Cash from cop lies will help Maddie hunt; Parents thrilled by libel ruling.
Byline: DAVID COLLINS
A LARGE libel payout awarded to Kate and Gerry McCann will help fund the search for their missing daughter Madeleine.
The couple said they were "delighted" by the court's decision and believe it will give them a better chance of finding their girl alive.
A judge ruled yesterday that ex-police chief Goncalo Amaral libelled the McCanns by claiming they faked their daughter's abduction from their holiday apartment in Portugal to cover up her death.
Amaral, who led the initial investigation into the disappearance in 2007, has been ordered to pay Madeleine's parents PS358,000 in libel damages.
Kate and Gerry, who have 10-yearold twins Sean and Amelie, said: "We are delighted with the judge's verdict today. We want to emphasise the action was never about money.
"It was entirely focused on the effects of the libels on our other children and the damage that was done in the search for Madeleine."
Amaral, 56, made the claims in his 2008 book, The Truth of the Lie.
The judge has banned further sales of the book which earned the nowretired police chief around PS275,000. Her ruling in the Civil Court of Lisbon comes six years after the McCanns launched the libel action.
Yesterday their lawyer Isabel Duarte said Amaral's "awful lies" had hindered the search for Madeleine.
Sunday will mark the eighth anniversary of her disappearance and Ms Duarte said: "This verdict could not have come at a better time.
"She [Kate] really believes it can help the chance of finding Madeleine alive because their accuser suggested the little girl was dead."
She added: "They want the money to go into the fund to find Madeleine."
The judge ruled 84 facts had been proven, including that the book caused the McCanns "rage, desperation, anguish, worry and insomnia". She concluded 14 facts had not been proven, saying Amaral's claims had not led to Portuguese police halting their search in 2008.
Amaral, who denied libelling the couple, must also pay PS76,000 interest. His lawyer Miguel Cruz Rodrigues insisted he knew nothing about the court's decision.
Madeleine was three when she vanished from the Algarve resort of Praia da Luz. Kate and Gerry, of Rothley, Leics, were named as arguidos, a Portuguese term similar to being a formal suspect, but were completely cleared in 2008.
The Portuguese probe into the disappearance was reopened in 2013. Scotland Yard is also investigating.
She really believes it can help the chance of finding her alive FAMILY'S LAWYER on kate's hope for her girl
MISSING Their daughter Madeleine
GUILTY Amaral libelled Madeleine's anguished parents
JUSTICE BATTLE Kate & Gerry at the court last year