Day 744: 16/05/2009 Saturday. Madeleine Beth McCann
16 May 2009: Kate and Gerry McCann and their children to sue Goncalo Amaral
Kate and Gerry McCann - together with their three children - are to sue the former Portuguese police officer Goncalo Amaral over his continuing, grossly defamatory claims that Madeleine is dead and that her parents were somehow involved in concealing their own daughter's body.
In a statement, Kate and Gerry McCann said: "We - together with our three children Madeleine, Sean and Amelie - 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.
"This decision has been taken to prevent any further publication of Goncalo Amaral's deeply offensive book "The Truth Of The Lie", his so-called television 'documentary' and any repetition of his disgraceful thesis that we are somehow involved in the disappearance of our much loved daughter, Madeleine.
"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 Mr Amaral tries to convince the entire world that 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.
"Mr. Amaral's entirely unjustified claims have not only brought indescribable devastation and suffering to our lives, they have hugely compounded the already immense pain and anxiety we have endured since Madeleine's abduction.
"Our three children are joint complainants in this action because of the detrimental effect Mr Amaral's continued assertions will undoubtedly have on their future lives. Sean and Amelie require protection as they prepare to start school this autumn. Madeleine requires protection from those who are obstructing the possibility of her being found."