Lisbon court orders McCanns be paid €500,000 in damages by former PJ detective

in News · 28-04-2015 17:17:00 · 0 Comments
Lisbon court orders McCanns be paid €500,000 in damages by former PJ detective

A Lisbon Civil Court on Tuesday issued a ruling in which former PJ police detective Gonçalo Amaral is to pay the parents of missing British toddler Madeleine McCann a sum of 250,000 euros each plus a large sum in interest. Amaral can still challenge the decision with the Lisbon Appeal Court.

Calculations provided by the McCanns' legal team currently place the total amount of interest at €106,246. This interest plus damages amount to just under half the €1.2 million requested by Kate and Gerry McCann at the start of legal proceedings more than five years ago.

The decision comes five days before what will be marking of the eighth year of Madeleine’s disappearance from the holiday apartment she had been staying in with her parents in Praia da Luz.

In its ruling, the court also prohibited the sale of the book written by Amaral with regards to Madeleine’s disappearance. In the book, Amaral ruled out the widespread belief that she had been abducted. Instead he argued that she had died in an accident in the apartment on 3 May 2007.

The book’s publisher has also been banned from releasing any new editions and has to hand over all unsold copies.

Isabel Duarte, the lawyer acting on behalf of the McCanns, opted not to comment on the decision.

In the 52-page document, seen by The Portugal News shortly after the ruling was released, repeated references are made to the fact that the date of the release of Amaral’s book (24 July 2008), took place only three days after the Portuguese Attorney-General’s office decided to shelve the case.

Isabel Duarte had argued that Amaral used privileged information in the book, with the court ruling that Amaral's freedom of expression was limited by his position as a former police detective and lead investigator in the case.

But the court also found that it was not proven that the allegations made in the book “in any way contributed to the hindering of the course of the investigation into the disappearance of the minor Madeleine McCann.”

The court further rejected libel claims made by Kate and Gerry on behalf Madeleine and her twin siblings Sean and Amelie.

In comments to Portuguese newspaper Expresso on Tuesday evening, Miguel Cruz Rodrigues, legal counsel for Gonçalo Amaral, said he knew nothing of the court’s ruling.

“I have not yet been notified by the court”, he was quoted as saying, adding that he found it “very strange” that only one of the parties was aware of the verdict.

He opted not to comment further until he had seen the actual judgment.


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