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Controversial Madeleine McCann book ban overturned

By DAISY SAMPSON [email protected]

A controversial book about the disappearance of Madeleine McCann by Gonçalo Amaral has been allowed to go back on sale after the appeal court in Lisbon on October 19 overturned the ruling to ban the publication, as the block on the book was deemed unconstitutional.

Maddie –A Verdade da Mentira (Maddie – The Truth of the Lie), written by former lead police investigator in the case, Gonçalo Amaral, was first banned in September 2009 after Kate and Gerry McCann launched a case against the book.

In the book, Gonçalo Amaral claims that Kate and Gerry McCann were involved in the disappearance of their daughter Madeleine from their holiday apartment in Praia da Luz in 2007 and that they had fabricated claims of abduction.

UK plans

Portugal’s Attorney General has reviewed the case and stated that there was no evidence to suggest that the McCanns were anything other than “entirely innocent” but the book can now go back on sale as the ban had broken “a constitutional and universal right: that to the freedom of expression” and the contents of the book did not breach the basic rights of the plaintiffs.

The 50 minute DVD documentary based on the book will also now be allowed to be sold again.

Gonçalo Amaral told Portuguese newspaper Correio da Manhã: “I have a sensation of liberty and I am sure that democracy in Portugal has been reinforced.  

“My editor is going to immediately recuperate all the books that have been seized and take them to be placed in shops for sale once again and we are looking at other initiatives, including the publication of the book in England.”

Appeal

A spokesman for the McCann family told the British press this week: “The defamation action against Mr Amaral is very much continuing and Kate and Gerry’s lawyers are now examining the detail of this latest ruling and are considering an appeal.”

The spokesman continued: “As painful and personally damaging as the slanderous claims of Mr Amaral and his supporters have been to us and our family, our primary focus has always been, and always will be, to find Madeleine through our own best investigative efforts.”

Do you have a view on this story? Please email Editor Inês Lopes at [email protected]