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McCanns ban Portuguese lawyer from speaking to press





  • Isabel Duarte thought have been considering a reaction after  a failed libel battle
  • Ex-policeman Goncalo Amaral claimed the couple faked Maddie's abduction
  • But Kate and Gerry have reportedly ordered her 'not to say anything' about case

By Tracey Kandohla For Mail Online

Published: 12:58 EST, 17 February 2017 | Updated: 13:09 EST, 17 February 2017

Kate and Gerry McCann have banned their Portuguese lawyer from giving any comment after judges said they had not been cleared over daughter Madeleine's disappearance.

Whilst Isabel Duarte had been carefully considering reaction on their behalf to a failed libel battle against a former police chief 'to protect my clients', they have now warned her: 'Don't say anything!'

Lisbon-based Ms Duarte received a copy of Portugal's Supreme Court judgement 10 days ago – a week after it was made to 'the bitter disappointment' of Maddie's parents and to 'the delight but no surprise' of Goncalo Amaral.

Kate and Gerry McCann have banned their Portuguese lawyer from giving any comment after judges said they had not been cleared over daughter Madeleine's disappearance  Kate and Gerry McCann have banned their Portuguese lawyer from giving any comment after judges said they had not been cleared over daughter Madeleine's disappearance 

Kate and Gerry McCann have banned their Portuguese lawyer from giving any comment after judges said they had not been cleared over daughter Madeleine's disappearance 

But the McCann's have now ordered her not to respond to any media request for their reaction. 

Ms Duarte said today: 'We received instructions from the clients not to make any declaration or give public information about the file against Mr Amaral or the case itself.'

The couple lost on appeal their nine-year civil battle against the Portuguese ex-policeman who they had tried to silence for claiming their daughter had been accidentally killed in a holiday apartment in May 2007 and they had covered it up.

They have always vehemently denied any involvement.

Former GP Kate and heart doctor Gerry were ruled out as 'arguidos' – formal suspect - in 2008 but the country's top court said in newly released 76-page dossier that this does not 'equate to proof of innocence', meaning suspicion still hangs over them. 

Senior judges claim the investigation into them was only shelved because of lack of evidence.

Whilst Isabel Duarte (right) had been carefully considering reaction on their behalf to a failed libel battle against a former police chief 'to protect my clients', they have now warned her: 'Don't say anything!' Also pictured: Kate McCann (left) and friend Fiona Payne Whilst Isabel Duarte (right) had been carefully considering reaction on their behalf to a failed libel battle against a former police chief 'to protect my clients', they have now warned her: 'Don't say anything!' Also pictured: Kate McCann (left) and friend Fiona Payne

Whilst Isabel Duarte (right) had been carefully considering reaction on their behalf to a failed libel battle against a former police chief 'to protect my clients', they have now warned her: 'Don't say anything!' Also pictured: Kate McCann (left) and friend Fiona Payne

Their latest order to their lawyer may signal the end of their legal fight against Mr Amaral with no anticipation of them challenging the ruling in the European Court of Human Rights.

The couple, both 48, from Rothley, Leics, have previously gone to extraordinary lengths to stop people close to them talking and even prevented some British newspapers from reporting certain details about the Maddie mystery.

They have also banned all family members and friends from talking to journalists.

Ms Duarte received a copy of Portugal's Supreme Court judgement 10 days ago – a week after it was made to 'the bitter disappointment' of Maddie's parents and to 'the delight but no surprise' of Goncalo Amaral (pictured) Ms Duarte received a copy of Portugal's Supreme Court judgement 10 days ago – a week after it was made to 'the bitter disappointment' of Maddie's parents and to 'the delight but no surprise' of Goncalo Amaral (pictured)

Ms Duarte received a copy of Portugal's Supreme Court judgement 10 days ago – a week after it was made to 'the bitter disappointment' of Maddie's parents and to 'the delight but no surprise' of Goncalo Amaral (pictured)

The pair only speak publically on occasional anniversaries of their daughter's disappearance. And Kate does the odd interview as ambassador for Missing People to highlight the charity's work.

Their long-serving spokesman Clarence Mitchell sometimes comments on their behalf but he no longer gets paid for his services. 

The McCann's dropped him last year from the Maddie Fund payroll to cut costs but the renowned PR assists them, he says, because 'hopefully it helps in the search for Madeleine.'

The previously reported Supreme Court ruling said there were 'serious concerns' over the theory three-year-old Maddie had been snatched from her bedroom at the Ocean Club apartment in the Algarve's Praia da Luz nearly 10 years ago.

The comments were made in the huge dossier after Mr Goncalo, who headed the hunt for the missing girl, who was handed victory. The McCanns had insisted 'poisonous lies' in his 2008 Maddie book The Truth of the Lie and a TV documentary about the case had been hurtful and libellous.

The Supreme Court is Portugal's highest court but has no criminal authority. Judges added their job was not to decide if the McCanns bore any criminal responsibility over Maddie's disappearance.

And they said it would be wrong to draw any inferences about the couple's guilt or innocence from their ruling.

The McCann's have now ordered Duarte not to respond to any media request for their reaction The McCann's have now ordered Duarte not to respond to any media request for their reaction

The McCann's have now ordered Duarte not to respond to any media request for their reaction

After receiving a copy of the ruling Ms Duarte said she would make a comment after 'carefully considering the contents the judges wrote' – which has now been blocked by the McCann's.

Mr Mitchell added: 'I haven't seen the ruling so it would be inappropriate for me to talk about it in any way. It is purely for the lawyers.'

Mr Amaral, 58, was booted off the original Maddie inquiry after criticising British police, and later retired. He insists everything written in his book was already contained in police and court case files which had been made public.

He is now writing a second Maddie book after judges ruled his 'right to freedom of expression' was worthy of greater protection than the McCann's 'right to honour.'

Ms Duarte, speaking before the couple's original libel victory was overturned on appeal: 'It has been proved in the civil file that Mr Amaral earned around 380,000 Euros in one year from the book, which is made of up false stories based on the case. 

Kate and Gerry expect compensation for the dreadful damages this book has brought their family.'     


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