Author Topic: Robert Murat (Former Arguido)  (Read 8995 times)

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Offline Wonderfulspam

Re: Robert Murat
« Reply #15 on: February 02, 2014, 09:37:44 PM »
1st May 2008

The Guardian

Mild-mannered father who became first one accused

Robert Murat's life irreversibly changed the day he was named a suspect in Madeleine McCann's disappearance
Press Association
Thursday May 1 2008
Robert Murat has struggled to work, seen details of his personal life aired in public and endured speculation that he could have been involved in a crime that has shocked the world - something he strenuously denies.

Portuguese detectives took the 34-year-old property consultant in for questioning just 11 days after Madeleine went missing.

As officers searched the villa just 150 yards from the McCanns' holiday apartment he shared with his mother, Jenny, journalists uncovered details about the man under interview.

Murat was born in Hammersmith, west London, in November 1973 to a Portuguese father and a British mother, and went to school in Portugal before moving back to Britain as a young man.

He held a number of different jobs, including working as a car salesman in Norwich and at a Bernard Matthews poultry farm in Norfolk.

At Christmas 1993, aged 19, Murat met Dawn, a woman eight years his senior whom he went on to marry in March 2001.

After settling in the village of Hockering, Norfolk, the couple had a daughter called Sofia in October 2002.
In 2005, they moved to live with Murat's mother in Praia da Luz, in southern Portugal.

But Dawn Murat - who also had a grown-up son from a previous relationship - grew homesick and returned home to England. That was a prelude to the breakdown of their marriage later that year.

Murat stayed in the Algarve, working in property and as a translator, but regularly returned to Norfolk to see his daughter.

Neighbours in Hockering spoke of a good-natured and generous man who was liked by everyone.

Geoffrey Livock, 71, said: "He would rather help than hinder anyone. He got on with everybody.

"He used to come to the pub and have a laugh and joke and have a game of darts or pool.

"His English was very good. If you were talking to him you would think he was more English than Portuguese. I didn't know anyone to dislike him."

In the days after Madeleine's disappearance on May 3 2007, Murat was frequently seen around the police cordon in front of the McCanns' flat in the Ocean Club complex.

He told reporters and locals he was helping the family and Portuguese police by translating witness statements.

Murat also said he had a daughter the same age as the missing girl who looked just like her - which proved to be true.

Jenny Murat was involved in the early days of the search for Madeleine, organising a stall on the seafront to appeal for information.

One British journalist became suspicious about Murat and went to Portuguese police, the British embassy and Leicestershire police with her concerns.

Whether prompted by the British reporter's tip-off or their own suspicions, Portuguese detectives swooped on Murat on May 14.

Search teams scoured his mother's comfortable villa, named Casa Liliana, while officers interrogated him at the police station in Portimao, about 15 miles from Praia da Luz.

At the same time, police interviewed two other people, Murat's German girlfriend Michaela Walczuch, and her estranged Portuguese husband, Luis Antonio.

On May 15, detectives announced that Murat had been made an "arguido", or formal suspect, in the case.
Friends said the weeks and months that followed were agonising for Murat.

He adamantly protested his innocence, insisting he was at home with his mother all evening when Madeleine disappeared.

But he was barred from speaking publicly in his own defence by Portugal's strict "secrecy of justice" laws.
In August, police spent two days carrying out a second search of Casa Liliana but apparently found nothing of interest.

Then, in a dramatic twist, the police investigation appeared to shift focus onto Madeleine's parents, Kate and Gerry McCann, who were themselves made arguidos on September 7.

Murat tried to get on with his life, visiting the UK to see his daughter in October and again in March. But he was frustrated by the lack of information coming from investigators and the cloud of suspicion that continued to hang over him and those around him.

Murat said it was a "a very positive sign" when on March 20 police returned a number of possessions - including three computers, clothes and a pair of shoes - seized when he was first interviewed.

