The closing arguments in the libel case against the former Portuguese police detective Gonçalo Amaral instituted by parents of Madeleine McCann have been set for 7 January by a Lisbon high court.
The Lisbon Civil Court revealed that the final allegations by the legal team representing Kate and Gerry McCann will start at 9.30am.
In this civil case, the McCanns are demanding compensation of 1.2 million euros from Amaral who was the lead investigator for the first six months into the case of the disappearance of Madeleine McCann.
In his book, ‘Maddie: The Truth of the Lie’, Amaral defended the theory that Kate and Gerry McCann could be guilty of concealing a body.
Running parallel to the libel case is an injunction by the McCanns stopping Amaral from selling his book and a DVD which was aired on Portuguese television channel TVI.
The injunction came to force in January 2010, when a Lisbon court ruled the book and video could not be circulated in Portugal.
The decision was later overturned by a Lisbon Appeal Court, and following a counter claim by the McCanns, the Supreme Justice Tribunal upheld this verdict.
Madeleine McCann has been missing since the night of 3 May 2007. The investigation into her disappearance was shelved in July 2008 due to a lack of evidence, but re-opened this year on 24 October by the Portuguese Attorney-General’s Office.
In a statement sent to The Portugal News, the Attorney-General explained: “The Public Prosecutor’s Office has determined the re-opening of the inquiry relating to the disappearance of Madeleine McCann following a proposal by the Polícia Judiciária and due to the presentation of new elements which justify the continuation of the investigation.”
Portuguese police, while conducting a separate investigation, have also been asked to assist Scotland Yard in following up separate lines of inquiry.
The controversial book which runs over 200 pages, was released shortly after the case was closed in 2008 and also saw the former chief inspector resign permanently from the police force that year to, as he put it, unveil the “facts of the investigation”.
Speaking to The Portugal News shortly after releasing his book, Gonçalo Amaral lamented the fact that the case had been closed.
“We should have continued investigating the parents in order to either charge them or rule them out as suspects”, he said in the summer of 2008. “If I represented this couple, I would have insisted that police investigations continue. Not everything we do is to incriminate a suspect. Often a phone will be tapped in order to obtain information that will clear a suspect.”
When questioned over the probability of a lawsuit over the release of his book, he replied: “My book is based on facts. It could be a good occasion to take all the case files to court and compare what I wrote with that which is contained in the files.”
Speaking to The Portugal News in early 2009, Gerry McCann stressed “that there is no evidence that Madeleine is dead and there is no evidence to suggest that Kate and I were involved in any theories.”
Gerry McCann also insisted they would have been legally compelled to be available for a reconstruction due to their status as arguidos, even the motives of Portuguese police were questionable.
“Don’t get me wrong, we had major concerns as to why the reconstruction was being done”, arguing that “the police reconstruction was not aimed at finding Madeleine, but rather to look for inconsistencies. There were 12 or 15 people involved and it is inevitable there would be inconsistencies.”