Lisbon Supreme Court rules in favour of ex-detective in McCann libel case

By TPN/Lusa, in News · 02-02-2017 14:14:00 · 0 Comments
Lisbon Supreme Court rules in favour of  ex-detective in McCann libel case

On Tuesday, Portugal’s Supreme Court upheld a decision by the Lisbon appeal court to revoke a ruling that Gonçalo Amaral, a former police inspector, pay €500,000 to the parents of Madeleine McCann, the British toddler who
disappeared in the Algarve in 2007.

The Lisbon appeal court last April struck down a 2015 lower court ruling that Amaral should pay the sum to Kate and Gerry McCann for damages caused by the publication of his book: ‘Maddie: the Truth of the Lie’.
In the book, the former inspector suggested that the child’s parents were involved in her disappearance.
According to a Supreme Court official, the decision upholds the reasoning on which the appeal court based its decision to revoke the award of damages, stating that: “In a situation of conflict between the right to honour and the right to freedom of expression, the criterion of weighing of interests, acting according to the principle of proportionality and the specificity of the case, points in the direction of its being the freedom of expression of ... [Gonçalo Amaral] being deserving of greater protection.”

The latest ruling also means that the appeal court’s decision to quash the earlier ban on the sale of the book also stands.
The lower court had also banned the sale of new editions of the book, as well as new editions of a DVD of a film based on it, as well as the marketing of the rights of the book and DVD.
Madeleine McCann disappeared on 3 May 2007, just short of her fourth birthday, from Praia da Luz, in the Algarve, where the family was on holiday.
The criminal investigation was shelved in July the following year, with the investigating magistrate stating that the little girl was most probably dead. However, it was subsequently reopened after UK police opened their own investigation into the case, at the urging of the then government and the case remains open in both countries.


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