NOT CHANGING HIS MIND: Gonçalo Amaral said the Maddie-case has 'ruined' him. Still, the ex-investigator is certain that he knows what happened to Madeleine McCann. Photo: Per Lars Tonstad
NOT CHANGING HIS MIND: Gonçalo Amaral said the Maddie-case has 'ruined' him. Still, the ex-investigator is certain that he knows what happened to Madeleine McCann. Photo: Per Lars TonstadVis mer

- It's hard to accept that I have to live like this just because I did my job

The man who led the investigation of Maddie's disappearance is fighting a bitter feud with Madeleine's parents.

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LISBON (DAGBLADET): Gonçalo Amaral (54) is the man who led the early investigation of Madeleine McCann's disappearance - the case that has engaged Europe for nearly seven years.

In many ways, he is the McCann family's worst enemy.

- It is hard to accept that I have to live like this just because I did my job, Amaral told Dagbladet.

• Read the whole interview with Gonçalo Amaral on Dagbladet Pluss (paywall). There, Amaral speaks of what he believe happened to the little girl and the bitter feud with Maddie's parents.

- Can't dispose my money Amaral met Dagbladet for an exclusive interview just hours before the trial against him started in Lisbon after the McCann's sued him for £1m for his accusations in a 2008 book.

The conflict between Amaral and the McCann's sparked massive news coverage in the British media. Gerry and Kate McCann have received millions in compensation and have had many journalists and newspapers apologise for their coverage of Maddie's disappearance.

In 2008, Amaral wrote the book «Maddie: A verdade de mentira» («The Truth of the Lie»), which broke all the records and was translated into eight languages. The McCann's had the book stopped by Portuguese court. They believed it violated their honor and their search for Madeleine.

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The case was later dismissed by the Supreme Court, and the book went back on the shelves.

In the meantime, as McCann's wished, all Amarals assets were frozen. He now only gets enough money to survive, he said.

- I can't dispose the money from my book sale. I work a little as a legal adviser for a firm but I am only getting enough money to survive. I live in my dad's flat in Portugal, said Amaral.

- Too much politics He is upset about the flurry of rumours and theories that are still surrounding Maddie's disappearance.

- This case has involved too much politics and too little police, said Amaral, who said he has had rough years after he left the police.

In 2007, he called the McCann's in as suspects. After having given their version of events, Gerry and Kate McCann were allowed to leave the police station. Two days later, they returned to England.

CERTAIN: Gonçalo Amaral (58) led the police investigation after Madeleine McCann disappeared from her family's holiday apartment i Praia de Luz, Portugal. He made the toddler's parents suspects. Photo: Per Lars Tonstad
CERTAIN: Gonçalo Amaral (58) led the police investigation after Madeleine McCann disappeared from her family's holiday apartment i Praia de Luz, Portugal. He made the toddler's parents suspects. Photo: Per Lars Tonstad Vis mer

Shortly after, the controversial investigator was taken off the case. This happened after politicians on the highest levels in England and Portugal discussed the case, he claims.

Recently, Scotland Yard have gone public with material that suggest Madeleine disappeared following a failed burglary.

The police are calling for three unknown men.

- We put aside that theory a long time ago. There were no signs of an intrusion. The apartment was in good order - everything was where it should have been. Can thieves really have been frightened by a three-year-old - and taken her with them? Nothing at all suggests so, said Amaral.

Dagbladet have contacted the McCann's Portuguese lawyer, Isabel Duarte, through her secretary, where Amaral's quotes have been presented. Duarte did not wish to comment.

Dagbladet has also asked Madeleine's Fund for a comment, but the requests have not been answered.

• Read the whole interview with Gonçalo Amaral on Dagbladet Pluss (paywall). There, Amaral speaks of what he believe happened to the little girl and the bitter feud with Maddie's parents.

- THE CASE HAS RUINED ME: Dagbladet met Amaral just hours before the trial against him started in Lisbon. He said the case has ruined him. All his assets are frozen until a verdict is made - which may take years. Photo: Per Lars Tronstad
- THE CASE HAS RUINED ME: Dagbladet met Amaral just hours before the trial against him started in Lisbon. He said the case has ruined him. All his assets are frozen until a verdict is made - which may take years. Photo: Per Lars Tronstad Vis mer