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The Mystery of Robert Murat: The 17 changes in his story Mm11

The Mystery of Robert Murat: The 17 changes in his story Regist10
The Complete Mystery of Madeleine McCann™
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The Mystery of Robert Murat: The 17 changes in his story Mm11

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The Mystery of Robert Murat: The 17 changes in his story

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The Mystery of Robert Murat: The 17 changes in his story Empty The Mystery of Robert Murat: The 17 changes in his story

Post by Tony Bennett 06.01.10 7:35

The Mystery of Robert Murat: The 17 changes in his story

An examination of Robert Murat’s two sets of police interviews, first in May 2007, then in July 2007

by Tony Bennett

[IMPORTANT NOTE: “This article must not be taken as implying that Robert Murat had any connection with the disappearance of Madeleine McCann, either before she was reported missing, or afterwards. One of our roles in the Madeleine Foundation is to continue to search for the truth about what really happened to Madeleine McCann. We hope that this article will serve this purpose. We have striven for 100% accuracy in all that we say in this and other articles. We invite readers to suggest anything which needs to be corrected or added to our article, see our Contacts page for how to contact us”. - Statement by the Committee of the Madeleine Foundation, January 2009]

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Robert Murat was taken for questioning on 14 May 2009 hours after Jane Tanner, a close friend of Dr Gerald and Dr Kate McCann, had identified him as the abductor she claimed to have seen walking away from the McCanns’ apartment at 9.15pm on the night Madeleine McCann was reported missing. Later Tanner was to deny that she had positively identified Murat as the abductor, but Murat was arrested and declared ‘arguido’ on the basis of her identification evidence and other suspicions about his activities during the days following Madeleine’s disappearance.

In this article, we give details of this first interview with the Portuguese police, and follow that by giving details of the answers he gave in his second set of interviews, held on 10 and 11 July 2009. By that time, the Portuguese Police had obtained evidence about telephone calls made by Murat and gained other intelligence information about him. The transcripts of these interviews have been made public by the Portuguese Police. Unlike in the U.K., it is Portuguese policy to publish much of the information about an investigation if no-one has been charged.

We then go on to compare the two interviews, and identify no fewer than 17 changes of story by Murat. We conclude by posing questions about why there should have been so many changes of story.

This article is part of a much longer article about Robert Murat, titled: ‘From arguido to applause’, which is in preparation and will be published shortly on our website.

1. The first police interview with Robert Murat - on 14 May 2007

At a police interview on 14 May, after giving his background and history (which we’ll look at in a separate article), Murat was first asked to explain why he had come back to Portugal on 1 May, and to give an account of his lifestyle in Portugal. He explained that he’d returned to Portugal mainly in order to hold meetings to form a new real estate company, ‘Romigen’, together with his girlfriend Michaela. Michaela had a daughter and they had been with Murat to England on his last three visits. He’d met her whilst working for the company ‘Remax’ in 2005, and started going out with her, although she was married to a Luis Antonio.

Murat explained that his mother received pensions from both England and Portugal totalling around £600 a month. She had acquired her current property through inheritance and the sale of a previous property.

He said that he and his girlfriend Michaela were planning to set up a new real estate company called ‘Romigen’, apparently named after Robert, Michaela and a mutual friend called Genaro acosta Gonzales (others suggested that the ‘Gen’ part of ‘Romigen’ was derived from the word ‘Genesis’). They had already set up a website.

He said he spent much of his leisure time with Michaela, going on walks with her. He used the internet, he said, to write to Michaela and to visit pornographic sites, his favourite being the explicit website at [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] He added that he did not visit that site daily. Incidentally, the ‘Redclouds’ currently boasts on its website that it is: “The hugest site for Girlfriends, Wives, Co-workers and Couples going really wild and beyond - the Explicit Section of the free Voyeurweb”. Online
It appears to be confirmation of what two anonymous witnesses had told police about Murat: his strong interest in sex.

He gave the police details of his email addresses; apparently he used six separate email addresses whilst Michaela used three.

He said that in his daily life, he would have meetings with business partners, or future business partners, usually either at restaurants or at Michaela’s home in Lagos.

He told police that he had intended to return to England on 9 May, but had stayed behind in Portugal due to Madeleine’s disappearance, and because he was helping the authorities with translations. For that reason he’d changed his return flight to 12 May and now, at the request of the police, had changed it to 19 May. He said that his journey back to England was to carry on work restoring his grandmother’s house, and for a medical consultation which had been fixed for Monday 14 May.

Murat explained that he had use of his mother’s car, a green VW Transporter. He didn’t know the registration number. He said it was currently being repaired at the ‘Autojoteca’ repair shop next to Torre, Lagos. That was why today he had gone out and rented, at his mother’s expense, a Hyundai Getz.

Turning to recent events, Murat said he arrived in Faro Airport at about 9.30am, flying from Exeter. He’d been staying with his grandmother in Sidmouth. His sister Samantha had two houses, one in Alphington, Exeter, the other in Exeter itself. His mother had come to meet him at the airport.

He explained that he driven with his mother to a garage at the airport exit, where the toilets were unfortunately closed. So he didn’t get any petrol there but drove on to the A22, stopping at the first service station on the M24 motorway. He and his mother had a meat pie and waffles and put some petrol in the tank. They carried on and then stopped at another service station for coffee.

