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McCanns back in Portugal for trial

Kate and Gerry McCann are returning to Portugal for the libel trial of the former Portuguese detective who headed the investigation into their daughter Madeleine's disappearance.

The couple launched legal action against Goncalo Amaral after he published a book questioning their account about what happened to the little girl.

Mr and Mrs McCann, both 41, from Rothley, Leicestershire, will fly to Lisbon ahead of the three-day trial, which is due to start at the main civil court in the Portuguese capital on Tuesday.

It is understood that they plan to attend all the hearings, but do not intend to go back to the Algarve resort where Madeleine vanished more than two-and-a-half years ago.

Family spokesman Clarence Mitchell said: "I can confirm that Kate and Gerry McCann will be returning to Portugal on Monday to attend the resumption of the Amaral trial on Tuesday at the main civil court in Lisbon.

"The details of their travel plans and itinerary will at their request remain private."

Madeleine was nearly four when she went missing from her family's holiday apartment in Praia da Luz in the Algarve on May 3 2007 while her parents dined with friends nearby.

Four months after her disappearance, Mr and Mrs McCann were made "arguidos", or formal suspects, in the case but this was lifted when the investigation was shelved in July 2008.

Mr Amaral at first led the Portuguese inquiry into Madeleine's disappearance but he was taken off the case in October 2007 after criticising the British police in a newspaper interview.

In his book Maddie: The Truth Of The Lie, which was published in July 2008, Mr Amaral claimed that Madeleine was dead and questioned the McCanns' account that she was abducted. A Portuguese judge granted an injunction in September last year banning further sale or publication of the book.

Copyright © 2010 The Press Association. All rights reserved.

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