Madeleine McCann's parents Kate and Gerry have lost the latest stage of their legal battle over comments made by retired Portuguese detective Goncalo Amaral.

Lawyers for the couple had argued that Portuguese authorities had breached their right to a private and family life in the way the courts there dealt with their libel claims against Mr Amaral.

He claimed in a book, TV documentary and newspaper interview that the McCanns were involved in their daughter Madeleine’s disappearance.

The court found that the couple’s reputation had been damaged by the fact that they were made official suspects in the case for a short time, rather than Mr Amaral’s comments.

Madeleine disappeared while on holiday with her family in Praia da Luz, Portugal in May 2007.

The McCanns now have three months to appeal the decision.

When was Madeleine McCann abducted?

Madeleine was three years old when she went missing on May 3 2007 while on holiday in Portugal.

Her disappearance sparked one of the most high-profile missing persons searches in history.

Her parents, Kate and Gerry McCann have vowed to never give up looking for their daughter.

Last May marked what would have been Madeleine’s 18th birthday as her parents revealed every May that passes is a “reminder of years passed, of years together lost, or stolen”.