They then went straight to their mother’s home, Casa Liliana in Praia da Luz, arriving between 11.30am and 12.00noon. Very soon after that, and without stopping to unpack his suitcase or even entering his mother’s home, he went in the VW to see Michaela in her house in Lagos, arriving there between about 12noon and 12.30pm. He said he had with him some gifts for Michaela and her daughter.

Murat says he remained in Michaela’s house until about 3.00pm to 3.30pm, chatting to all the family, including Michaela’s father, Luis Antonio. He said he drank tea but ‘couldn’t remember’ if he had had lunch there or not. He drove straight back to his mother’s, arriving back there, he said, at around 4.00pm. Asked if he went somewhere else on the way there, he said he couldn’t remember. He said that as far as he can remember he stayed with his mother the rest of the day.

Murat then turned to what he did on Wednesday 2 May. He says he got up around 9.00am, leaving home between 10.00am and 10.30am, drove straight to Michaela’s home in Lagos in his mother’s VW, and arrived at 10.40am. She was alone there and they talked for a while.

He says he left after a short while, then drove to the centre of Lagos, parked in one of the streets, and went to visit Francisco Pagarete. However, he wasn’t there. His girlfriend Sonia was there.

He says he left and then went to meet and talk to his future real estate partners in a clothing shop, ‘Putos and Graúdos’, owned by a man called Jorge da Silva. The four of them, he says, discussed business - Murat, Michaela, Jorge, and Jorge’s son Jason. He didn’t know what time it was by then. He says they then all adjourned to a café, the name of which he couldn’t remember.

After that, Murat says they went to a quieter café, located in the Lagos marina area, where they could more easily discuss their business. He remembers having a drink in that café but can’t remember if the others did. He says Michaela paid the café bills.

He thinks it was about 2.00pm when they left the second café and then he and Michaela walked back to the VW, moving on to have lunch in the ‘Bem Bom’ restaurant in Lagos. He remembers that they ate roast beef. At about 3.20pm, they drove to the school of Michaela’s 8-year-old daughter.

They all then drove to the home of Francisco Pagarete. This time, he was at home. He remembers talking about his divorce to Michaela as they drove to Pagarete’s home. After apparently talking to Pagarete about business affairs for some time, he, Michaela and her daughter returned to Michaela’s Lagos home. He can’t remember what they talked about. It was some time before Luis Antonia came back at about 9.00pm, by which time they had sat down to a dinner of pork or turkey.

He recalls leaving Michaela’s home at between 10.30pm to 11.00pm, parking his car in front of his mother’s house, and chatting to his mother who was still awake. He says the spent time on the computer and played cards, and says he is ‘sure’ he was at home all that night, going to bed between 1.00am and 1.30am.

He says that on 3 May, the day Madeleine disappeared, he woke between 8.00am and 9.00am. He had a bath, dressed, and had a cup of tea.

He says he left home at 10.00am, and ‘presumes’ that he went immediately to Lagos to see Michaela. He can’t remember where he parked the car. Only Michaela was at home. They talked at length about their real estate business, mostly in the kitchen. They left Michaela’s apartment at about 12noon.

He says they took the road towards Portia and, before Odiáxere, turned off the roundabout on to the A22 Portimão-Lagos road. They had lunch at a service station on the M24. He says they then returned to Michaela’s apartment and carried on talking about their business plans. Quite why they drove some distance out of Lagos for lunch, only to return to Michaela’s apartment straightaway, is not explained.

They collected Michaela’s daughter from school at 3.30pm and then met up again with Jorge and Jason somewhere in Lagos, adjourning to a café with a play area for children, where Michaela’s daughter played. He says they all spoke further about their plans for ‘Romigen’, carrying on talking until sometime between 6.00pm and 7.00pm.

Murat says when they finished, they gave Jorge and Jason a lift in his VW to the ’bus station, returning to Michaela’s at about 7.00pm He says he left for his mother’s home soon afterwards, arriving about 7.15pm to 7.30pm. He can’t remember if his mother was at home, but thinks she ‘must have been’ because by then it was too late for her to be out walking the dogs, which she usually did between 5.00pm and 7.00pm.

He thinks he may have made himself a cup of tea and then switched on the TV and maybe read a newspaper. He says he remembers thereafter talking to his mother in the kitchen until about 10.00pm to 10.30pm about his ‘Romigen’ business project and having a ham-and-cheese sandwich.

Contrary to what he had said previously, he did not speak to Michaela on the telephone, because between 8.00pm and 10.00pm she had been at a Thursday night Jehovah’s Witness meeting, and she’d switched off her mobile ’phone. He says he might have spoken to her after 10.00pm, but can’t remember.

He said that he didn’t remember being on his computer that evening, but does remember hearing, at about 10.30pm or just after, a police or ambulance siren. But he didn’t leave the house to investigate what that was all about.

He says he went to bed about midnight that night, waking up at about 9.00am the following morning (Friday).

What he says next is quite important. He said that after taking a bath and then talking to his mother in the kitchen, his mother told him that ‘something terrible has happened’. She said she had had SKY news on and that a child had disappeared from Praia da Luz during the night.

