The parents of Madeleine McCann, a three-year-old British girl whose horrific disappearance 15 years ago, have lost a privacy case in Europe’s top human rights court against a Portuguese police inspector. Dental.
The child, known as Maddie, went missing on a family holiday in Portugal in 2007 and her body was never found despite numerous investigations, leading to a crime. sex offenders in Germany last year.
Initially, police suspected that Maddie might have died accidentally and that her parents, Gerald McCann and Kate Healy, hid the body and staged a kidnapping.
In 2008, those claims were echoed in a book by the Portuguese police inspector, the man who originally led the case, Goncalo Amaral, prompting parents to sue for defamation.
They won the case but it was later dismissed by Portugal’s supreme court, so the boy’s parents applied to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, eastern France.
They said Amaral’s accusations damaged their reputation and violated their right to privacy and family life, and that the high court’s acquittal violated their right to be presumed innocent. their.
But in its ruling issued on Tuesday, the ECHR said Amaral’s claims were made in official police reports, to which the media had been granted access.
It also notes that Maddie’s parents were under investigation before being cleared and that the book was only published after prosecutors closed the case.
“Even if it is assumed that the reputations of the applicants have been damaged, this is not the result of the author’s argument but is the result of suspicions against them,” the court said.
It added that regarding Amaral’s acquittal, “it appears … the supreme court has made comment implying any guilt against the applicants or even suggesting suspicion against the defendants.” back to them”.
After the case cooled for years, German police announced in June 2021 that they had a new main suspect, a child sex offender currently in prison.
In May, prosecutors said they had discovered “new evidence” against the suspect identified as “Christian B.” He is serving a seven-year prison sentence in Germany for raping a 72-year-old American tourist in Praia da Luz – the same seaside resort where Maddie disappeared.
But so far, no charges have been filed against Christian B. regarding Maddie’s disappearance.
(Except for the title, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from an aggregated feed.)