Madeleine Parents Awarded £550,000

Libel Damages

20.03.2008

Kate and Gerry McCann have been awarded £550,000 in libel damages at London's High Court over newspaper allegations that they were responsible for the death of their daughter Madeleine.

The couple said they were pleased that Express Newspapers admitted the "utter falsity" of the articles.

The group issued a public apology, and the Daily Express and Daily Star ran prominent pieces at the top of their front pages, headlined "Kate and Gerry McCann: Sorry."

The McCann's solicitor-advocate, Adam Tudor, told Mr Justice Eady that the Daily Express, the Sunday Express, the Daily Star and the Daily Star Sunday published more than 100 articles which were seriously defamatory of the couple.

He said: "The general theme of the articles was to suggest that Mr and Mrs McCann were responsible for the death of Madeleine or that there were strong or reasonable grounds for so suspecting and that they had then disposed of her body; and that they had then conspired to cover up their actions, including by creating 'diversions' to divert the police's attention away from evidence which would expose their guilt."

All the libel damages are to be donated to the fund established to assist with the search for the four-year-old, who disappeared from Praia da Luz, Portugal, in May last year.

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