Murat says that he and his mother then went immediately into their garden, which had a fence about 3ft to 4ft high around it, to check if perhaps the child had somehow gained entrance to their property. They searched their greenhouse - all with no result.

Murat says he then saw a passer-by, an English-speaking person, to whom he spoke. He says the Englishman, whose name he doesn’t know, confirmed that the child had vanished. He said that this passer-by said the child’s name was Madeleine and that he knew Madeleine’s parents. Murat says he assumed that the passer-by must have been staying in the Praia da Luz Ocean Club Complex, as indeed the stranger confirmed. In fact, we can identify this stranger as Mr Stephen Carpenter, the father of the ‘Hertfordshire’ couple who had been dining in the Tapas bar with their children alongside the McCanns and their ‘Tapas 9’ friends the previous night when Madeleine was reported missing.

Murat then says that he then went to the Ocean Club with Mr Carpenter and there was immediately introduced to Dr Gerald and Dr Kate McCann, ‘offering to help’ them in any way he could. He said he thought he could help as he spoke both English and Portuguese.

He then says he toured several of the Ocean Club apartments with a GNR Police Officer and an Ocean Club employee, visiting all the apartments and opening up several with keys to see if Madeleine might be in one of the apartments. He says that: “Some of the apartments were closed and had ‘no keys’; these apartment were reported to the GNR’s senior investigator”.

He says he was also introduced to John Hill, the Manager of Mark Warner, who supplied them with more keys to these other, locked, apartments. Murat told police that prior to this occasion he did not know the interior layout of the ‘Ocean Club’, only entering the resort for the first time after Madeleine’s disappearance. He added that: “The ‘binómios’ arrived and began a more rigorous form of search”.

Murat then became heavily involved that day (4 May) in translation work. As he told police: “Having told people I spoke both languages, I spoke to several people, including GNR Police Officers, and translated for several witnesses, right through the afternoon”.

But elsewhere we find an alternative explanation for how Robert Murat became a translator in connection with Madeleine’s disappearance:

QUOTE

Staff from Bill Henderson’s office suggested the name of Robert Murat as a reliable translator who could be used in the police inquiry, in the days following Madeleine McCann disappearance. Murat was already known among diplomatic staff, as he had letters of recommendation from Norfolk Police, where he worked for Bernard Matthews, one of the largest poultry farm companies in UK, which employs hundreds of Portuguese workers. The fact that Robert Murat has acted, before, as translator for Norfolk Police, and the recommendation issued by Bill Henderson’s office, at the time the British consul in Algarve, took police to accept the suggestion, according to PJ [Portuguese Police] sources. After Murat was named a formal suspect, Police went through all translations he has done, checking its accuracy, but no problem was found, according to the same sources. Bill Henderson retired from his diplomatic post and went back to UK in August.

UNQUOTE

Murat then said he went to see Michaela that evening, leaving his home about 7.00pm to 7.30pm and arriving back in Praia da Luz about 11.00pm to 11.30pm. The next day (Saturday) he again did translation work, also spoke to several people from the press and media, and again drove over to see Michaela in Lagos in the evening.

He told police that his relationship with the media people he had talked to was ‘somewhat troubled’.

On the Sunday (6 May), Murat says he spoke to the wife of the owner of the Batista supermarket, asking him to leave open the supermarket ‘in order to supply all the people’ who were now in Praia da Luz. The supermarket was not open because of a staff shortage. Apparently the owner provided several litres of water that were placed at the entrance of Block 5 of the Oocean Club Complex.

Then, on Monday 7 May, just four days after Madeleine’s disappearance, someone whom he’d known since he was twelve years old, called Gaynor, told him that he was the main suspect among the many journalists in the village as having abducted Madeleine.

Subsequently, he learned that Gaynor also worked for SKY News as a journalist. She told Murat that some of the journalists were comparing him with Ian Huntley, who had murdered the two Soham girls.

From this point on, he said he refused to speak with journalists and alerted the police to these allegations. He said he would not give his name to any more journalists, nor allow himself to be photographed.

Stories then emerged in the newspapers that he had pornography on his computer. Murat told the Portuguese police that he did have pictures of naked women over 18 on his computer, but ‘not sexually explicit’. He added that he had no photographs of men. He denied having any record of violent sex, sadomasochism, images of rape, or fetishes with children or animals on his computer. He denied using an external USA server and said he was ‘not aware’ of any encrypted content on his computer.

He denied having anything to do with Madeleine’s disappearance and said he knew nothing at all about the case. He was then asked some more questions about his computers and computer networks, which we examine in more detail below. Shortly following that interview, the Portuguese Police declared him a formal suspect.

2. The second set of police interviews with Murat - on 10 and 11 July, two months after he was made ‘arguido’

Murat was arrested by Portuguese police on 10 July and told he had the right to consult a Solicitor. He didn’t require either a Solicitor or translator to be present with him. He was asked to confirm his previous testimony. He replied, however, that on the day of his earlier interview (14 May) he was very tired and didn’t remember the details of what he said on that occasion.

His previous statement was then read out to him. He confirmed the general thrust of his statement, but said he wanted to amend some of ‘afmações’ [details] as he said he had confused some events, in particular as regards the dates and times of when they happened.

