McCanns could face court over report

29 October 2013
Irish Daily Mail
Gerard Couzens
Paper edition

The parents of Madeleine McCann faced further pressure yesterday after ex-police chief Goncalo Amaral hinted he may fight them in court over a key report they allegedly held back.

Gerry and Kate McCann were accused at the weekend of sidelining the 2008 report by former MI5 investigators they hired after it pinpointed ‘anomalies’ in statements they and their friends made.

The result was that e-fits of the prime suspect in Madeleine McCann’s abduction – hidden for five years in the unpublished report – were only made public this month during a new Met Police appeal.

The report said Irish holidaymaker Martin Smith’s sighting of a man carrying a girl in pyjamas near the McCann’s Algarve holiday apartment was ‘credible evidence’ which had been ‘neglected for too long.’

Mr Amaral’s lawyer said last night he was considering raising the issue in the couple’s ongoing libel trial against the former police.

The McCanns are seeking one million pounds in damages over the ex-detective’s claims in his July 2008 book The Truth of the Lie that they faked their daughter’s abduction to cover up her death in their holiday flat.

Vitor Santos de Oliveira, who is representing Mr Amaral, said: ‘We are aware of the revelations concerning this report by the McCanns’ former investigators and believe they are very important.

‘It is possible I may try to submit it as evidence to defend my client but I haven’t decided yet.

‘Nothing’s been ruled out. We are analysing the relevance of the report and considering our position. We have no intention of introducing irrelevant material into this case because we respect the McCanns as people and have no intention of harming them for sake of it,’ he said.

‘But I can tell you that if we feel something is relevant in disproving the McCanns’ claims about my client then we will have no hesitation in using it.

‘I think the revelations about the suppression of this report are very important with regards to the ongoing criminal case.

‘It’s a report written by McCann-hired investigators who make strong criticisms of the couple.

‘As far as the civil libel case is going we are very calm,’ Mr de Oliveira continued.

‘My client’s arguments in his book have been backed up in court by his former police colleagues who say it was the police position in 2008 when the book was published.’

The ongoing libel case launched by the McCanns against Mr Amaral is due to restart next Tuesday.

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