In mid-April it emerged that Murat had instructed London-based solicitors Simons Muirhead and Burton, and was suing 11 British newspapers and one TV station for libel.

But he continues to wait for an official letter from the Portuguese judicial authorities formally clearing him of any involvement.

« Last Edit: February 03, 2014, 12:44:06 PM by Wonderfulspam »
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Offline Wonderfulspam

Re: Robert Murat
« Reply #16 on: February 02, 2014, 09:41:36 PM »

6th March 2009

The Guardian

Madeleine McCann claims nearly destroyed my life, says Robert Murat

By Michael White
Robert Murat, the man falsely suspected by the world's media and Portuguese police of involvement in the disappearance of Madeleine McCann, spoke last night of the "very real harm tabloid journalism has done to me and those close to me", adding: "It came close to destroying our lives."
In what he said would be his "first and only public statement" on his ordeal, 35-year-old Murat gave a measured account of his treatment, which won him an estimated £600,000 in libel settlements, mostly involving tabloid newspapers.
He told a student audience at Cambridge University that he had "felt like a fox being pursued by a pack of hounds ... [caught] between a Kafka novel and the Will Smith movie Enemy of the State".
It was all lies, covering acres of newsprint which could have been devoted to trying to find the daughter of British doctors Kate and Gerry McCann, he said. But those lies had generated hate mail and personal threats. Murat's mother, his partner, daughter and ex-wife had been besieged in their homes.
The Algarve-based property consultant explained that he had become involved in the McCann case after he offered to translate witness statements during the police search for Madeleine following her disappearance from a hotel in Praia da Luz in May 2007. She has never been found and her parents – also suspects at one stage – received libel damages too.
In Murat's case, a British journalist covering the disappearance had been "so anxious to break the story" that she created it. "She tried to convince the Portuguese police that I was acting suspiciously."
He had never been arrested but had been interviewed and made an "arguido", or official suspect. His arguido status unleashed a "torrent of outlandish, untrue and deeply hurtful allegations".
It was claimed he was a sexual predator, seen outside the McCanns' holiday flat, that incriminating DNA had been found, that his nearby home contained a secret chamber – all "fairy tales" concocted to generate sales and profit, as the police later concluded.
Blind in one eye because of a detached retina, he had read that he actually had a glass eye. Soon newspapers were quoting contemporaries from his school days "saying I popped out my eye and rolled it around the playground as a party trick … I do not have a glass eye".
Murat, who was accompanied by Louis Charalambous, his London lawyer in the case, was speaking at a Cambridge Union debate on the motion titled "this House believes the tabloids do more harm than good".
Speaking against the pair were Murray Morse, a former editor of the Cambridge Evening News, now editor-in-chief of the Daily and Sunday Sport, and the television entrepreneur, Peter Bazalgette, co-creator of Big Brother and a former president of the university's debating society.
Both speakers were generous in acknowledging the grave harm done to Murat. The Daily Sport had not joined the attacks on him, Mr Morse pointed out. But they insisted that in their campaigning roles the tabloids do more good than harm among their millions of readers, cheering them up, articulating their concerns as well as educating them. The motion reflected snobbery in British society, Mr Morse argued.
But Murat's speech, delivered from a carefully prepared text by a self-confessed novice, was the focus of the evening's event. "From my own personal cost, I now know what the maxim 'never let the truth stand in the way of a good story' really means," he told a crowded house.
Relatives had been offered "huge amounts of money" to confirm obscene theories about him. While he stressed that he understood the importance of free and open journalism in a democratic society, "the tabloids are not a force for good, in my experience they are a force for harm".
Charalambous, an experienced lawyer from law firm Simons, Muirhead & Burton, widened the attack on the tabloids by arguing that the drama surrounding Jade Goody's cancer was "a voyeuristic circus with ringmaster Max Clifford cracking his whip … we have lost all sense of perspective, all sense of decency".
Morse had argued that Goody's decision to publicise her cervical cancer had been the "morally right" thing to do. He said that in promoting public awareness of the disease as no NHS campaign could have done it had been a force for good. Accusing the broadsheet media of hypocrisy he joked: "At a time of crisis the Sport can be relied on to panic and give you plenty of naked ladies."
But Charalambous countered this defence in describing how Goody had been fiercely denounced before her recent rehabilitation by tabloids that had cynically wiped clean their collective memory. His claims were reinforced by Liberal Democrat MP Lembit Opik.
A Daily Sport columnist, Opik admitted having a relationship with the tabloids "because they have a relationship with my relationships". Much of it was funny, but not the libels – which had won him "loads of cases", most of them out of court, the MP said. When his ex-fiancée revealed she had suffered a miscarriage he learned about it from the newspaper headline: "I lost Lembit's baby."
"From that day I have never been in any doubt that the tabloids do more harm than good," the MP said, adding that in the search for profits the press had lost its moral compass.
The motion was later carried by about 230 votes to 30.
Express Newspapers titles the Daily Express, Sunday Express and Daily Star; Associated's Daily Mail, London Evening Standard and Metro; MGN's Daily Mirror, Sunday Mirror and Daily Record; and News International's Sun and News of the World apologised and agreed to pay Murat £600,000 in libel damages in July last year over making false allegations against him. In November, Sky News apologised in the high court and agreed to pay "substantial damages" over a libellous web story and video about the Madeleine McCann disappearance.
Michael White also took part in last night's debate, speaking in support of the motion.
« Last Edit: February 03, 2014, 07:29:37 AM by Wonderfulspam »
"I bet the parents dunnit" (Me)