He said that things he said happened on Wednesday 2 May he now more calmly recalled had happened on Thursday 3 May - and vice versa. And he now said there were ‘other facts’, including some that he now remembered having occurred in those two days that he wanted to tell police about.

The new information that he volunteered included:

· In Norfolk he had lived with his ex-wife Dawn, his own daughter Sofia, and his wife’s adopted son David in Hockering, near Norwich.

· His grandmother lived in Sidford, not Sidmouth [the two places are close to each other].

· He couldn’t give details of the exact dates he worked for certain companies, but said he worked for ‘Nissan’ and also ‘Inchcape’, including vocational training in sales.

· When his father died, he returned from England to live with his mother in Portugal.

· His divorce from Dawn had been finalised on 4 July 2007.

· When visiting England he usually stayed with his sister Samantha Murat, or in her boyfriend’s home, or in his late grandmother’s house, which he was renovating.

· Michaela had accompanied him to England on three previous occasions, but Michaela’s daughter had only accompanied on one of those three occasions, at Christmas 2006.

Murat now began to correct other statements he’d previously made about events on 2 and 3 May 2007. He changed his account significantly.

He said that on the morning of Wednesday 2 May he had not in fact left his home by 10.30am, as stated previously, but in fact met with Sergei Malinka that morning at the Batista supermarket, at around 10.00am. After that he’d gone to Michaela’s and brought her back to his mother’s home in Praia da Luz where he told police that they discussed the ‘Romigen’ company that apparently Sergei Malinka was also involved in, as he had been designing the website for the proposed company. He said that after a half-hour meeting, he and Malinka left together and following that he returned home to take Michaela back to Lagos.

The Portuguese Police were naturally curious as to why Murat had not remembered, when he was questioned two months earlier, this important meeting, especially as, when first questioned, that meeting would only have taken place a few days beforehand. He justified his lack of memory by stating that he had only had four hours’ sleep the night before. He said he’d been up until about 3.00am the night before his first interview, drinking coffee and talking to an Inspector Reis S____ at the ‘Bom Vivam’ bar. He’d been woken at 7.00am the following morning by officers from the Portuguese Police.

Murat confirmed that he had also that morning [2 may] paid in, in sterling cash, the sum of 287.51 euros to a bank, apparently called the Credit Agricultural Bank. He said the bank was just 200 yards or so from the house of his lawyer, Francisco Pagarete. It was after going to the bank that he’d gone to Pagarete's house. He said that this sum had come from a Lloyds Bank account in his or his mother’s name, as he’d wanted to transfer it into his Portuguese bank account. This prompted concerns that Murat may have used the debit and credit cards of his mother.

Murat confirmed that he’d called at Dr Francisco Pagarate’s home at about 11.00am to 11.30am - but this visit was unannounced, and he wasn’t there. He now added the new details that he called Pagarete on his mobile ’phone and arranged to meet him later.

Referring to his meetings later in the day, he now recollected that he had, after all, met Pagarate that afternoon; also, that when he met with Jorge and his son Jason, he says that another of Jorge’s sons had been present. He now said that after meeting with Pagarete they did not, as he’d said in his earlier interview, return to Lagos with Michaela and her daughter, but instead met once again with Jorge and his sons at the café in the Marina area to carry on talking about their proposed business plans. They left the café when the owner said he was about to close it.

Murat now remembered that he gave Jorge and one of his sons a lift in his VW to the ’bus stop, then drove on to Lagos with Michaela and her daughter. They didn’t arrive back until 8.00pm as then, Michaela had begun, straightaway, to cook the dinner. He said he was now not sure that Luis Antonia returned to the house that evening. Murat said he left Lagos between 10.30pm and 11.00pm and arrived back home between 10.45pm and 11.15pm. He drove by the usual route and doesn’t recollect stopping anywhere. Pressed once more by the police, he now stated ‘with absolute certainty’ that he did not make any stops or calls on the way back home.

The police then put to him that he’d made a telephone call at around 3.42pm to Pagarete. Murat confirmed that he rang to check that he was there.

He confirmed that he was up until around 1.30am that morning, emphasising that his mother would often be up until that time, doing things like ‘feeding the cats and other business’ before retiring to bed.

Then there was another detail that Murat ‘remembered’. He said that during the afternoon of 2 or 3 May, he had visited two apartments, both belonging to the same owner, near the ‘rotunda of the Ball’, in Lagos, with Michaela - apparently ‘for issues related to business’. The visits took about 20-30 minutes.

Now Murat comes to various changes of story as to what happened on Thursday 3 May, the day Madeleine was reported missing. He again emphasises how tired and confused he had been when he gave his earlier statement.

Now he told the police quite a different account of that day’s events.

He now said he woke at 8.00am and left the house by 8.45am. In fact, he had a scheduled appointment to keep at a business tourist complex called ‘Gold Bunker’ in the Espiche district. Michaela was with him. He was puzzlingly vague to police about how Michaela happened to be with him as early as 8.45am, but he confirmed that they both drove in his mother’s VW van to the meeting, arriving there at 9.30am.

He now told police about the details of this meeting, which he had been entirely unable to remember during his first interview with them. There, he and Michaela had met the female owner’s father-in-law [unnamed in the Portuguese Police files]. He asserted that he didn’t remember his name but said that he was a builder in Lagos. The owner arrived to join the meeting a little later.

