Wednesday, 20 September 2017
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Praia da LuzThe media hype that has surrounded the Madeleine McCann mystery for the past six years has been unleashed with renewed vigour by none other than Scotland Yard.

On announcing that their ‘Operation Grange’ review of the case had been elevated to a full-scale inquiry in July, Scotland Yard asked for “media restraint” in the coming weeks and months as it began what was interpreted as the last chance to find out what happened to Madeleine.

Goncalo AmaralThe unanswered question of what happened to Madeleine is at the root of the McCanns vs Amaral libel hearing now underway in Lisbon.

With the hearing in recess for a few days, it is perhaps a good moment to reflect dispassionately on just how polarised public opinion is over the mystery of Madeleine’s disappearance more than six years ago.

The question is not for the libel hearing to consider, of course, but this legal action once again highlights the fact that public opinion is broadly split into two camps.

The McCanns have always insisted their daughter was abducted. During the original investigation, the lead detective Gonçalo Amaral became convinced she died in the holiday apartment, that her body was secretly disposed of, and that the McCanns lied about it.

Know before you goPlaying bingo, snacking while sitting on a monument or feeding pigeons may seem innocent enough to many British citizens, but these are just some of the reasons why people have found themselves faced with hefty fines or in some cases arrested or detained abroad.

Every year Brits are caught out by local laws and customs which might seem harmless in the UK, some of which carry serious consequences.