On the 14th May Murat becomes an aguido and makes his first statement to the PJ without the presence of a lawyer. It’s worth noting here that he later changed various parts of the testimony summarised below in a further interview on the 10th July, but for clarity I shall not try to incorporate the changes, and will just stick to the testimony as it was given on the 14th May.
After introductions, he sketches out his family background, naming various siblings and setting out his childhood and early recollections of living in various parts of the UK and Portugal. Subsequent to the death of his father he left school and began to take drugs and drink alcohol. He then describes his work history which shows disparate activities such as working with geriatrics, working in a meat factory, and car sales. Since arriving in Portugal he has worked exclusively in real estate, eventually in the process of forming a Company with an old Remax colleague, Michaela Walczuch with whom he subsequently formed a close friendship.
More recently Murat goes on to describe his marital history; he names his wife, whom he met at 19 years of age, and mentions the birth of a daughter in 2002. Separated from his wife in 2005, he admits to not being able to sustain any other meaningful relationships otherwise. Concerning his visiting sex websites he quotes one particular site that he accesses intermittently. His testimony concerning his arrival on the 1st of May consists of a highly detailed account of his journey from Faro to PDL, listing the service stations he stopped off, and details of his what he ate and drank. He arrived at Casa Liliana at approximately 11:45, and travelled to Lagos about 45 minutes later to see MW where he stayed until about 15:30.
2nd May Itinerary
His account of his movements is:
1. 09:00 – 10:30 Rise and shine.
2. 10:30 – 10:40 Travel to Lagos.
3. 10:40 – 14:00 Called on MW, after a fruitless visit to FP’s residence, who was not in, proceeded to visit future business partners at ‘Putos and Graudos’, group visits to a couple of cafes to discuss business,.
4. 14:00 – 15:20 Walk around Marina and lunch with MW at Bem Bom restaurant.
5. 15:20 -21:00 Collect MW’s daughter from school, visit FP, return to MW’s apartment until L arrived home at 21:00.
6. 21:00 – 23:00 had dinner in apartment.
7. 23:00 – 01:30 travelled home and kept mum company until bed at 01:30.
3rd May Itinerary
1. 08:00 – 10:00 Rise and shine.
2. 10:00 – 12:00 Travelled to MW apartment and talked about website.
3. 12:00 – 15:30 Travelled A22/M24 roads until Galp Service Station to have lunch then return to collect MW’s child from school.
4. 15:30 – 19:00 Met JS and son, had lunch at café on Marina next to a children’s play area to talk about Company formation.
5. 19:00 – 19:15 Dropped MW off and returned to Villa.
6. 19:15 to 23:00 stayed home with mum until the following morning.
4th May to 6th May
Murat says he woke at 09:00 and was told by mother of the disappearance of a little girl in PDL. After checking their premises exterior he went, accompanied by an English speaking individual with whom he had struck up a conversation to the Mark Warner Resort. He was introduced to the parents of the missing child and offered his help. Several keys having been provided by tenants and JH, manager of the resort he accompanied GNR officers and employees and entered those apartments to search for the girl. Afterwards he provided translation services for the remainder of the afternoon. In the evening he visited MW between 19:00 and 23:30 at which time he had returned to Luz.
Murat says he continued to provide translation services to the PJ during the Saturday and Sunday, but learned on the Monday from an old friend GE that the journalists had become suspicious of him, and this was the reason he stopped co-operating with them. He then goes on to describe the content of the pornography on his computer which he says are not sexually explicit and DO NOT include images of rape, children, animals or fetishes, and neither is his network encrypted nor does it contain encrypted content.
There follows a long winded exchange about unsynchronised computer clocks, and the installation of ‘normal’ computer programs such as Microsoft products, browsers and anti-virus programs. He refutes again that he uses encryption on his computer communications and browsing, but has no explanation when confronted with evidence of several encrypted files found on his computers. Asked if there were any ‘abnormal’ programs, he cites a program called CCCleaner installed by his son several years ago which permanently clears browsing content.
