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Amaral ordered to pay €500,000 in McCann libel case

katemccann2The former Judicial Police inspector from Portimão who wrote a book in which he suggested that Madeleine McCann’s parents could be involved in her disappearance has been order to pay half a million euros to the couple.

The amount is for emotional and psychological damages to the McCann family caused by the publication of Gonçalo Amaral's book ‘The Truth of the Lie’ and may mark the end of five years of legal wrangling.

The civil court in Lisbon ruled that Gonçalo Amaral (pictured below) must pay Kate and Gerry McCann compensation each of €250,000 plus interest at the statutory rate, from 5 January 2010 until full payment is received.

The punishing amount of interest accumulated is around €106,000 for ‘late payment’ despite the case only now being settled.

In addition to these payments, the court banned the sale of the book, the accompanying DVD, as well as the sale of the copyright of both.

The ruling is not good news for Valentim de Carvalho who produced a television documentary that was inspired by the book.

The defence mounted by the McCanns was that the book claimed that they were involved in the disappearance and concealment of Madeleine’s body and had faked their daughter’s abduction after Madeleine had died accidentally in the holiday apartment.

The McCanns initially were under suspicion in the case but were officially cleared in July 2008 when the Portuguese investigation was shelved for lack of evidence.

The next month, Gonçalo Amaral was sacked from the investigation and later published the book accusing the couple of involvement.

In 2010, the McCanns won a court action in Lisbon to ban sales of "The truth of the Lie," a ruling that was overturned later that year. The McCanns then sought damages for themselves and their twin sons, plus further damages for the disruption caused to the search for Madeleine.

In a 36-page petition lodged in June 2009, the McCanns described Amaral as a "self-obsessed, manipulative money-grabber" and accused him of libel and of breaching their human rights

The five year delay was due to trial date postponements and a court sponsored attempted for the parties to reach an out of court settlement, which failed.


Madeleine McCann disappeared seven years, 361 days ago when she was four-years-old from a holiday apartment in Praia da Luz, where the family was on vacation.

Madeline’s parents have faced fierce criticism from the Portuguese for leaving their children unattended in the apartment while they dined at a nearby restaurant with friends, making visits to check on the childrens’ welfare.

Kate Mcann (main picture) and Gerry McCann have maintained their belief that Madeleine was abducted and despite Portuguese and British police investigations into her disappearance there have been no breakthroughs and certainly nobody has ever been charged with Madeline’s disappearance making this high-profile case one of the decade’s most enduring mysteries.

On leaving the court today, Gerry McCann accompanied by Kate, spoke to the media and expressed his joy at the verdict.

"We hope to have been able to do justice for Madeleine and for the rest of the family....We do not know if Madeleine is alive or dead, but there is no evidence that she is dead. She is a missing child."

Amaral, who is broke, has leave to appeal this decision. He has much support in local social media which generally views the verdict as deeply suspect and the sum of money Amaral must pay as being beyond the means of 99.99% of the population.

Pin It


-2 #13 Andrew White 2015-04-30 11:13
The treatment of Magnus Pyke's perfectly reasonable comment makes it so clear why any talk of 'debt reduction for Portugal' ... must be ignored. Shelved for eternity.

Greece perhaps having a few billion lifted off! But Portugal must carry their debt on into the future. For generations to come.

Portugal's 'dirty little secret' is its racial intolerance ! It sees nothing at all wrong with it and has nothing resembling a law against it !

The treatment of the McCanns, Serena Wylde and so many more of us lesser knowns (including Mr Pyke?) who have suffered because of it justifies the call 'No debt reduction for Portugal'

What use is the reply to Mr Pyke - 'If you cannot handle our racism, white folk .... go home !'
+1 #12 Elsa 2015-04-29 18:29
Mr Williams makes a good point. Where have the Policia Judiciaria been for the last 41 years in a country where 4 out of 5 citizens have no trust in their justice system ?

Is it really the PJ making these investigations ? Certainly some must be involved but remember the Golden Visa's ?

These were stopped by Interpol and other concerned EU states. Two of Interpol's most wanted are missing Chinese from the Portuguese Golden Visa project !

