Madeleine McCann’s parents lost a court case over claims in a best-selling book by a former detective regarding their kidnapping of their daughter.
Attorneys for Kate and Gerry McCann argue that Portuguese authorities have violated their right to privacy and family life in the way that the courts there handle the libel allegations. surname for Goncalo Amaral.
Mr Amaral was ordered by a Lisbon court to pay 500,000 euros in damages to the McCanns in 2015, but the decision was overturned and subsequently taken down by the Portuguese Supreme Court in 2017.
The case has been buzzing for years but went to trial on Tuesday at the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), which ruled there were no violations.
The court said any damage to their reputation would arise from their being a suspect in the case, not from Mr Amaral’s book.
Mr Amaral was the lead detective investigating Madeleine’s disappearance, but was removed from the case after criticizing British police.
His 2008 book alludes to the McCanns in their daughter’s abduction and accuses them of hiding her body.
The family was on holiday in Praia da Luz in the Algarve region of Portugal when Madeleinethen three years old, went missing from their hotel room.
The ECHR said that even considering that McCanns’ reputation had been damaged, this was “not based on the book’s author’s argument”
Instead, it was “the result of suspicions against them, which led to them being investigated” and has led to intense media attention and controversy.
The court added: “The information has thus been brought to some detail by the public even before the investigative file was released to the media and the book in question was published.
“Accordingly, the national authorities have not taken an active duty to protect the applicant’s right to privacy.”
McCanns now has three months to appeal the decision.
There has been no trace of Madeleine since she went missing 15 years ago, although her parents clinging to the hope that she will be found alive.
Earlier this year, the man suspected of kidnapping Madeleine claimed he was miles away from the scene have sex in his camp truck with a young woman who will prove his alibi.
Christian B said he drove her to the airport in Faro for a flight home the next day and they were stopped and photographed at a police checkpoint.
According to the Metropolitan Police, Portuguese authorities remain at the forefront of the investigation and the Met continues to work to assist them.