February 19, 2010 / 1:56 AM / 9 years ago

Portugal upholds ban on book about Madeleine McCann

LISBON (Reuters Life!) - A Portuguese court upheld on Thursday a ban on a book about the disappearance of British toddler Madeleine McCann written by former detective Goncalo Amaral who led the initial investigation.

Kate and Gerry McCann speak about the disappearance of their daughter Madeleine, at a news conference in London February 19, 2010. REUTERS/Jas Lehal

Published in 2008, Amaral’s book, “Maddie: The Truth of the Lie,” was removed from shelves following an injunction last September after the McCanns claimed the book defamed them by suggesting Madeleine died in her room in a Portuguese holiday resort and they faked her abduction.

Madeleine McCann disappeared from her room at a resort in the Algarve on May 3, 2007, just days before her fourth birthday, as her parents were dining at a nearly restaurant. The case remains unsolved.

Her parents Kate and Gerry McCann were named as official suspects in September 2007 — when Amaral was also taken off the case after speaking out against British police — but this status was lifted 10 months later.

The McCann’s lawyer Isabel Duarte welcomed the court’s decision which also prohibits Amaral from repeating his allegations in the media. His book was also made into a documentary film.

“The conclusions of this decision confirm absolutely ... the book will be, cannot be, neither reproduced nor sold,” Duarte told Reuters Television outside the court.

Duarte also read out a statement by Madeleine’s parents Kate and Gerry McCann, who were not in court, in which they said they were relieved with the decision.

“Hopefully this will be the start of good things for Madeleine,” she read. “This is the beginning of a new situation to reopen the search for Madeleine with more possibilities.”

Duarte added.

The couple are also seeking compensation for defamation in a separate civil case against Amaral which they say would help pay for their own continuing hunt for their daughter who they believe was kidnapped.

Amaral said the court was breaching his freedom of expression and he vowed to continue the fight.

“I always said we were prepared to go to the European Court of Human Rights and do what was necessary to get there,” he said.

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