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Robert Murat - the hire car

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Robert Murat - the hire car

Post by Guest on 12.04.10 16:31

I have just been reading some old articles, when I came across this one. I know it's probably not relevant, but it has just got me thinking. Why would Robert Murat hire a car so urgently. He says it is because the McCanns were using his. According to GM they didn't know each other, so why would a stranger, involve himself in the expense and trouble of hiring a car. Now surely, why couldn't they have hired their own car. He could perhaps have hired one form THEM to help them out. Why loan them his?? Also his mother's car was available.

My question is this, was the hire car of Murat's checked by the cadaver dogs. And was the car he owned, the one borrowed, checked too? Sorry if this has been discussed, but it intrigues me, and I feel it needs another look. Can anyone find any more. I will keep looking.




Suspect in hunt for missing girl 'wanted hire car immediately'

By Ian Herbert in Praia da Luz


Friday, 18 May 2007


Police investigating the disappearance of Madeleine McCann in Portugal have been told how their prime suspect, the Briton Robert Murat, was impatient to rent a car two days before he was first questioned by police, because he claimed his own was needed by those involved in the search for the four-year-old.


Staff at the Autorent 3 dealership here say they asked Mr Murat to wait until after their lunchbreak finished at 3pm last Saturday - Madeleine's fourth birthday. But he said he needed the vehicle immediately.

Maria Rocco, the member of staff who received Mr Murat's call at the dealership, opposite the church where Madeleine's parents have been praying regularly, called police to report Mr Murat's request after hearing of his arrest. "He said: 'I need a car for myself because the English people who are looking for the little girl need to borrow my car," Mrs Rocco recalled. "You could tell from his voice that he needed it in a hurry. I was puzzled. Why would he need to lend his car to somebody else [in the search]?"
The revelation comes after police questioned Mr Murat's mother, Jennifer, yesterday about her son's alleged involvement in Madeleine's abduction. Yesterday it was reported that police arrived at Mrs Murat's £600,000 villa in Praia da Luz to quiz her about her role as her son's alibi on the night of the abduction.

Results of these interviews will join Mrs Rocco's evidence, which was supported by the form Mr Murat signed when he collected a Hyundai Jetz at 5.16pm that day. It will certainly have interested Portuguese police since the ground search for Madeleine was being scaled down last Saturday and Mr Murat's mother's car, a green VW van, seen in the area that weekend, was available. Mr Murat has indicated that he was aware last weekend that police were tailing him and that he complained to them about this shortly before the raid on his house.

Police are also focussing their inquiries on telephone calls between Mr Murat and a Russian computer scientist, Sergey Malinka. One of these was reportedly made by Mr Malinka a few minutes after 10pm on 3 May - the time when Madeleine's parents discovered she was missing from her room at a Mark Warner resort in the Algarve town.

The Russian left his flat in Praia da Luz on Wednesday night with police who had removed a laptop and two computer hard drives. Mr Malinka declined to discuss his phone calls with Mr Murat yesterday, but insisted that videos seized from his house had no paedophile content. He confirmed his name and number were in Mr Murat's phone.

Yesterday, Mr Malinka protested his innocence. He said: "I am not a suspect in this case. I am merely a witness questioned like eight or nine others. Everything that has been said about me is lies... There have been claims in the press that I am some kind of sexual maniac or paedophile. It is nonsense. My career is destroyed and my life is ruined."

Mr Malinka remains one of the investigation's 100 witnesses, rather than a suspect like Mr Murat, but the policeman leading the inquiry, Oligario Sousa, did not rule out that situation changing. "[He is] not a suspect but it could be in the course of the investigation that something could change," he said. "It's a very dynamic investigation."

Mr Malinka, who moved to Portugal from Moscow seven years ago, says he spent several weeks helping Mr Murat and his German girlfriend, Michaela Walczuch, set up a property website a year ago. He said Mr Murat was a client, not a friend, despite reports that they had been photographed together several times after Madeleine's disappearance. "I had a working relationship with him [Robert]. How friendly can you be with a client?" he said.

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More on Murat

Post by Tony Bennett on 12.04.10 18:51

candyfloss wrote:I have just been reading some old articles, when I came across this one. I know it's probably not relevant, but it has just got me thinking. Why would Robert Murat hire a car so urgently?

Suspect in hunt for missing girl 'wanted hire car immediately'
By Ian Herbert in Praia da Luz

Friday, 18 May 2007

Police investigating the disappearance of Madeleine McCann in Portugal have been told how their prime suspect, the Briton Robert Murat, was impatient to rent a car two days before he was first questioned by police, because he claimed his own was needed by those involved in the search for the four-year-old...