Offline Wonderfulspam

Re: Robert Murat
« Reply #17 on: February 02, 2014, 09:51:11 PM »
5th March 2010


by Idálio Revez

Thanks to Astro for translation

Robert Murat continues to receive death threats and has lost the sense of life

His life has been "shattered". He wanted to help, he alleges, but ended up as an arguido. Now he tries to find a direction. But that night in 2007 continues to persecute him.

Robert Murat, three years after Maddie's disappearance, in Praia da Luz, still has his life "shattered" because he was "at the wrong place, at the wrong time".

The first suspect of being involved in the child's disappearance was this English man, aged 36, for whom being made arguido earned him a condemnation from public opinion that he never freed himself from. In an interview to Público, the first one that he gives to a member of the media since the English child's disappearance, leaves a question in the air that robs him of his sleep until this day: "Three of the McCanns' friends were at the PJ, saying that they had seen me there, that night [May 3, 2007]. What I ask is why did they lie?".

"I have a daughter, too", says Robert Murat, remembering Sofia, aged seven, who lives in England with her mother. "My family was a victim, too – the journalists invaded the area where they live, and the British police had to take my daughter to a safe place." His ex-wife, he says, "even received an offer of 220 thousand euros to give an interview saying that I was a paedophile". She did not give in. Robert Murat, in defence of his honour and his reputation, had 13 members of the British media sued. He received a significant compensation, but he does not reveal the amount.

Despite the pressures and the money offers for him to speak – he was offered over 300 thousand euros to allow himself being filmed and to speak about the Maddie case -, he shut up. Now, after the book 'The Truth of The Lie', by Gonçalo Amaral, the coordinator of this case investigation, saw its sale being forbidden under orders from the Lisbon Civil Court, and after the British newspapers returned to the issue by publishing images that the Portuguese police allegedly neglected, he decided to speak to Público.

Since he saw himself involved in this process, Robert Murat has been searching for a direction to give to his life. "I have been through horrible situations. Just recently, I have received a letter with a death threat, written in English, sent from France." When this case broke out, he was about to start a real estate business on the internet, "but everything was deactivated".