They continued talking and all had lunch together - making it all the more remarkable that Murat had omitted to give details of this meeting at his earlier interview.

After lunch, Murat and Michaela had gone to the Marina in Lagos where they met with Jorge and his son again. But contrary to his previous claims, Michaela’s daughter, Christine, did not accompany them that day.

Now Murat said they went to the Palmares Golf Club in the afternoon, where they remained until the time to pick up Christine, i.e. around 3.30pm. Murat said that Jorge and his son Jason were again in the car. He dropped them off near the Post Office on the way to pick up Christine. The three of them then drove to Michaela’s house for 3.45pm and stayed there until around 7.30pm. He says he then drove straight home and didn’t stop anywhere en route.

For the rest of the evening, he stuck to his account, but acknowledged that he made two telephone calls that night, one to Sergei Malinka at 11.39pm and another at 11.40pm to Michaela. He couldn’t remember having made these calls but acknowledged that he did make these calls although he couldn’t remember what they were about.

Now he went on to change his account of what happened the day after, Friday 4 May.

He had to admit that he’d ’phoned Michaela at 8.27 am, though he again couldn’t remember what it was about. He admits therefore that he woke well before 9.00am that morning, the time he had previously given the police for when he had woken up.

3. 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, 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.

2. Remembers that on 2 May he didn’t leave home at 10.30 but instead had a meeting with Sergei Malinka at the Batista Supermarket.

3. He had in fact taken Michaela and Malinka back to his mother’s house in Praia da Luz for a further discussion, something he’d omitted to tell the police in the first interview.

4. He now remembered visiting his bank and paying in 287.51 euros.

5. He now remembered he’d called at the home of Francisco Pagarete, his lawyer, that morning.

6. He now remembers that he had met Francisco Pagarete that afternoon.

7. He now remembers that another of Jorge’s sons was present at their meeting in the café in the afternoon.

8. The meeting in the café went on much longer than he had said previously.

9. He thinks that Michaela Walczuk’s husband Luis Antonio may not have been present at Michaela’s house that evening, contrary to what he had previously said.

10. On 3 May, he had not woken at 9.00am as previously stated, but at 8.00am.

11. He had not driven to Michaela’s house after 10.00am as previously stated; instead he had left home at 8.45am for a 9.30am meeting with the owner of the business tourist complex called ‘Gold Bunker’ in the Espiche district and her father-in-law.

12. He now remembered that he had visited two apartments for about 30 minutes, probably on the afternoon of 3 May.

13. He and Michaela had lunch with them, a fact he had not disclosed to police before.

14. Michaela’s daughter Christine was not with them that day contrary to his previous story.

15. They went to the Palmares Golf Club in the afternoon, another fact Murat had failed to disclose.

16. He now admitted to making two telephone calls, to Sergei Malinka and Michaela, at 11.39pm and 11.40pm that night.

17. He previously said he had woken at 9.00am on Friday 4 May. He now admitted he had telephoned Michaela at 8.27am and must have got up earlier.

We make no other comment on the large number of changes of story but leave the reader to form his or her own judgment as to why there were so many changes. We will however add this discussion by a poster on the ‘maddiecasefiles’ internet forum, who analysed these discrepancies in Murat’s account of those few days:

“Jorge Miguel Rocha da Silva tells us that even on the day Murat returned from Exeter (1 May), he tried to get in touch da Silva at the children’s clothing shop that he runs with his wife. He couldn’t, as it was a public holiday. On the following two days (2 & 3 May) he insisted that that da Silva meet him at short notice. A few days later, three days before Murat was made an arguido, Michaela Walczuk was still inviting him to get-togethers at her apartment.

”The official line from Murat is that he was talking to da Silva to persuade him to invest in his and Michaela’s venture: ‘Romigen’. Yet to this day, Romigen appears to be no more than a ‘shell’ company, just a paper idea for selling property via the internet. It doesn’t seem as though the company required any significant cash injection. And if we look at da Silva’s statements, if Murat had any intention of buying land to make money out of it, this was never made apparent to da Silva even after several hours of apparently unprofitable conversation - or rather, so it's been said, of long and puzzling silences.

”On his first full day back in Praia da Luz (2 May), Murat did manage to get in touch with da Silva at the shop. He took da Silva and his two sons to a café bar for the first round of talking. We know that Murat rang his lawyer no less than four times that day. In addition, in da Silva’s first statement to the PJ, he said that: “They did some talking in Mrs Murat’s VW Transporter”. He says rather vaguely that the discussion was ‘to develop some details of the intended business’.

“The following day (3 May), Murat, Michaela, Jorge da Silva and his sons met again for a long session on 3 May, at the Palmares Golf Club.
It is hard to understand from Jorge da Silva’s account what all these meetings were really about”.

So what could they have been about? Was the true content of these discussions being concealed?”

So what could they have been about?

We know that Murat came back to Portugal in considerable haste on 1 May.

His own account says that he booked his ticket on that very day. He seems to have booked his flight ticket at between midnight and 2.00am. His sister Samantha took him to the airport to catch the 7.00am flight. Murat must have been up and about at not long after 4.00am that morning to get up, travel by car to the airport and check in etc.

