On the Find Madeleine website they write: “We are naturally disappointed with the decision of the European Court of Humans Rights announced today. However, much has changed since we started legal proceedings 13 years ago against Mr Amaral, his publisher and broadcaster.

“We took action for one and only one reason: Mr Amaral’s unfounded claims were having a detrimental impact on the search for Madeleine. If the public believed that we were involved in her disappearance, then people would not be alert for possible clues and may not report relevant information to the relevant law enforcement agencies.

“The focus is now rightly on the search for Madeleine and her abductor(s). We are grateful for the ongoing work by the British, German and Portuguese police. We hope that with, the help of the public, hard work and diligence we can eventually find those responsible for Madeleine’s disappearance and bring them to justice”.

The European Court of Human Rights acquitted Portugal in the complaint filed by Madeleine McCann’s parents against the Portuguese justice system.

The couple initially sued Amaral for libel and in 2015 the Portuguese court ruled in their favour, however this was overturned two years later by the Portuguese courts.

Kate and Gerry McCann had filed a complaint against Portugal regarding this but the ECHR understood that there was no violation of the right to privacy.