Meanwhile, he married an Anglo-Portuguese woman, went to the USA, on a honeymoon, late last year, but did not go unnoticed: "Here, I feel the discomfort of seeing people pointing at me, but over there I was recognised, as well."

Which is not strange. The appeals to find Madeleine McCann continue and the parents are still convinced that their daughter is alive. Therefore, they have criticised the investigation that was carried out by the Portuguese authorities, because they dropped the abduction theory. From Morocco to the United States, passing through Spain and Holland, hundreds of pieces of information passed on to the PJ, reporting children that allegedly resembled Maddie. News about several appearances of Maddie went around the world and a reward of 2.5 million euros was offered to anyone who could supply information.

From witness to arguido

Robert Murat accuses the media of having "fabricated" news, pursuing audiences. "They didn't care about the truth." "I have people I know at the BBC who told me: "Shut up, because they are going to turn this all around"". His lawyer, Francisco Pagarete, gave him the same advice. "That is the main reason why I haven't talked until now, but it was very hard."

His life and that of his relatives – a brother and a sister, who live in England - "has been rummaged and filled with lies". In the summer three years ago, Praia da Luz became a battlefield between the world's main television networks, fighting for ratings. "There was great pressure from the English media, forcing the Portuguese police to present a face," says Robert Murat, lamenting his luck: "I wanted to help, I ended up being pointed out as a suspect".

This Englishman, who went to school in Portugal, says: "I have always enjoyed helping people, it's who I am". In England, where he lived for 15 years and worked as a car salesman, he also cooperated with the British authorities. "I worked as a translator, for the police and at the court."

When the child disappeared in Praia da Luz, on the 3rd of May, 2007, he had returned to Portugal two days earlier, to launch the Romigen business. He took part in the searches and, together with his mother, was one of the persons who mobilised the local community to find the little girl.

11 days later, he entered the Polícia Judiciária building in Portimão as a witness, and left as an arguido. Concerning the questioning session that he was subject to, he recalls: "It reminded me of a KGB movie, I felt they were trying to set me up". Nevertheless, he recognises that the PJ "suffered a lot of pressure to find a guilty person". He, an English citizen who first played the role of a translator for the GNR, then for the PJ itself, "at their request", was the one who best fit the news that were being published: "I was the scapegoat," he emphasizes. The English media, he evokes, "were already saying that there would be developments before I was made an arguido". A British journalist said that Robert Murat had a "strange" behaviour and denounced him to the Judiciária.

He and his mother, a nurse, aged 73, were two of the persons who were at the front line of the solidarity campaign that developed around the McCann couple. At the GNR's side, or independently, many people took part in the successive searches, in the surroundings of Lagos, looking for Maddie. But that effort was not recognised, he accuses. "There is one thing which, in a way, displeases me – to those people who were involved in the searches, nobody said thank you". Who does he think should have said thank you? "That has nothing to do with me, but I think someone should have said thank you."
« Last Edit: February 03, 2014, 07:29:50 AM by Wonderfulspam »
"I bet the parents dunnit" (Me)

Offline Wonderfulspam

Re: Robert Murat
« Reply #18 on: February 02, 2014, 10:03:39 PM »
2nd December 2012

Sunday Express

Jenny Murat: Kate McCann printed such awful things about my Robert in her Madeleine book

A MOTHER whose son was wrongly linked to the disappearance of Madeleine McCann has hit out at the way he is portrayed in a best-selling book about the mystery.

Briton Robert Murat was cleared of any involvement in the case four years ago but Kate McCann’s book Madelaine, about her missing daughter, has brought back painful memories for Jenny Murat, 76.
Having seen the McCanns’ suffering at the hands of the British press highlighted in last week’s Leveson report, she is anxious to stress her son’s total innocence.
She and Robert had hoped their nightmare would end in 2008 when he won £600,000 damages from British newspapers, but last night at her home on the Algarve, Mrs Murat spoke of how still the “tragedy consumes us, day in, day out”.

