Madeleine McCann parents prevented from testifying in Lisbon libel case by procedural delay

The parents of missing British girl Madeleine McCann face an unexpected delay in their libel case against a former Portuguese detective after a Lisbon court granted him 10 days to find a new lawyer.

The McCanns are seeking 1.2 million euros ($1.6 million) in damages from Goncalo Amaral, who was part of the police investigation into Madeleine's disappearance from a Portuguese vacation resort in May 2007, days before her fourth birthday.

They say they are seeking damages because Amaral's 2008 book defamed them by alleging they were involved in their daughter's disappearance.

The McCanns appeared in court Monday, hoping to make statements during the closing arguments of the 9-month-old case.

But the McCanns' lawyer, Isabel Duarte, said the judge postponed the hearing until next month after Amaral dismissed his lawyer.