REST SNIPPED
candyfloss, the following extract from pages 71-73 of our forthcoming article: 'The Mystery of Robert Murat: From Arguido to Applause' may also be of interest:

QUOTE

Asked about his renting a grey Hyundai Getz on Saturday 12 May from Cma Auto Rent in Praia da Luz, he recalled hiring the car in the afternoon. He said he’d done so because his mother was using the VW over the weekend and the Skoda was being repaired in the garage and he had no other means of transport. His mother returned the car the following Tuesday [15 May]. He said he’d used the car to drive round the Lagos and Portimão areas, and probably drove ‘no more than 60 to 120 miles’. Only he had driven it.

It was put to him that the clock in the car showed that it had been driven over 400 miles. Murat’s response was: ‘That’s not true’. He said it must be an error by the car hire company.

Pausing there, we might note that that weekend, Dr Gerald and Dr Kate McCann were discussing a possible visit to the Roman Catholic shrine at Fatima in Ourém. The 400 miles that Murat had driven would have enabled him to travel to Fatima and back. Or he could have reached Lisbon and back within the 400 miles, or even Huelva in Spain and back. Did someone want to meet him covertly and insist that he travelled in a hired car? Or did Murat need to meet someone?

One additional mystery is Murat used his ex-wife's Norfolk address in Hockering, Norfolk, when he hired the Hyundai Getz he ‘needed in a hurry’ from Auto Rent. Why not give his local address or, if he wanted to give an English address, that of one of his sisters in Devon? The questions about Murat’s actions just seem to pile up.

The police then asked an important question. They wanted to know why he had apparently not made any calls on his mobile ’phone between 3.00pm on Wednesday 2 May and late on the evening of Thursday 3 May. Murat couldn’t explain it except to say that he was ‘with Michaela most of the time and she was the person he most frequently ’phoned’. The significance of this is that the mobile ’phone records of Dr Gerald McCann showed that he switched off his mobile ’phone within six minutes of Murat doing so and switched it on again some 32 hours later again within six minutes of Murat doing likewise. It is a coincidence of timing that cries out for an explanation. One suggestion made is that they both used Pay-as-you-Go mobiles during this period, discarding them later.

We might note at this juncture the responses the two men gave as to whether they already knew each other. When reporter Sandra Felgueiras asked Dr Gerald McCann whether he already knew Robert Murat, Dr McCann hastily said: “I'm not going to comment on that” whilst his body language clearly showed that he was uneasy with the question. As one observer noted: “The absence of a firm denial makes the positive answer much more likely to be correct”.

Robert Murat's answer to a similar question was: “"I've never met the man before and the idea that I'd met him when he was campaigning for the Labour Party is laughable. I've been a Conservative all my life." (Daily Express, 14 September 2007).

One additional mystery is Murat used his ex-wife's Norfolk address in Hockering, Norfolk, when he hired the Hyundai Getz he ‘needed in a hurry’ from Auto Rent. Why not give his local address or, if he wanted to give an English address, that of one of his sisters in Devon? The questions about Murat’s actions just seem to pile up.

Murat told police he’d never entered the apartment where Madeleine was, neither before nor since she disappeared.

The police now questioned Murat about other matters. The police had his landline and mobile ’phone records. They put to him the numbers held in his mobile ’phone and asked whom he’d been ringing. His answers, for the record and for anyone wanting to analyse his telephone records, are in Appendix 1. We are unsure whether they yield anything of significant interest.

He was asked if he knew someone who owned a boat. He said his uncle had a boat stored at the back of his home. Last year, when he worked for ‘Remax’, he had sold an apartment to a Snr I____ and he knows that he possesses a boat, but doesn’t know where this boat is, and never saw it. He only had a business relationship with Snr I____.

Murat added that he thought that a friend of Michaela’s husband Luis, called Steve, also had a boat, but he’d never seen it and wasn’t sure. Murat also noted that he knew Nelson P____, who was the son of Carlos P____, who had an ‘embarcaçiáo’, but Murat never saw it nor knew where it was kept. Asked if on the day Madeleine disappeared, or subsequently, he had been around the Marina or the port area, he said he had not.

Murat was then shown a photograph by the police, and identified the man in the photo as a Romanian man that he knew, who had done some gardening at his mother’s house. Murat had been seen talking to the Romanian after Madeleine disappeared, and said he’d been asking the Romanian if he could translate into Romanian an appeal for people to look for Madeleine.