The widow and former nurse said: “Kate of all people should know what it is like to be wrongly accused, so how can she be comfortable repeating wrong allegations about my son in her book?”
In the book published last summer, Kate wrote: “Two officers talked openly about Robert Murat, who remained an arguido [suspect] and drip-fed us snippets of ‘evidence’ linking him to Madeleine.”

However, later in the book she writes: “Nothing we were told by the police indicated Murat took Madeleine or was in any way involved in her abduction.” Mrs Murat argues: “Surely it would have been wiser not to mention the allegations from the outset if there was ‘nothing relevant’.”
The police spotlight fell on Robert 11 days after Madeleine vanished from the McCanns’ holiday apartment in Praia de Luz, Portugal in May 2007.
Mrs Murat said: “Robert was at my home throughout that night and thankfully that is now fully accepted as fact. He did not leave once.”
She feels Robert, too, should have been called to give evidence to the Leveson inquiry.
She explained: “Again we were denied an opportunity to put our side of the story. Robert was the subject of a most disgraceful character assassination, yet was not even invited to contribute to the debate. His life has been hugely damaged. This tragedy consumes us, day in, day out.
She added: “Kate’s book and the resulting publicity did not help. I do feel sympathetic towards the McCanns and obviously wish they could find their daughter. We can’t fathom the hell they must go through but they seem oblivious to the impact all this has had on our lives and the lives of others.
“We tried our best to help, but have ended being pilloried and abused and still it goes on.”
Mrs Murat, now working on her own book about the case, added: “I am sick of all the half-truths and innuendos, so I do want a full and accurate record of the truth. It is important that our story is told.”
« Last Edit: February 03, 2014, 07:30:07 AM by Wonderfulspam »
"I bet the parents dunnit" (Me)

Offline Wonderfulspam

Re: Robert Murat
« Reply #19 on: February 02, 2014, 10:10:11 PM »
5th May 2013

Sunday Express

Madeleine world exclusive: 'Bring them all back to Portugal’

ROBERT MURAT today appeals for Scotland Yard to stage a filmed reconstruction of all the events surrounding the disappearance of Madeleine McCann.

Marking the sixth anniversary of her abduction, the Algarve-based businessman says a 48-hour timeline would help police conducting a £4.5million review of the case.

Mr Murat, who was cleared as a suspect, said: “They need to start from the beginning.” So far the two-year review by more than 20 detectives in London has not led to a breakthrough.

Portugal’s authorities have not been persuaded to reopen the investigation, although Policia Judiciaria policewoman Helena Monteiro liaises regularly with officers from the Yard’s Operation Grange.

Mr Murat, 39, spoke to the Sunday Express while sipping tea in Casa ­Liliana, his elderly mother Jenny’s villa 150 yards from apartment 5a of the Ocean Club where Madeleine vanished.

He said: “They need to speak to everybody, including myself, and they need to get the Portuguese involved in a much more constructive way.

“To get somewhere now they need to have a joint team working here together in Praia da Luz. This is where it happened. It didn’t happen in England.

“The reconstruction should cover the critical period just before and after the abduction.”

Madeleine was three when she disappeared from the apartment at about 9.15pm while her parents Kate and Gerry McCann and seven friends ate at a tapas bar nearby. When the Judiciaria named the McCanns as suspects, they and their friends chose not to take part in a PJ-led reconstruction. It would be different now that they have been cleared, said Mr Murat.

He said: “A reconstruction is a real necessity. I am sure it would fill in some of the missing pieces of the jigsaw. Even now after all this time, the timeline is still confused.”

Thirteen days after Madeleine’s disappearance Mr Murat was named as a suspect. His mother’s home, where he lived then, was searched, his computers were taken, he was questioned for 19 hours by Portuguese police and his property business was wrecked.

