Maddie hunt: British police make 67 return flights in a year

As judgement in the long-running defamation case taken out by Kate and Gerry McCann against former PJ cop Gonçalo Amaral is keenly expected, new stories have emerged detailing the 67 return flights made by officers in the last 12 months with still no whiff of a longed-for breakthrough in the search for missing Madeleine.

According to British press this week, Scotland Yard officers spent over €21,000 last year coming backwards and forwards to Portugal – an average cost of €322 per flight.

Many of the flights were taken up by personnel involved in the high-profile but ultimately fruitless digging in Praia da Luz at the beginning of last summer, but others went ahead “prior to the excavations” and were organised for liaison purposes, reports the Daily Mail.

As the British Home Office confirms expenditure this year will continue “broadly in line” with previous years, Judge Emilia Melo e Castro has revealed that a number of the McCanns’ allegations of defamation were “not proved” (see:

Among these was the allegation that attention of the case, both by people and in the media, “diminished” as a result of Amaral’s book, The Truth of the Lie.

The McCanns are reported to be asking for €1.2 million in damages from Amaral.

By NATASHA DONN [email protected]