I. A summary of Murat’s 17 changes of story about what he did on 1, 2, 3 and 4 May

You may by now have lost count of the number of changes in Robert Murat’s story about what he was doing between 1 and 4 May, so here’s a convenient summary of his new account of events, and how these contradicted his earlier account of events:

1. Remembers that on 1 May he tried to contact Jorge da Silva

REST SNIPPED - I HAVE PUBLISHED THIS LIST ELSEWHERE

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Re: Robert Murat - the hire car

Post by Get'emGonçalo on 12.04.10 18:58

@Tony Bennett wrote:REST SNIPPED - I HAVE PUBLISHED THIS LIST ELSEWHERE

I've transferred a lot of your articles to the reference forum in case you wondered where they'd gone!

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Re: Robert Murat - the hire car

Post by Guest on 12.04.10 19:06

Thanks for that Tony, I have been re- reading quite a lot today, although I never realised that he hadn't used his home address to hire the Hyundai Getz, why would he have given his ex-wife's address? Very odd!

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Re: Robert Murat - the hire car

Post by Tony Bennett on 12.04.10 19:18

candyfloss wrote:Thanks for that Tony, I have been re-reading quite a lot today, although I never realised that he hadn't used his home address to hire the Hyundai Getz, why would he have given his ex-wife's address? Very odd!
As hopefully will become very plain when we publish our full article on Murat, his involvement in the whole process, at the very least, raises myriad questions.

Things to look out for (apart from the issue you've raised):

1. Why did he get 17 signficant things wrong when he first spoke to police on 14 May? What was he hiidng?

2. Exactly why were the men from CEOP so keen in the first few days to say they were 90% certain that Murat was the abductor?

3. Why did Jane Tanner adamantly insist that Murat was the abductor when she saw him out of the police van window on 13 May - and, just as interesting - why do the McCann-believers angrily denounce Amaral's account of this in his book as a pack of lies?

4. What did Murat, his Mum, his uncle, his cousin, Brian Kennedy, Kennedy's/the McCanns' lawyer Edward Smethurst and Murat's lawyer Francisco Pagarete speak about during their 'dinner' on 13 November 2007? Was it just about the weather this time of year, how sardines on toast make such a nice first course, and whether to drink strawberry daiquiris or Sauvignon Blanc with the meal?

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Re: Robert Murat - the hire car

Post by Judge Mental on 12.04.10 19:28

Urgent meetings with his own lawyer upon arrival back in Portugal after renovating his grandmother's home in England. Talking to Malinka. Too many calls between his mother's house and his gir-friend.

Why did the police find a key to Antonio's store cupboard at Casa Liliana?

Many questions still to answer. So many breakfasts to eat during one morning, yet he starves others all afternoon.

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Another instalment of that Murat article

Post by Tony Bennett on 12.04.10 20:21

OK, since the Kennedy-Murat meeting has been mentioned, here's another trailer from our Murat article, this time pages 94 to 101:


++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

N. Robert Murat’s meeting with Brian Kennedy in Portugal, 13 November 2007

We’ll now move right away from the events of early May 2007 and look at two meetings that were probably of great significance in this case that took place in Portugal in November 2007. One was between Robert Murat and Brian Kennedy, the multi-millionaire double glazing magnate who has effectively bankrolled the various private investigations which were supposed to be about finding Madeleine.

Others were also present at this meeting. He was also, as was made clear in John Whitehouse’s article on our website, the man who was at the centre of these intelligence operations, running them from a house believed to be in Knutsford, appointing the staff and directing them.

The other meeting was between Brian Kennedy, the Portuguese Police, and the Spanish private detective agency recently chosen by Kennedy and the McCanns: Metodo 3. This took place in police headquarters in Portimao.

A report from the Portuguese Police referring to a ’phone call on 19 October, gives us some background; here it is:

“On the 19th of October, we were contacted by Alberto Carbas, Chief of the Kidnapping Unit of the Commissary-General, based in Madrid, who passed to us the information that the McCann family had contracted a Spanish private detective agency known as ‘Metodo 3’. The costs of their investigation into Madeleine McCann were being covered by a Scottish multi-millionaire whose name is Brian Kennedy. His objective was to find Madeleine.

“We were asked if we were available and interested in meeting with a representative of Metodo 3 and the Spanish Commissary General and Chief of the Kidnapping Unit of the Police in Spain. The purpose of this proposed meeting, they said, was to find out the truth, but they stated that they would not interfere in police work. At most, they said, they would ‘complement’ our investigation. They firmly stated that they are not working directly for the McCann family, but for Brian Kennedy. They didn’t ask for any information regarding the investigation, nor was any offered to them, for obvious reasons”.

