UK & World News

  • 8 July 2014, 21:56

McCanns' Son 'Asked About Madeleine Claims'

Kate McCann has told a libel hearing her son asked her about allegations linking her to the disappearance of Madeleine which were published in a book by former police chief Goncalo Amaral.

Mrs McCann told a court in Portugal, her son Sean had heard about the claims on the radio while travelling on a school bus.

She said: "Sean asked me in October: 'Mr Amaral said you hid Madeleine.'

"I just said he said a lot of silly things."

The McCanns are suing over the allegations in Mr Amaral's book, The Truth Of The Lie, which included suggestions they hid Madeleine's body after she died in an accident and faked an abduction.

They say the allegations damaged the hunt for their daughter and exacerbated their anguish.

Sky News' Crime Correspondent Martin Brunt said she testified for almost an hour at Lisbon's Palace of Justice.

After the hearing, Gerry McCann told reporters they had brought the case to court to "challenge assertions that have gone more or less unchallenged".

He said whoever took Madeleine "must have been laughing at what has been told in the book; that there was no abduction, that there is no predator out there.

"There is. And he, she or they may strike again."

If successful, the couple could receive around ú1m in damages. A judgement is not expected until later this year.

The trial was adjourned last month when Mr Amaralásacked his lawyer in what the McCanns claimed was a "blatant and cynical" attempt to hold up proceedings.

Afterwards they accused him of trying to wear them down and delaying justice for their missing daughter.

Madeleine, who was then nearly four, disappeared from her family's holiday apartment in Praia da Luz in the Algarve on May 3, 2007 as her parents dined at a nearby restaurant with friends.

Their latest visit to Portugal comes after Scotland Yard detectives returned to the country last week to help interview suspects in the case.

Officers from the force's Operation Grange joined their Portuguese counterparts in Faro as they questioned "people of interest".

The suspects were believed to include three workers from the Ocean Club in Praia da Luz who have been linked to a string of burglaries in the area before Madeleine vanished.

Last month the British detectives teamed up with their Portuguese counterparts in searches of three areas of land near the Ocean Club.

Afterwards police said it was the "first phase of this major investigation which has been agreed with the Portuguese".

They added there was "still a substantial amount of work yet to be completed in the coming weeks and months".

Mr and Mrs McCann previously said the fact police found no evidence relating to Madeleine had reinforced their belief she could still be alive.

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