Against all odds

July 09, 2014 - 12:00:00 am

Parents of missing Madeleine McCann are not taking opposition to the search for her lying down.

Missing British girl Madeleine McCann’s parents are now appearing in court over a book written by a former Portuguese police officer involved in the probe to find her years ago. The latest ordeal for Gerry and Kate McCann is only a small indicator of what they have gone through since their child disappeared in 2007. 

Madeleine McCann disappeared from her apartment in the Portuguese resort of Praia da Luz on May 3, 2007. Search by Portuguese and British authorities has spanned seven years. 

Maddie, as she is fondly called, was three then and would have been ten now. The McCanns have not given up the relentless search, which they turned into a global hunt for the blonde girl.  Maddie’s parents are suing Goncalo Amaral over his book that blames them for her disappearance. The book says that Maddie’s parents hid her body after she was accidentally killed in the resort. Kate recounted to the judge in a Portugal court yesterday what they went through after the book was published. Not only were the McCanns and their family distressed by the book, Kate claimed that it may have affected the investigation into Maddie’s disappearance.

Kate’s contention is not beside the point. When the McCanns were emotionally drained by the mysterious disappearance of their child, who grabbed global headlines and spawned many theories about her fate, the book came as a bolt of lightning for them. It would be immensely frustrating to come across printed claims saying they accidentally killed their daughter, while the duo was criss-crossing the globe in an attempt to bolster the international campaign launched to find her. Kate was right in explaining her condition to the judge yesterday in a 55-minute emotional briefing about the publication of “Maddie, The Forbidden Investigation.”

Not only was it an emotional shock to hear the officer lift a finger at them, the McCanns also faced questions from their 9-year old twin son who heard about Amaral’s claim on radio. 

The couple have for years been shuttling between Britain and Portugal for the investigation. Amaral, who most likely tried to cash in on the global publicity generated by the case, has also resorted to moves to delay it. Moments before the trial was to begin recently, he fired his lawyer, which led to the case being adjourned. It is not only grit and determination that have made the couple resilient in the face of adversity, it is also hope of an uncanny kind.  The Portuguese town where Scotland Yard recently tried to ferret out the truth has gone against Madeleine and her parents. Graffiti ridiculing the search has been seen across town. A ‘stop’ sign has been defaced to make it appear ‘stop McCann circus’ to decry the presence of British police in the Portuguese town.

However, the McCanns continue their struggle to find their long-lost daughter and are trying to stanch all opposition.