libel and won the first round of the court case.

An injunction was granted to prevent any further sales of the book. However, Amaral appealed the deicision.

Years of litigation followed.

However, Amaral won the case in 2017. And, in a last ditch effort, the McCanns’ went to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR).

Now the verdict has been handed down and things sadly didn’t go the McCanns’ way.

Fresh blow as verdict is delivered

ECHR dismissed the couple’s complaint that the Portuguese authorities had failed to respect their right to a private and family life.

They were told there had already been extensive publicity about the claims against them, prior to the release of the book.

It also found their reputation had not been damaged by him – but rather by the fact they became official suspects for a short time.

They now have three months to appeal the decision.

Kate and Gerry McCann smiling
Kate and Gerry have been relentless in their search for Madeleine (Credit: Splash News)

Parents of Madeleine McCann break silence

Posting on the official Find Madeleine Facebook page, Kate and Gerry spoke out.

In a statement, they said: “We are naturally disappointed with the decision of the European Court of Humans Rights.

“However, much has changed since we started legal proceedings 13 years ago against Mr Amaral, his publisher and broadcaster.

The focus is now rightly on the search for Madeleine.

“We took action for one and only one reason.

“Mr Amaral’s unfounded claims were having a detrimental impact on the search for Madeleine.

“If the public believed that we were involved in her disappearance, then people would not be alert for possible clues and may not report relevant information to the relevant law enforcement agencies,” they explained.

“The focus is now rightly on the search for Madeleine and her abductor(s),” they then added.

Kate and Gerry then said: “We are grateful for the ongoing work by the British, German and Portuguese police.

“We hope that with, the help of the public, hard work and diligence we can eventually find those responsible for Madeleine’s disappearance and bring them to justice.”

Read more: Joe Lycett ‘mortified’ over joke about Madeleine McCann’s disappearance

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Nancy Brown
Associate Editor