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Court rules against parents in missing case of Madeleine McCann

The parents of missing British toddler Madeleine McCann were found to have been denied a fair trial by Portugal in their libel case against a former Portuguese policeman, the European Court of Human Rights concluded on Tuesday.


Goncalo Amaral, a police investigator who worked on the Madeleine missing case while the family was vacationing in Portugal in 2007, made the suggestion that the child’s parents were involved in his book ‘Truth of the Lie.’


In a libel case, Kate and Gerry McCann sued Amaral. A Portuguese court decided in their favour in 2015 and ordered Amaral to give them compensation. The decision was overturned by Portugal’s top court two years later.


The parents subsequently filed an appeal with the European court, claiming that Portugal had not protected their rights to a fair trial, to a private family life, and to freedom of expression.


The ECHR decision said that the McCanns’ arguments regarding the presumption of innocence were unfounded and that the Portuguese judiciary had not failed in its responsibility to defend their rights.


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