We now know that Brian Kennedy flew out in November 2007, about three weeks after this ’phone call, together with his in-house lawyer from the Latium Group, Edward Smethurst. This, briefly, is the Portuguese Police’s account of a meeting between them, Metodo 3, Brian Kennedy and Edward Smethurst. The date of it was probably arranged during or soon after the ’phone call of 19 October:

QUOTE

“We held a meeting on 13 November, with Inspectors Paulo Ferreira and Ricardo Paiva present, with Brian Kennedy, Director of the detective agency, Francisco Marco and one of his advisers, plus Antonio Jimenez, ex-chief of the Kidnapping Unit of Catalonia [Note: Other information suggests that Edward Smethurst was also present]. Brian Kennedy insisted that his motives were purely charitable, aimed at finding the truth, and generally helping missing children. He said he was interested in discovering the truth even if the McCann family, the friends, or any other person is found to be involved in the disappearance”.

UNQUOTE

Brian Kennedy’s involvement in the investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann has been controversial. An article by Mark Hollingsworth in the Evening Standard in August 2009 claimed that “The involvement of Brian Kennedy and his son Patrick in the operation was counter-productive, notably when they were questioned by the local police [in Portugal] for acting suspiciously while attempting a 24-hour ‘stake out’.” The ‘Evening Standard’ article also showed that, later, the relationship between Metodo 3 and the Portuguese police had ‘completely broken down’. Hollingsworth claimed that key witnesses were questioned ‘far too aggressively’ by Kennedy’s investigators, so much so that ‘some of them later refused to talk to the police’. Interference with witnesses to that extent could amount to a criminal offence. We are not aware that any other nation allows people to interfere with potential witnesses in an investigation in such a way as to cause them to refuse to testify, as Mark Hollingsworth in his article claimed had happened in this case, due to Kennedy’s investigators.

It was Francisco Pagarete, Mr Murat’s Portugese lawyer - the one whom he was so anxious to see when he flew out to Praia da Luz on 1 May - who confirmed that a second meeting involving Brian Kennedy took place at Mr Murat’s uncle’s house in the Algarve in November. He told the BBC: “[Brian Kennedy] came here to give his support to Robert and to say he doesn’t believe Robert was involved in this story in any way or sense. And he asked if Robert could help the investigation for the finding of Madeleine in any way”. Mr Pagarete added that Mr Kennedy had ‘promised to stay in touch with Mr Murat’ but ‘had not contacted him since’. Mr Pagarete also confirmed that Edward Smethurst was at the meeting.

The Portuguese paper Jornal de Notícias appeared to have some additional information about this meeting. Their report, early in 2008, said: “The meeting - a dinner that Brian Kennedy asked to be discreet and far away from the eyes of the press - took place in the end of last year at a house of Murat's relatives in Burgau (Vila do Bispo). At the dinner were Robert Murat and Kennedy, their respective lawyers, Jennifer Murat and the aunt and uncle of Murat” [NOTE: This appears in fact to have been Ralph Eveleigh, Murat’s uncle, and Sally Eveleigh, his cousin].

If Murat and Kennedy each had one lawyer with them - Pagarete and Smethurst - that makes seven people present at that dinner in Burgau: Murat and his mother, his uncle Ralph and cousin Sally Eveleigh, who ran the 8-room guest house at Vila do Bispo, two lawyers and Brian Kennedy.

What was discussed at this meeting that Kennedy didn’t want the press to know about?

This evening meeting was either on the same day, or very close to, the meeting that Brian Kennedy had with the Portuguese Police on 13 November 2007 that we referred to above. The two Portuguese Police Inspectors, Ferreira and Paiva, later submitted an account of their strange meeting with Brian Kennedy.

The report, which is amongst the documents contained in the police files, indicates that right at the start of the meeting, Brian Kennedy was keen to stress that his intentions were ‘purely charitable’, because he felt ‘concerned about cases of child neglect and child abduction’. The Director of Metodo 3, Francisco Marco, presented information to the PJ about three situations, allegedly received via their ‘hotline’.

The first of these concerned an incident that the British media had already referred to, at the end of October 2007: a woman who had been baby-sitting at the Ocean Club, in Apartment 5A in August/September 2006, said she spotted a man ‘hidden in the shadows’, the same day that Madeleine disappeared. A story about this had surfaced in the Sun on October 31.

According to the newspaper, “The nanny - identified only as M.H. - reported the frightening incident to the police in England after the hunt for Madeleine started in May, but did not speak to the police in Portugal”. Clarence Mitchell added that: “This evidence supports what we have always said, that Maddie was taken from her bed by an abductor”. The Portuguese Police had however ruled out this report, because the detectives considered that there was no proof that it was in any way related to Madeleine's disappearance.