There seems to be, without doubt, a significant degree of urgency about Murat’s movements on 1 May. In his statement he said that he met only his mother (who fetched him from Faro airport) and Michaela that day, but since then we’ve learnt that he called at Jorge da Silva’s shop.

Was his early morning flight dash from Exeter to Praia da Luz just in order to get ‘Romigen’ moving? Did he really need to meet urgently with a top local lawyer for that reason? Two years later, Romigen appears to be still only a ‘shell’ company.

So we pose this question: did something significant happen on Monday 30 April which required him to jet out to Portugal immediately and confer with a number of powerful and well-connected people in Praia da Luz?


References:

Robert Murat’s original three interviews, on 14 May, and 10 and 11 July 2007, can be found on ‘maddiecasefiles’ here:

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

Note: His original interviews were given in Portuguese (Murat is bilingual) and these are translations into English).

A useful research forum, run by Portuguese writer Joana Morais and colleagues, with much information and analysis on the disappearance of Madeleine McCann, can be found at:

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

More articles about Robert Murt can be found on Nigel Moore’s ‘mccannfiles’ site, here:

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

[Published by The Madeleine Foundation, 4 January 2010, [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]
Tony Bennett
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Post by Guest 06.01.10 9:39

QUOTE: Robert Murat was taken for questioning on 14 May 2009 hours after Jane Tanner, a close friend of Dr Gerald and Dr Kate McCann, had identified him as the abductor she claimed to have seen walking away from the McCanns’ apartment at 9.15pm on the night Madeleine McCann was reported missing.

Tanner was not a "close" friend, nor did she positively identify Murat as the abductor.


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

2. Remembers that on 2 May he didn’t leave home at 10.30 but instead had a meeting with Sergei Malinka at the Batista Supermarket.

3. He had in fact taken Michaela and Malinka back to his mother’s house in Praia da Luz for a further discussion, something he’d omitted to tell the police in the first interview.

4. He now remembered visiting his bank and paying in 287.51 euros.

5. He now remembered he’d called at the home of Francisco Pagarete, his lawyer, that morning.

6. He now remembers that he had met Francisco Pagarete that afternoon.

7. He now remembers that another of Jorge’s sons was present at their meeting in the café in the afternoon.

8. The meeting in the café went on much longer than he had said previously.

9. He thinks that Michaela Walczuk’s husband Luis Antonio may not have been present at Michaela’s house that evening, contrary to what he had previously said.

10. On 3 May, he had not woken at 9.00am as previously stated, but at 8.00am.

11. He had not driven to Michaela’s house after 10.00am as previously stated; instead he had left home at 8.45am for a 9.30am meeting with the owner of the business tourist complex called ‘Gold Bunker’ in the Espiche district and her father-in-law.

12. He now remembered that he had visited two apartments for about 30 minutes, probably on the afternoon of 3 May.

13. He and Michaela had lunch with them, a fact he had not disclosed to police before.

14. Michaela’s daughter Christine was not with them that day contrary to his previous story.

15. They went to the Palmares Golf Club in the afternoon, another fact Murat had failed to disclose.

16. He now admitted to making two telephone calls, to Sergei Malinka and Michaela, at 11.39pm and 11.40pm that night.

17. He previously said he had woken at 9.00am on Friday 4 May. He now admitted he had telephoned Michaela at 8.27am and must have got up earlier.


Quite genuinely, I cannot see any significance in these purported changes to his statement; certainly nothing that implicates him in way with Madeleine's disappearance.
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The Mystery of Robert Murat: The 17 changes in his story Empty Actual changes

Post by Tony Bennett 06.01.10 9:47

Chinagirl wrote:Quite genuinely, I cannot see any significance in these purported changes...
Actual changes
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Post by Guest 06.01.10 9:51

Tony Bennett wrote:
Chinagirl wrote:Quite genuinely, I cannot see any significance in these purported changes...
Actual changes

If you like, but what is the significance? In what way do these changes implicate Murat in Madeleine's abduction?
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The Mystery of Robert Murat: The 17 changes in his story Empty More later

Post by Tony Bennett 06.01.10 10:04

Chinagirl wrote:
Tony Bennett wrote:
Chinagirl wrote:Quite genuinely, I cannot see any significance in these purported changes...
Actual changes

If you like, but what is the significance? In what way do these changes implicate Murat in Madeleine's abduction?
I have not said that they do.

There will be more to come when we publish our full article, however.
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Post by Guest 06.01.10 10:06

Tony Bennett wrote:
Chinagirl wrote:
Tony Bennett wrote:
Chinagirl wrote:Quite genuinely, I cannot see any significance in these purported changes...
Actual changes

If you like, but what is the significance? In what way do these changes implicate Murat in Madeleine's abduction?
I have not said that they do.

There will be more to come when we publish our full article, however.

Can't wait for the leaflet. Does one have to be a true believer to get one or not?
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Post by Tony Bennett 06.01.10 10:17

Raffle wrote:
Tony Bennett wrote:
Chinagirl wrote:
Tony Bennett wrote:
Chinagirl wrote:Quite genuinely, I cannot see any significance in these purported changes...
Actual changes

If you like, but what is the significance? In what way do these changes implicate Murat in Madeleine's abduction?
I have not said that they do.

