Madeleine || Met extends time for Madeleine questioning as Murat’s wife grilled “exhaustively”

Madeleine || Met extends time for Madeleine questioning as Murat’s wife grilled “exhaustively”

It was another busy day in Faro yesterday as Met detectives reconvened for a new round of witness questioning in the inquiry into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann.
But this time, there were no punches thrown at newsmen, nor bottles of water hurled in disgust. Nonetheless the bottom line is that time allotted has been extended after the questioning of Robert Murat’s partner Michaela took a lot longer than expected.
According to Portuguese newspapers, Michaela Walczuch was grilled for a full eight hours. This meant that her husband, present in Faro throughout, will now face police on Friday – the day originally set aside for a meeting with PJ counterparts.
Today, it is the turn of Ocean Club managers John and Donna Hill and another Portuguese man – all of whom have been questioned in the past.
Meantime in Lisbon, the defamation trial of Gonçalo Amaral resumed – with final arguments presented by lawyers representing Kate and Gerry McCann.
The couple lodged a civil action against the former PJ detective, alleging defamation. It is a trial that has taken almost five years to reach this stage – and yesterday those reporting from the courtroom learned it could take until March to be settled.
Intriguingly, lawyers representing TVI and Amaral’s publishers Guerra e Paz remarked at the absence of journalists in the courtroom and the “repeated and convenient visits by Scotland Yard” “whenever there is a trial in session” to “deviate attention”.
While bystanders in Lisbon reported that the day had gone “very well”, British newspapers highlighted the “fortune” made by Amaral as a result of the publishing of his controversial book, “The Truth of the Lie” – the book to which the McCanns have so objected.
According to the Daily Mail, the lawyer representing Kate and Gerry McCann claims Amaral earned “at least €344,000” from the book and subsequent TV documentary.
The McCanns are suing Amaral for a reported €1.2 million, having explained to the trial in July that they felt “devastated and crushed” by the book in which Amaral presented the theory that Madeleine died by accident in the family’s holiday apartment in Praia da Luz.
By NATASHA DONN