The second piece of information was about the alleged existence of images of paedophilia on a computer at the home of Sergei Malinka, witnessed by the fiancé of a British woman, four years ago, when he was at Malinka's house. According to this witness, he questioned Malinka on the subject and he explained that the computer belonged to a client and that he would report it later to the authorities. All of the computers at Malinka's house were seized and examined, but the Portuguese Police report said that nothing of any relevance or suspicion was found.

The third piece of information referred to a detailed witness statement, according to the Metodo 3 report, about a woman handing what the witness was convinced was a child, wrapped in a blanket or a sheet, over a fence to a man, next to two parked vehicles, near a town 100 miles from the Algarve. The witness, a Portuguese lorry driver, M.G., looked at several photos and picked out Michaela Walczuk [Robert Murat’s girlfriend, now his wife], saying that her picture was the one that most resembled the woman he had seen.

The British media published a version of this story on 19 November 2007, but with different details. The METRO free paper boldly wrote: “A witness spotted Murat's German girlfriend, Michaela Walczuch, in a car with Maddie, on 5 May, in central Portugal”. On the same day, the Daily Mail published a similar story: “According to a source, a new witness identified Michaela Walczuch as the woman seen with the missing child, in central Portugal, 160 kilometres [100 miles] from where she disappeared on May 3rd”.

As usual, Clarence Mitchell had a few things to say to the media: “We are not going to comment on any line of the investigation except to say that we are encouraged by the fact that our investigators seem to be making progress. Kate and Gerry are not ruling out any possibility”.

The Portuguese Police studied this incident and questioned the Portuguese lorry driver, but the facts that he described to the police were somewhat different to those reported in the British press. The lorry driver said he saw a woman handing something to a man, over a fence, wrapped in what looked like a blanket. It wasn't heavy, because they did it easily and the fence was around 1.6 metres high (5 feet). Asked if it could have been the body of a child, he responded that nothing he had seen would indicate that.

Questioned also about the positive identification of Michaela Walczuk, according to Metodo 3's report, the witness told the Portuguese Police that he couldn't see the woman's face, because he was driving his lorry at 45/50 mph, and the couple were at some distance. He only chose Michaela's photo from amongst the others Metodo 3 had shown him because she had the same hair colour and similar build.

The actual facts which emerged from the lorry driver, then, did not seem anywhere near sufficient to justify the press headlines claiming that he had positively identified Murat and his girlfriend.

+++++

As the Murat article is still being edited, any constructive criticism, suggestions or additions to the above would be most welcome - T.B.

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Re: Robert Murat - the hire car

Post by Autumn on 13.04.10 13:51

Just wondering, did Murat himself state that he lent his car to specifically the McCanns or might it have been to another English couple in the tapas group?
I can't find any mention of Murat lending his car to anyone, according to his statements didn't he claim it was being mended in a garage - if that were the case, surely he would have had receipts to back this up and if not why not?

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Re: Robert Murat - the hire car

Post by dragonfly on 09.04.11 23:33

The police then asked an important question. They wanted to know why he had apparently not made any calls on his mobile ’phone between 3.00pm on Wednesday 2 May and late on the evening of Thursday 3 May. Murat couldn’t explain it except to say that he was ‘with Michaela most of the time and she was the person he most frequently ’phoned’. The significance of this is that the mobile ’phone records of Dr Gerald McCann showed that he switched off his mobile ’phone within six minutes of Murat doing so and switched it on again some 32 hours later again within six minutes of Murat doing likewise. It is a coincidence of timing that cries out for an explanation. One suggestion made is that they both used Pay-as-you-Go mobiles during this period, discarding them later.

When reporter Sandra Felgueiras asked Dr Gerald McCann whether he already knew Robert Murat, Dr McCann hastily said: “I'm not going to comment on that” whilst his body language clearly showed that he was uneasy with the question. As one observer noted: “The absence of a firm denial makes the positive answer much more likely to be correct”.

I was unaware of the first matter I thought it would be important that his phone would be on during this important time where is this info from regarding the phones?
Has there been any evidence to suggest they knew each other? Why would Gerry not answer that question, As Gerry has complained about speculation myth ect in his quotes he dosn't help matters in making the general public speculate by not answering a perfectly acceptable question, It leads one to assume that they have met before, but Gerry would not be able to admit this as it would bring up further questions if they knew each other and if he denied it, and at a latter date evidence came to light that they had met it would showed he lied, So if he had never met him he should just say,



[b]

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