There will be more to come when we publish our full article, however.

Can't wait for the leaflet. Does one have to be a true believer to get one or not?
Anyone and everyone will be able to read the FACTS about Robert Murat, including some details about his early life, amd details of events from his early morning flight to Faro Airport at 7.00am on Tuesday 1 May to his marriage to Jehovah's Witness Michaela Walczuk on 17 April 2009, and including of course his 'secret' meeting with Brian Kennedy, Brian Kennedy's lawyer Edward Smethurst, his lawyer Fransisco Pagarete, his mother, his aunt and his uncle at the Vila do Bispo, Burgau, on Wednesday 13 November 2007.

Unfortunately I don't have the transcript or the minutes of that meeting of the 'Secretive Seven'.
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Post by vaguely 06.01.10 10:19

Are 'secret' and 'private' interchangeable?

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Post by Jill Havern 06.01.10 10:27




Gerry McCann also has that *cough*, Tony, when asked if he knew Robert Murat.

Wonder why he didn't just say "No" if he didn't know him?
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Post by Guest 06.01.10 10:32

Mr B

where are you getting the facts about Murat's earlier life from? Are they independently verified as being wholly true?
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The Mystery of Robert Murat: The 17 changes in his story Empty A 90-degree head turn when asked about Robert Murat

Post by Tony Bennett 06.01.10 10:37

jkh wrote:


Gerry McCann also has that *cough*, Tony, when asked if he knew Robert Murat.

Wonder why he didn't just say "No" if he didn't know him?
Of course, that's a very pertinent clip, thanks for posting Jill.

There is a clear inference here: that Dr Gerald McCann DID know Robert Murat before 3 May 2007.

I also noticed, viewing this clip again, how ill-at-ease McCann seems to be at this question - and did you notice how immediately after nervously answering this question, he turned his head round away from the questioner almost 90 degrees?
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Post by vaguely 06.01.10 10:40

Would they not have been advised by police not to answer questions relating to a suspect in their child's disappearance? Is that not a standard move?

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Post by DCB1 06.01.10 10:43

"After Murat was named a formal suspect, Police went through all translations he has done, checking its accuracy, but no problem was found,"

This is strange as I have not seen original statements in English (only the Portuguese translations at the time). How could they check the accuracy if there were no English versions to compare?
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Post by Guest 06.01.10 10:46

When asked the question, of course he knew of Murat.
Murat had been sat there translating DW's statement hadn't he? He was waltzing around the town with the coppers with a fag in his hand and knew how the investigation was going. He'd likely have already offered translation assistance TO the McCanns.

I think Gerry answered the right way to those reporters, because by that time there were suspicions about Murat and if he'd said no, people would say he was lying, and if he'd said yes, then the floodgates would have been open for thousands of questions from journos.

Don't forget, Murat was under suspicion of being involved with Madeleine's disappearance, what was her FATHER supposed to say???
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Post by Guest 06.01.10 10:48

Tony i take it your wife will be peed off when you lose your house and everything you own.
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Post by vaguely 06.01.10 10:50

Raffle wrote:When asked the question, of course he knew of Murat.
Murat had been sat there translating DW's statement hadn't he? He was waltzing around the town with the coppers with a fag in his hand and knew how the investigation was going. He'd likely have already offered translation assistance TO the McCanns.

I think Gerry answered the right way to those reporters, because by that time there were suspicions about Murat and if he'd said no, people would say he was lying, and if he'd said yes, then the floodgates would have been open for thousands of questions from journos.

Don't forget, Murat was under suspicion of being involved with Madeleine's disappearance, what was her FATHER supposed to say???

I can't even begin to imagine what must have been going through his mind. The police were friendly with the suspect. The suspect had had contact with the family. He'd even been translating what was being said. eurghh.

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Post by Old Nick 06.01.10 10:51

Don't be silly Raffle. From the near 90 degree turn of his head it can clearly be inferred that Mr McCann knew Murat well before the 3rd May 2007.
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Post by Tony Bennett 06.01.10 11:04

rockyrobin wrote:Tony i take it your wife will be peed off when you lose your house and everything you own.
That's one of the nicest messages you've ever posted, murat_fan
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The Mystery of Robert Murat: The 17 changes in his story Empty Square and Compass

Post by Tony Bennett 06.01.10 11:07

Old Nick wrote:Don't be silly Raffle. From the near 90 degree turn of his head it can clearly be inferred that Mr McCann knew Murat well before the 3rd May 2007.
Well it was a lot more than the 5 degrees the door was left open at, the 45 degrees that he found when he did his 9.05 'check' and the 60 degrees they found later. Or have I mixed all that up? Anyway, Dr Gerald McCann was very good at judging angles, the sort of thing you become proficient at if you use squares and compasses.

ATTACHED

On this date, I attached to these official papers 3 computer printed pages, relating to the description of the events, that have been collectively prepared by the nine people of the group in question, that was delivered to this Police Officer by the British Liaison Official, before the start of re-questioning of those same people.
Portimao, 10 May 2007


INSPECTOR
M.P.

========================================

[3 page attachment] Pages 887-890

Original written in English.

