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Madeleine's parents 'to sue former Portuguese top cop'

world Updated: May 17, 2009 15:33 IST
Madeleine's parents 'to sue former Portuguese top cop'

Madeleine McCann's parents have decided to sue the former top cop of Portugal for botching the probe into the British toddler's disappearance two years back from their holiday flat in the popular resort of Praia da Luz.

Kate and Gerry McCann are to take legal action against former Portuguese police chief Goncalo Amaral, who had claimed publicly that Madeleine was dead and they had actually helped to hide her body, the 'Sunday Express' reported.

"We are taking this legal action against Goncalo Amaral over his entirely unfounded and grossly defamatory claims -- made in all types of media, both within Portugal and beyond -- that Madeleine is not only dead but that we, her parents, were somehow involved in concealing her body," the couple said in a statement.

In fact, their decision was taken to try to prevent further publication of Amaral's "deeply offensive" book 'The Truth of the Lie', that depicts that the parents were involved in their daughter's disappearance.

The statement continued: "The primary reason for our legal action is simple: to stop any negative effect that these absurd and deeply hurtful claims may be having on the ongoing search for Madeleine.

"We can no longer stand back and watch as Amaral tries to convince the entire world Madeleine is dead. Nor can we allow this blatant injustice to Madeleine, with its obvious risk of hindering our attempts to find her, to continue."

However, according to Amaral's representative, LV Marreiros, his main concern since leaving the force has been "to reveal the facts that occurred during the investigation".