“he only has a program called "CCCleaner" for the improvement of the performance of the system, not retaining programs that erase traces of child pornography. That that program "CCCleaner" was installed by his son three years ago”
On the 10th July, Murat is again interviewed by the PJ, and makes a point of telling them he wishes to correct some of the testimony he gave previously. He states some evnents that he had previously ascribed to Wednesday 2nd May had actually occurred on the 3rd. there follows some clarification of his geographic whereabouts while in the UK, namely that Norwich is in Norfolk and Sidmouth is in Devon. He then confirms his divorce was finalised on 4th July.
His previous testimony that he left his apartment at 10:30 on the Tuesday, but rather he met up with SM at the Baptista supermarket at around 10:00 am while accompanied by MW who he had collected earlier from Lagos for a 30 minute chat about the Romigen website. The reason he was confused was because on the day prior to the interview he had been up to 03.00 am talking with Inspector RS. (My comment: This still doesn’t sound right, does he mean on the day of the interview i.e. 03:00 am?). Subsequently he took MW back to Lagos as per his previous testimony. Before the abortive visit to FP they deposited money into a bank account that had been withdrawn in the UK from either his or his mother’s debit card. Murat now places his meeting with FP at between 11:00 and 11:30 rather than in the afternoon.
Also, where previously he had mentioned L returning to MW’s apartment, he cannot now be sure of that fact. Otherwise the previous testimony stands.
Murat now states he left home at 08:45 to keep a business appointment, with MW, regarding a tourist complex in Espiche at about 09:30. Lunch at the Marina which was previously put at a point after collecting MW’s daughter now takes place prior to that, after which they travel to the Palmares Golf Course, before the daughter is finally picked up. Otherwise the previous testimony stands.
On the 11th July Murat is placed under interrogation alongside Rachael Oldfield, Russell O’Brien and Fiona Payne. Murat has his lawyer, FP, with him this time. The meeting can basically be summarised as a Tapas “We saw you out and about on the 3rd May at the times we have testified to” (specifically 23:30 RO, 23:30 FP, and 01:00 RO’B) and Murat responding with “No you didn’t”.
There follows a PJ statement:
“Questioned about if he considers it normal or abnormal the fact of not having made nor received calls on his mobile phone between 15:00 on 02 May until the night of 03 May he said that that fact seems normal to him since in that period of time he had been accompanied by Michaela she being the person with whom he usually speaks to on the phone. However, he states that he had assumed no purposeful position [given no thought to] that that fact had happened.”
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After the confrontation, Murat is questioned further. He recounts how, during his time immediately before the events in May he was in the UK
“carrying out the reconstruction of the house that was previously his grandmothers and is now his mothers.”
In exchange for his mother investing in his new Romigen venture. The costs of travelling to the UK, and the reconstruction of the property were met by his mother. His prospective partners, JS, MW, Ja, were contacts via the internet while he was in the UK, and his return to Portugal the result of the talks appearing to stall. He re-affirms he has never had contacts with any of the Tapas, and he was never involved in events of the late evening of the 3rd May and only heard vehicle sirens while he was inside the villa.
Concerning the car hire, Murat says it was because his Skoda was in the repair workshop. His estimate of distance travelled was 200 kilometres at most and when told it was nearer 700 he denies that could be possible. The conversation then turns to boats, and whether Murat has contacts who have boats. He lists:
· His uncle has one on his property.
· An Englishman who had bought a property while Murat worked at Remax had one had one, though he never personally saw it.
· A friend of MW’s husband has one, but he has never seen it.
· NP, a mobile ‘phone contact; his father has one but Murat has never seen it.
After a conversation about his use of a Cyber café, which he denies ever using, there follows a long convoluted explanation to a question by the PJ of whether he could actually prove his innocence. This explanation involves his having previously asked the PJ how accurately they could pinpoint his mobile ‘phone signal, which answer was provided him later by a British police officer called ‘Phil’ either at the villa or in a bar somewhere who told him that, depending on the location of the antenna masts it could be within 1 metre. Subsequent attempted conversations on this matter advanced to ‘Phil’ were rejected by the latter on the advice of his superior.
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