His eagerness to help with the original investigation, helping police with translations, aroused a journalist’s suspicions. Three of the McCanns’ friends believed they saw him on the night Madeleine vanished but his mother confirmed to police he was with her all night at Casa Liliana.

After being cleared as a suspect in July 2008 he won substantial damages from newspapers.

Despite his ordeal he believes Madeleine’s fate should be uppermost in everybody’s minds as another anniversary passes.

He said: “You cannot lose sight of the fact that a child was taken and we need to know what happened to her.”

He is still willing to be interviewed by the review team, which has made no effort to contact him. “I have no problem with that whatsoever,” he said emphatically.

“I am available to help on the proper legal basis. I think everybody who was around at that time, holidaymakers and people at the Ocean Club, should be interviewed again. The timeline needs to be made crystal clear because there is still so much confusion, such a mess.”

Asked if he thought Madeleine’s fate would ever be known, he brushed back his thick dark brown hair, rubbed his tanned chin and said: “I hope so, I believe it will come out one day.” He said Portugal’s financial crisis means “if the British do want to get to the bottom of this, it is a case of funding the Portuguese”.

Mr Murat, who grew up in Devon and Portugal, now has a young family with wife Michaela. They were both victims of the relentless media frenzy when Madeleine vanished and it has left its scars. For the first time during the interview he became emotional and said in a whisper: “There is no way to describe the impact this has had on our lives. Six years later it still affects me. I wasn’t able to do much for years and years.

“It was difficult getting back on the horse, so to speak, and do the stuff I was doing before.”

His property business went, partly because his computers were held by the PJ for so long, but now he has built up Newteq, an Apple-authorised service provider on the Algarve. He said he and Michaela live a quiet life, staying away from some events because people still come up to him and say: “You’re that Mr Murat.”

Before 2007 he says he was one of those people who was always eager to help others, to get involved in the community. Now he is more guarded.

When the original police investigation was at its height, he bumped into a British man, Steve Carpenter, who persuaded him to meet the McCanns because they needed his language skills. He said: “I met Gerry and said: ‘I don’t know what to say, there is nothing I can say but I do speak Portuguese and English and I will help in any way I can’.”

He helped Portugal’s GNR military officers to search the Ocean Club apartments and translated statements from key witnesses, giving him a unique inside perspective on the case.

He said: “From the experiences of the interviews there are some points that could be looked at.

“There needs to be much more transparency, much more openness to dissipate a lot of the stuff that has been talked about on the internet and on blogs.”

He does not believe the results of the Yard’s work should be made available to the public.

“The Yard needs to get together with the Portuguese police and ­produce a final report,” he said. “They need to sit down together and come up with a final version, a structured report.

“The report should be done by the Portuguese with the support of the British.”

Last week Prime Minister David Cameron had a private meeting with the McCanns in London, promising them the review would not fall foul of budget cuts and giving them enough confidence to say on their website that they hope for a significant breakthrough in the months ahead.

On Friday night Kate and Gerry, both 45, gathered around a candle which burns night and day for Madeleine outside their home village of Rothley, Leicestershire. A 50-strong crowd supported them as they marked the anniversary with prayers with Madeleine’s ­siblings, eight-year-old twins Sean and Amelie.

Mr Murat said: “It must be a ­tremendously difficult time of year for them and of course as a human being you feel for them and for the loss of their daughter.

“At this time of year, like so many people on the Algarve, we have been thinking about this poor girl.

“I just hope in the months ahead the PJ are fully involved because in my view that is the best way of solving the mystery.”

At St Vincent’s church in Praia da Luz, where Kate and Gerry went regularly, worshippers also prayed for Madeleine, whose 10th birthday is on May 12.

Clarence Mitchell, the McCanns’ spokesman, declined to comment on Mr Murat’s views last night, saying the couple were happy with how Scotland Yard is conducting the review.
« Last Edit: February 03, 2014, 07:30:21 AM by Wonderfulspam »
"I bet the parents dunnit" (Me)