A real blow. This Tuesday, September 20, 2022, the parents of Maddie McCann, who disappeared on May 3, 2007 in Praia da Luz (Portugal), were dismissed by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), following their complaint filed in 2017 against Portugal over the actions of Gonçalo Amaral, the ex-inspector initially in charge of investigating Madeleine’s disappearance. In their appeal, Kate and Gerry McCann felt that their presumption of innocence and their reputation had been violated when the former police officer accused them, in his book Maddie: The Forbidden Investigation, published in 2008, of having played a role in the disappearance of their daughter.
Nevertheless, the European Court of Human Rights ruled that Amaral’s book caused no harm to the McCanns. “Although the Court understands that the publication of the book undeniably caused the applicants’ anger, anguish and bewilderment, it does not appear that it, or the distribution of the documentary, had a serious impact on their relations or their legitimate efforts to try to find their daughter,” the ECHR said. And to continue: “Even assuming that the reputation of the applicants has been damaged, it is not because of the thesis defended by the author of the book, but because of the suspicions which had been expressed against them.” A point that refers to when the McCanns were named “arguidos”, in other words “formal suspects”, by the Portuguese police.
Maddie’s parents ‘disappointed’ but combative
Shortly after the rejection of their appeal, Kate and Gerry McCann said they were “disappointed” by the decision of the ECHR. However, they relativized: “That being said, a lot has changed since we attacked Mr. Amaral, his publisher and his broadcasting company, 13 years ago, they said. We attacked him for a one and only reason: Mr. Amaral’s unfounded accusations were impacting the search for Madeleine.If people thought we were involved in her disappearance, they would not be as alert to possible clues and would fail to report important information to the proper authorities. Attention is now turned to the search for Madeleine and her captors. We are grateful to the British, German and Portuguese police. We hope that with the help of the public, hard work and hard work, we can finally find those responsible for Madeleine’s disappearance and bring them to justice.”
Fifteen years after the disappearance of their daughter, Gerry and Kate McCann continue to fight for justice. To date, the main suspect in the case is Christian Brueckner, a German precriminal repeat offender who was in Praia da Luz in 2007.
Kate McCann © GOFF INF