UK & World News
McCanns Angry Over 'Cynical' Libel Trial Delay
The parents of Madeleine McCann have condemned the postponement of a former police officer's libel trial as a "blatant" attempt to wear them down.
Kate and Gerry McCann had been due to speak at the trial of ex-police chief Goncalo Amaral, who has been accused of making defamatory statements about them in a book he wrote.
At the last minute, Mr Goncalo's lawyers submitted a letter to the court asking for a postponement as he had sacked his legal team.
Speaking outside the court, Gerry McCann said: "Today is a blatant and cynical attempt to wear us down.
"The hearing has been cancelled once again at Mr Amaral's request. This is the fourth time that this has happened and we've travelled to Portugal.
"The legal case has been running now for five years and we want to get justice for Madeleine. It's Madeleine who is suffering. We are not going to give up. We are going to keep going."
Mrs McCann, her voice cracking with the strain as she was surrounded by the Portuguese media, added: "We need to make it clear to people that we took on this case because of the pain and distress that Mr Amaral has brought to us and our children.
"Every time he postpones the case like this it brings us more pain and distress. Every time we come here we have to make arrangements for our children to be looked after, we have to book flights, we have to book hotels, we have to take time off work.
"Mr Amaral apparently handed that letter in at nine o'clock this morning. That letter could have been handed in before we left the country. As Gerry said, can this be seen as anything but blatant and cynical?
"We just want justice. This is not fair."
The couple had been expected to deliver emotional statements about the impact of allegations Mr Amaral's 2008 book The Truth Of The Lie, which they say damaged the search for the missing girl and added to their anguish.
If the court rules against Mr Amaral, the McCanns could receive around £1m in damages.
Madeleine went missing in May 2007 from the couple's holiday apartment in Praia da Luz on the Algarve and despite a worldwide hunt, she has never been found.
British and Portuguese police have been examining patches of ground in Praia da Luz in the last few weeks but have had no success.
Mr McCann saidoutside court that no evidence had been found to show Madeleine had been injured or killed and, as a result they believed that, "as far as we are concerned there's a good chance she's still alive".