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The English again investigate the first arguido in the Maddie case



Original Source: Jornal_de noticia Wednesday 19 Nov 2014

by Marisa Rodrigues 19.11.2014
Jornal de Notícias - paper edition/e-paper

Translated by astro

Robert Murat is again investigated in the disappearance of Madeleine McCann. This time, he is one of the seven persons that Scotland Yard has asked to be heard due to considering that they are “of special interest”.

Robert’s wife, Michaela Walczuch, and her former husband, Luís António, are also on the list of people that have been identified to give a statement within the scope of the fifth letter rogatory of the case that is being investigated in the United Kingdom. A list that has already been given the green light by the Public Ministry (MP) and that was sent to the Polícia Judiciária (PJ) in the South for execution. The three know Sergey Malinka, a Russian citizen that has been made an arguido in July, on request from British authorities in a previous letter rogatory.

Robert was the first arguido within the Portuguese process, followed by Kate and Gerry McCann. He ended up being cleared of all suspicions. The German-Portuguese woman and her former companion were witnesses in the Portuguese investigation. The other names on the list of seven persons of interest are a Portuguese man who worked at the Ocean Club, a man who resembles one of the e-fits and a British couple. Apart from the interrogations, the magistrate at the Public Ministry in Portimão, Inês Sequeira, has also authorised the questioning of witnesses.

The seven interrogations and the four questionings were scheduled to take place next week, at the PJ in Faro, with set dates and times. But the investigators have, in the meantime, received a request for a change of the fifth letter rogatory, at a stage when it was about to be fulfilled, which led to the postponement of the diligences, which will have to be rescheduled. The process status of each one of the persons may also be subject to change. The request will now be analysed by the prosecutor in Portimão, who is on sick leave, which means it’s uncertain when the new calendar for the diligences will be known.

Robert Murat, a British citizen who went to school in Portugal, commands both languages and served as an interpreter in several diligences that were performed by GNR officers, and later by PJ inspectors. He even postponed a flight to England, at the PJ’s request, in order to continue his service. A constant presence that a journalist considered to be suspicious, comparing Robert to the case of a suspect that was always at the crime scene and close to the police. Later on, the group with which the McCann couple spent their holidays pointed the finger at him, identifying him as the man that some said they saw carrying a child on the night of the 3rd of May.

The British man ended up being made an arguido eleven days after the disappearance. The house where he lived with his mother, just metres away from the Ocean Club, was subject to searches, holes were opened in the ground, using sophisticated technology, looking for traces of the child, and vehicles and computers were inspected, always without finding any clues. The absence of indicia about what happened to Madeleine led to the inquiry being archived, in 2008. Upon proposal from the PJ, it was reopened in October last year.

Seven years of moving forward and backwards:

May 2007 – Madeleine, aged 3, disappears from the Ocean Club apartment in the Algarve
May 2007 – Robert Murat is made an arguido and questioned by the PJ
May [sic] 2007 – Kate and Gerry McCann are made arguidos and questioned by the PJ
July 2008 - The inquiry is archived by the Public Ministry
October 2013 - The inquiry is reopened
June 2014 – Searches on grounds in praia da Luz are performed upon request from the British police, led by detective Andy Redwood and using means that are brought in from England, including radars and sniffer dogs
July 2014 – the first four arguidos are made within the British investigation
August 2014 – the fifth letter rogatory arrives at the Public Ministry in Portimão

The Scotland Yard’s investigation that was opened in 2011 has already cost 10 million euro


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