McCanns could pay out $1m if they lose case against detective who said they were responsible for Madeleine's disappearance
The fund currently has £728,508 in it which was largely contributed by the public. If the McCanns lose the case, they'll be forced to use money out of it to pay compensation.
A public fund set up to help contribute towards the search for Madeleine McCann could find itself emptied if parents Kate and Gerry McCann lose an upcoming court battle against a former detective in the case. The pair will be returning to court to face Gonçalo Amaral, who claimed that the parents were responsible for their daughter's death.
The case will be heard at the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg and has been a long time in the making. Amaral had previously written in his book, The Truth About the Lie Concerning Madeleine's Disappearance, that Kate and Gerry had covered up the three-year-old's disappearance in 2007, resulting in a libel case against him filed by the parents.
He would go on to lose that case, though it was eventually overturned. The detective was handed compensation for the same, but unsatisfied he decided to countersue the McCanns for more reparation. According to the Daily Mail, a legal representative for the McCanns has lodged the final paperwork pertaining to the case and that it is expected to go forward soon.
Amaral, who was once the coordinator of the inquiry into Madeleine's disappearance at the Praia da Luz, was removed from his post and transferred from Portimão to Faro after telling the newspaper Diário de Notícias that the British police ignored the possibility of the McCanns being suspects. He criticized them for only following leads helpful to the parents, pointing out how they followed up on an anonymous email to Prince Charles that claimed a former club member had abducted Madeleine.
His book on the case threw him into the spotlight once again, and the detective claimed that his family has suffered a lot from the 'ordeal.' The Sun quoted a source who said, "It seems you can say anything you like about someone in Portugal, no matter how awful, and get away with it."
"If the European Court rules against them the trustees will decide on how best to make any payments," the source continued. "It would be a blow but Kate and Gerry would keep their heads up and carry on searching."
The paper reported that the fund — Madeleine’s Fund: Leaving No Stone Unturned — had about £728,508 in it, mostly from public donations. If the McCanns were to lose their upcoming case, they would have to pay Amaral £430,000 as well as other costs on top.
Furthermore, the Kate and Gerry have reportedly used money from the fund to cover the costs of hearings on past occasions as well. Retired Detective Chief Inspector Mick Neville, who investigated the case last year, called the most recent developments "tragic". "It is tragic that funds to try to find her could be lost because of this legal action," he said. "There is every reason to believe she may be alive."