Madeleine McCann’s Parents Dealt Devastating Blow By Court Ruling

by : Tom Percival on : 31 Jan 2017 19:01

The police officer who lead the hunt for missing toddler Madeleine McCann will not have to compensate the McCann family for profiting from a book about her disappearance a court has ruled.

Portugal’s Supereme Court has ruled that former Portuguese detective Goncalo Amaral cannot be sued for libel over allegations he made about Jerry and Kate McCann.


In April last year Mr Amaral won an appeal over the McAnns against a libel conviction after he alleged the couple were involved in their daughter’s disappearance, Sky News reports.

PA Images

The McCann family lawyers then took things to Portugal’s top court in an effort to sue Mr Amaral.

Mr Amaral had been ordered to pay 606,000 euros to the couple back in 2015 after a two-year libel trial came to an end but the Supreme Court ruled he was protected under laws covering freedom of expression.


The judges believed that Mr Amaral’s claims weren’t abusive and  were ‘within acceptable limits in an open and democratic society’.


Meawhile Mr Amaral claims that his beliefs are informed by police work done when Maddie first disappeared while on a family holiday in Portugal in May 2007.

Despite the ruling the court’s decision could be appealed before the European Court of Human Rights.

Tom Percival

More of a concept than a journalist, Tom Percival was forged in the bowels of Salford University from which he emerged grasping a Masters in journalism. Since then his rise has been described by himself as ‘meteoric’ rising to the esteemed rank of Social Editor at UNILAD as well as working at the BBC, Manchester Evening News, and ITV. He credits his success to three core techniques, name repetition, personality mirroring, and never breaking off a handshake.

Topics: News


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  1. Sky News

    Madeleine McCann police officer will not have to pay compensation over book