The effects of a book that made allegations about Madeleine McCann's disappearance were worse than when her parents were made arguidos, or formal suspects,Gerry McCann's sister told a court in Portugal.
Gerry McCann's sister, Trish Cameron, spoke at the libel trial of former police chief Goncalo Amaral.
In her evidence at the libel trial of former police chief Goncalo Amaral, who wrote the book, Trish Cameron said: "This was a different thing. It was much more conclusive and demonising them, dehumanising them, saying they did not care for their children, that they were responsible.
"It makes it out that they weren't truthful and they have been vilified and it's very hard to turn round opinion about them that has been so widely spread." Mrs Cameron told the court that the Portuguese people had "turned against" the family, adding: "They were fed up with the McCanns, they wanted them to go away, but they weren't going away. They still had a missing child."
The father of missing British girl Madeleine McCann left a Lisbon court on Wednesday (October 2) without testifying in the libel case against former police chief Goncalo Amaral.
Scotland Yard detectives hope to solve Madeleine McCann’s disappearance by targeting mobile phone records of thousands of holidaymakers in the Portuguese holiday resort of Praia da Luz.
Missing: Madeleine was taken from Praia Da Luz Ocean Club Resort
A major appeal will be launched in five different countries in the week after next - the UK, Ireland, Germany, Holland and Portugal - when they will reveal new information and a new theory as to how the little girl may have disappeared.
Kate and Gerry McCann said they were “greatly encouraged” that the “jigsaw” of what happened to their daughter appeared to be closer to completion.
More than 400 people, including new witnesses, have been interviewed by Metropolitan Police officers since a fresh investigation was ordered in May 2011, its top detective disclosed. British police have taken statements from, among others, carers, residents and workers who were at the resort in Praia da Luz, Portugal, at the time of Madeleine’s disappearance in May 2007.
In total 442 people have been questioned by officers or provided statements to detectives in an inquiry spanning 30 countries. Scotland Yard said its investigation had resulted in 4,920 lines of inquiry, of which 2,123 had been followed up and “completed”.
Police issued a computer-generated image (r) of how Madeleine might have looked aged nine
A BBC Crimewatch reconstruction of Madeleine McCann's disappearance will star a three-year-old actress as Maddie. A small production team from the programme have spent a week filming abroad for the new appeal, which goes to air on Monday 14th October.
A shaken barrister has told police how a man boasted to him that he had seen missing Madeleine McCann just weeks ago. In a sensational development the witness said he was stunned when the man confessed he had met the girl on a Mediterranean island.
The witness added: “I knew that by reporting it, it would compromise me in all sorts of ways. But it was something that he couldn’t ignore. If I hadn’t said anything I couldn’t have lived with myself.” He said he was convinced the confession was genuine, despite many other people coming forward with unconfirmed sightings and false leads since she disappeared in Portugal, aged three on May 3, 2007.
Yesterday it emerged that Kate, 45, now wants to appear in court to confront former Portuguese police chief Goncalo Amaral who wrote the book, and to tell him the emotional trauma that it caused.
The mum, who has asked for permission to give evidence in the £1million libel trial against the ex-officer, hopes giving an emotional account will help her and husband Gerry win the court case. A source close to the couple said: “Kate is desperate to show the court just how much hurt the book and Mr Amaral caused her.
“Kate and Gerry feel the search for Madeleine was hampered by the false claims made in the book. The claims caused a great deal of distress to them both. That’s what Kate wants to tell the court. She wants to look Mr Amaral in the eye so he can see the pain he caused to her and her family.”
The McCanns' spokesman, Clarence Mitchell, has confirmed that lawyer Isabel Duarte lodged an application last week for Mrs McCann to take the stand as well. If the judge grants the application, the couple will return to Lisbon. It is thought that if they do give evidence, it will be at the end of the trial next month. Mr Amaral has also applied to testify and is yet to hear whether he can or not.