Sequence of Events: Thursday 3rd May 2007 - 2030 to 2200
As recalled by:

Gerry McCann - 5A
Kate McCann - 5A
David Payne - 5H (First floor)
Fiona Payne - 5H (First floor)
Dianne Webster - 5H (First floor)
Jane Tanner - 5D
Russell O'Brien - 5D
Matthew Oldfield - 5B
Rachael Oldfield - 5B

Times shown are approximate, but accurate to the best of our knowledge.

Prior to 2030, a11 couples and children were in their apartments preparing for bedtime.
-5A (Madeleine, Amelie and Sean McCann).
-5B (G**** Oldfield),
-5D (E*** and E***O'Brien) and
-5H (L*** and S******* Payne)

2030: Standard booking for meal at Tapas restaurant for group - same all week (Sun-Thur)
2035: Gerry McCann (GM) and Kate McCann (KC) arrive at table at Tapas Restaurant.
2040: Jane Tanner (JT) arrives, followed shortly by Matthew Oldfield (MO) and Rachael Mampilly Oldfield (RMO).
2045: Russell O'Brien (RJO) arrives at table.
2055: MO returns to apartments to check on ground floor flats, passing David Payne (DP), Fiona Payne (FP) and her mother Dianne Webster (DW) on their way down to the table.
2057: MO listens outside all ground floor flats' windows on the car park side of the apartment (5A, 5B and 5D) to make sure they were asleep. At this time, all the shutters were down on each window.
2100: MO return to the table. Starters were ordered.
2105: GM returns to his flat (5A) and enters via the patio gate entrance. This and a child gate at the top of the stairs were closed at the time. He enters the flat via the patio door which is closed but unlocked.
The door is slightly ajar (about 45 degrees) which is unusual. All the 3 children were present and asleep. GM believes the shutter was down. The room in which the children are asleep is completely dark. On leaving the room, GM shuts the door to approximately 5 degrees. He then goes to the toilet to urinate.
2115: JT leaves table, and sees GM talking with fellow resident ("Jez" Wilkins) outside the patio gate of 5A. The two were standing just up the hill from the gate towards Rua A. da Silva Road. She did not speak to GM as she passed.
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Post by Old Nick 06.01.10 11:08

Couldn't have put it better myself Mr B.
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Post by Perelli 06.01.10 11:09

Has it never occurred to anyone that Murat might have had other reasons, totally unrelated to Madeleine McCann, for being a bit cagey and not totally honest about his whereabouts and motives. We already know he had his finger in the pie of various ventures, property related and others (he seem to have been a bit of a Jack of all trades, to be honest). Not EVERYTHING under the sun has to do with this disappearance, people have lives and secrets and may have done things in the past that they wouldn't want everyone to know about. The inability to recognise this fact leads to a one dimensional and blinkered view of reality which ultimately gives rise to all this senseless speculation and one weird conspiracy theory after another being floated about. However, what it never leads to is finding the real truth about anything at all. JMHO
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Post by vaguely 06.01.10 11:10

Perelli wrote:Has it never occurred to anyone that Murat might have had other reasons, totally unrelated to Madeleine McCann, for being a bit cagey and not totally honest about his whereabouts and motives. We already know he had his finger in the pie of various ventures, property related and others (he seem to have been a bit of a Jack of all trades, to be honest). Not EVERYTHING under the sun has to do with this disappearance, people have lives and secrets and may have done things in the past that they wouldn't want everyone to know about. The inability to recognise this fact leads to a one dimensional and blinkered view of reality which ultimately gives rise to all this senseless speculation and one weird conspiracy theory after another being floated about. However, what it never leads to is finding the real truth about anything at all. JMHO

100% AGREE

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Post by vaguely 06.01.10 11:13

vaguely wrote:Would they not have been advised by police not to answer questions relating to a suspect in their child's disappearance? Is that not a standard move?

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The Mystery of Robert Murat: The 17 changes in his story Empty Perelli - 'Murat dishonest, not tired and confused'

Post by Tony Bennett 06.01.10 11:26

Perelli wrote:Has it never occurred to anyone that Murat might have had other reasons, totally unrelated to Madeleine McCann, for being a bit cagey and not totally honest...
Does that really explain why he concealed meetings with his lawyer and a top local businessman?

Why he avoided mentioning his 'phone calls to Michaela Walczuk and Sergei Malinka at 11.40pm on the very night Madeleine disappeared?

For that matter, what about the encrypted material on his computer, which we'll come to in our fuller article?

But I agree with you that he was 'not totally honest'. Murat himself claimed that he was 'tired and confused'.
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Post by vaguely 06.01.10 11:29

Tony Bennett wrote:
Perelli wrote:Has it never occurred to anyone that Murat might have had other reasons, totally unrelated to Madeleine McCann, for being a bit cagey and not totally honest...
Does that really explain why he concealed meetings with his lawyer and a top local businessman?

Why he avoided mentioning his 'phone calls to Michaela Walczuk and Sergei Malinka at 11.40pm on the very night Madeleine disappeared?

For that matter, what about the encrypted material on his computer, which we'll come to in our fuller article?

But I agree with you that he was 'not totally honest'. Murat himself claimed that he was 'tired and confused'.

Who did he conceal the meetings from?

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