Madeleine McCann Update: Parents Talk About Stress Regarding Libel Case

June 25, 2014 Updated: July 18, 2015

Madeleine McCann’s parents Kate and Gerry McCann said going back to Portugal “brings us more pain and distress every time we come here.”

They were in Portugal this month to deliver a statement against ex-police officer Goncalo Amaral, who was sued for libel by the couple. Amaral wrongly stated the two hid McCann’s body after an accident and faked an abduction, according to MailOnline.com.

If the case is successful, the parents can get £1 million in damages. They alleged Amaral’s recent move to get rid of his legal team is part of his strategy to delay the case.

“Mr Amaral handed that letter in apparently around nine o’clock this morning – that letter could have been handed in before we left the country,” Kate McCann said. “And this has happened about four times. This can’t be seen an anything but blatant and cynical.”

A recent report from News Limited in Australia said that locals in the Portuguese resort town of Praia da Luz, where McCann disappeared seven years ago, are still tense about the McCann search.

“The friendly hospitality staff at the local hotels and restaurants are happy to chat about the weather, the catch of the day and the best local tourist attractions, but just don’t mention the M word,” writes the website, referring to the girl.

One resident theorizes that “drainage work was taking place to pipes in the town around the time and deep holes were dotted around the town. Some of the drains were filled in and covered over a day after Madeleine went missing. Some locals believe the toddler either wandered out of her room in search of her parents and tumbled into one of the pits, others think whoever attempted to abduct her may have panicked and dumped her body into one of the holes in an attempt to cover their tracks and then absconded.”

As the summer season starts up, many locals have come into the town in recent days despite its reputation.

The British police investigation into McCann’s disappearance also appears to have caused tension between locals and police.

“Policia Ingesa estupidos,” reads graffiti sprayed on a wall in the town. When translated into English, it says: “English police are stupid”.

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