McCanns bid to give libel evidence
Kate McCann has asked to give evidence at the Portuguese libel trial over a book by a former local police chief.
The McCanns are suing Goncalo Amaral over claims in his book The Truth of the Lie about their daughter Madeleine's disappearance.
The couple have launched a legal action against the former Portuguese police chief, as well as his publisher, and the makers of a documentary based on the book.
Madeleine's father Gerry McCann is fighting to give evidence at the trial, with the judge at the court in Lisbon yet to rule on whether he can step into the witness box.
And today the McCanns' spokesman Clarence Mitchell confirmed that lawyer Isabel Duarte lodged an application last week for Mrs McCann to give evidence as well.
If the judge grants the application, the couple will return to Lisbon. It is thought that if they give evidence, it will be at the end of the trial next month.
Mr Amaral has also applied to take to the witness box and is yet to hear whether he can or not.
Last week Gerry's sister Trish Cameron told the court that the family's pain over Madeleine's disappearance was "multiplied 100 times" by the book.
She said the youngster's parents had been left in "purgatory" and the book and subsequent documentary had seen them "vilified" and "demonised".
The trial has previously heard how Mrs McCann had considered suicide in the aftermath of the book's publication in 2008.
The McCanns say the former detective's claims in the book The Truth Of The Lie, including suggestions that they hid their daughter's body after she died in an accident and faked an abduction, damaged the hunt for Madeleine and exacerbated their anguish.
If successful the family stands to gain around £1 million in damages.
Kate McCann travelled to Lisbon at the start of the trial, and her husband has attended several times in the hope of being able to give evidence at the trial, which is expected to finish hearing evidence in November.
Madeleine, who was then nearly four, disappeared from her family's holiday apartment in Praia da Luz in the Algarve on May 3 2007 as her parents dined at a nearby restaurant with friends.
British detectives launched a fresh investigation into the youngster's disappearance in July this year - two years into a review of the case - and believe she could still be alive.
A new BBC Crimewatch appeal is to be aired on Monday a bid to produce new witnesses.
The appeal will include a reconstruction of the "latest, most detailed understanding" of the events around the time Madeleine went missing.
Scotland Yard has revealed a vast log of mobile phone traffic could be the key to finding out what happened to the girl.
Madeleine's parents have said they remain "optimistic" of finding their daughter and will not accept she is dead until they are presented with clear evidence.
"We've always had hope," Mr McCann told ITV.
"There have been a number of cases over the last few years of children and young women being found after having been taken and held for very long periods of time.
"As parents we won't accept Madeleine is dead until we see clear evidence that that is the case."
The Metropolitan Police now has a team of six Portuguese detectives based in Faro who are carrying out inquiries on its behalf.
The Portuguese investigation is officially closed but authorities there are backing the Scotland Yard inquiry and officers from both countries will work together in pursuing new leads.
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