Robert Murat was named as the first 'arguido' in the case. He has always strenuously denied any involvement in the events of May 3rd and the disappearance of Madeleine McCann. On 21 July 2008, he was released from his arguido status.
On 15 May, Murat became the first offical suspect, or 'arguido', in the case. He is half Portugese and lives in Casa Liliana, a villa owned by his 71-year old mother, Jenny Murat, which is about 150 yards from Apartment 5A. In the initial stages of the investigation, Murat acted as translator and there are differing opinions about who he actually translated for during the police interviews. Some reports have suggested the interviews included 'Tapas Nine' member, Diane Webster and the Ocean Club nannies; Catriona Baker, Charlotte Penningon and Kirsty Maryan. He appears to have been first brought to the attention of Portugese investigators by Lori Campbell, a Sunday Mirror journalist, for no other reason than he appeared 'suspicious' and his behaviour reminded her of Ian Huntley.
There are three interviews with Robert Murat in the official PJ-Fiiles:
Robert Murat was definitly ruled out by PJ and SY as direct suspect in the McCann case. But there are still some clouded rumors about possible connections with some dubious background people. See blog “aangirfan” →Article 1 and →Article 2.
See also article at →GazetaDigital
See also article at →Robert Murat to sue 4 of the Tapas friends of the McCanns
See also article at →Express, Madeleine world exclusive: 'Bring them all back to Portugal’ (05-May-2013):
“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…He said: “They need to speak to everybody, including myself, and they need to get the Portuguese involved in a much more constructive way…”…
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. …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.
… 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.”
… 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. …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.”
See also →Portugal News, Robert Murat wins slander case as Kate McCann visits Luz (9-May-2013)
A Lisbon court has ruled national daily Correio da Manhã pay a total of 15,000 euros to Robert Murat who was dragged into the case of missing British toddler Madeleine McCann after volunteering to act as a translator between Portuguese authorities and the McCanns. In its judgment, the court found that publishing false allegations such as “Robert Murat is a predator who visits sites containing sexual violence” was not in the public interests and infringed upon his rights. The newspaper frequently quoted anonymous police sources and alleged leaks by investigators in their coverage of the case to substantiate its claims. “This is the 33-year old Englishman police believe dragged little Maddie from the bed in which she was sleeping up to the house where he lives with his mother”, the newspaper wrote in May 2007 shortly after Mr. Murat was declared a person of interest or arguido and questioned by police in a marathon 19-hour-long interrogation session in Portimão. Following these and several other extraordinary statements as to his alleged personality and behavioural traits, Mr. Murat was forced to regularly wear a disguise when going out in public, all the while receiving threatening telephone calls and letters. His real estate business was ruined as a result of the negative publicity, though he has since managed to set up a successful computer business in the Algarve. Back in 2008, Robert Murat received 757,000 euros in damages from a number of British newspapers for false allegations they published. Amongst them were the Sunday Express, to which Robert Murat gave an exclusive interview last Sunday which was published on their front page under the headline, ‘Bring Them All Back to Portugal’. This was a call made in reference to Kate and Gerry McCann and the remainder of the so-called Tapas 9 coming to the country to carry out a reconscontruction of events leading up to Madeleine McCann’s disappearance. Meanwhile, Kate McCann this week visited the Algarve. One of her first visits was to the Nossa Senhora da Luz church to pray and light candles. Sources close to the family said “she will spend a few days in Praia da Luz. She feels close to Madeleine there. It is a private trip alone, away from the spotlight, and a time for quiet reflection. She still has a lot of friends there”, the source was quoted as telling the Daily Mirror. In a post on the findmadeleine.com site, Kate McCann confided that “it’s difficult to know what to write as each year passes, still without news of Madeleine. In many ways, nothing’s changed. We still worry about her, we miss her as much as we ever did, we remain as determined as ever to find her and to know what has happened.” She praised the “significant progress” over the last year in the work of the Metropolitan Police and said the family remains greatly encouraged by their work and the many things they have managed to uncover so far. “We continue to hope and pray that the Met working with the Portuguese Authorities will lead to a significant breakthrough. We need to find Madeleine and bring some peace to our family.”
See also →Inquisitr, Madeleine McCann Update: Is Robert Murat About To Close This Case? (23-Nov-2014)