Perhaps, in this otherwise censored country, a brave TV crew can follow an alleged PJ swoop. Run by Europol ? Portuguese TV going into the premises and watching and listening.

Note how the Scandinavians, Danes and Germans meticulously log everything. The Brits use cockney rhyming slang.... 'We've got some serious barney rubble and tea leaf's here'

And then filming the search of the Latino cops when leaving - just to check nothing has been 'half-inched'.
+2 #11 Ed 2015-04-29 18:12
Quoting Disgusted:
Which court were the mccanns at when they declared their joy? Proof please??

Oh there isn't any.... Lies

The McCanns were talking to press outside the civil court in Lisbon after the judgement.

Gerry McCann said that he and his wife are "delighted" with the judge's verdict.
-10 #10 A visitor 2015-04-29 18:08
Nobody ever blames the person responsible for the child vanishing - the person who took the girl. It all gets forgotten in the abuse that flows to the McCanns. Who can forget Mayor Barroso's defence that 'the Lagos is very safe' when it obviously wasn't. Family holidaymakers come to the Algarve because it is advertised as safe for families. It hurts when people find out the truth, it isn't. If the McCanns are guilty of anything it is being naive to believe that Portugal has the same standards as the UK.
-12 #9 Disgusted 2015-04-29 17:30
Which court were the mccanns at when they declared their joy? Proof please??

Oh there isn't any.... Lies
+1 #8 Rog.Williams 2015-04-29 16:44
Curious how strongly some people feel about this allegedly wronged PJ officer?

So just today two dozen PJ swoop on the offices of a govt. minister suspected of a Libyian business fraud. As they have swooped previously on dodgy bankers, ex-PM's and ex-autocrats from municipals.

But only in the last couple of years. There were never any swooping PJ before then.

Does anyone stop to question where have all these PJ police been over the years that Portugal wallowed in un-investigated crime? The corruption, abuse of power, trafficking of influence. The VIP's outside the law. etc etc Everything that is now finally being reported in the newspapers daily.

Where were these stars of the Portuguese policing? If not turning a blind eye to wrong doing or only half heartedly logging incidents.

Or, as in this case - keeping everything low key as too much noise might spoil an Algarve tourist summer.
+8 #7 JTR 2015-04-29 13:00
At the end of the day the McCans are responsible what ever people think. They left three children alone while they were enjoying drinking with their friends.
I lived on the Algarve for ten years and the Algarvian people do not leave children alone, they take them with them.
The McCans should feel guilty what ever happened instead of suing the press and police.
+7 #6 Ze Martins 2015-04-29 11:55
As a Portuguese it is long overdue for us to admit that allowing the high and mighty to police themselves is hopelessly backward. They have failed both themselves and us.

And this is so obviously why so many police feel disillusioned. Some even contemplate suicide. Any police suspecting a wrongdoer must check with their Chief. Who in turn, if relatively new, will check with the other high and mighties in their area.

They then contact the wrongdoer or a family member. To pass the message from the police - 'Get a grip on yourself. This time the police will lose their papers. Next time ...?'

Except that repeat offenders or their families keep buying their way out of penalties with 'donations' to the police or courts 'sports and social fund.'

Today's example - and directly relevant to the McCanns missing daughter - is Portugal not issuing a paedophile register. Unlike the developed world - somehow assuming these evil people can 'behave themselves'.

When all the proof points towards these serial abusers not doing so. They are uncontrollably driven to get close to children.

Yet another own goal, Portugal !
+7 #5 Chez 2015-04-29 10:55
A travesty of justice and I very much hope that the Court of Appeal overturns this ridiculous politically motivated ruling.
+15 #4 flabergasted 2015-04-29 08:44
As a UK citizen I can hardly believe the courts ruling in this case ? Whatever occurred on that so called holiday is down to two people the McCanns . they made the decisions they made and Madeleine is no longer around as a result . It is time all those on that holiday started to tell the truth the whole truth and nothing but the truth . The book is based on the police files which are freely available online and then folk can reach their own conclusions about the McCanns from those.

The McCanns are only interested in the money they can gain, Madeleine seems to be rapidly falling to last place on their list of priorities . Bizarre .

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