The strange case of Robert Murat

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Re: The strange case of Robert Murat

Post  Justformaddiemccann on Wed 19 Nov 2014, 10:07 pm

I had always thought RM had proof of being at home that night, through a phone call made to someone from his landline?

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Re: The strange case of Robert Murat

Post  Guest on Wed 19 Nov 2014, 10:09 pm

Tristar wrote:
Winston Smith wrote:
Tristar wrote:I welcome Robert Murat being interviewed again - as a witness or arguido? - I don't care at all

For Robert Murat's timeline of what he did - and when/where on the supposed night of the disappearance

Is every bit as befuddled and contradictory

as that of the Tapas 9

and by the same token the Tapasniks - all of them, should be interviewed again

Back to the beginnings - ironically, that's the only way I can see the case progress rather than regress

Maybe SY - and the PJ  - have peeled the layers of the onion back to the core . . . ?

That's my hope Winston -

that both police forces cut through all the media crap and propaganda and mass hysteria of 7 years

and went back to square one.

'Where were you on that night and who can (independently - mum doesn't count Robert) corroborate you were there at that time?

Can't answer that satisfactorily? - hey, then you are not witness or arguido - you my friend, are
a potential suspect'.

The pussy footing has to stop - neither the PT nor UK public will fall for the soft soaping approach anymore - and will demand more rigorous practises.


As I've defended RM upthread, all I can say is that if he was telling the truth then his mum's testimony does count.  If true, how else can he prove his whereabouts?

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Re: The strange case of Robert Murat

Post  bellisa on Wed 19 Nov 2014, 10:11 pm

Perhaps candyfloss but like nobodythereeither has said why not just say no comment.

I have mixed feelings about robert murat and there's always being a niggling doubt in the back of my mind about his involvement.
His eagerness to help paired with the changes to his statements are a red flag but I also think that somebody had something on him that compelled him to go along with the story.

Endgame indeed.
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Re: The strange case of Robert Murat

Post  Burst on Wed 19 Nov 2014, 10:16 pm

wlbts wrote:
Burst wrote:
Well, the delay was in The Mirror, who had SY as the only actual source, I metaparaphrase: "Codswallop Mirror, you're making this up."

And the Mirror story contradicts its story of only a few days ago about the gardener, who doesn't even warrant a mention despite being relevant to the article.

It seems like the kind of story certain people might want to put out if news such as Murat to be questioned is about to break.
Might be, cages rattled. Also, rifts or trouble between SY and the Portuguese has been a favorite subject of spin, to the spinners.


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Re: The strange case of Robert Murat

Post  Tristar on Wed 19 Nov 2014, 10:19 pm

Justformaddiemccann wrote:I had always thought RM had proof of being at home that night, through a phone call made to someone from his landline?

I've not seen proof of this - but I am happy to be corrected

But even if there was a landline call made from Jenny's house - and the metadata bears that out

a) who made the call - is there a recording of the content/speaker?

b) Casa Liliana to 5 a - is about 110 yards distance - even if there was proof of Robert Murat having made a
landline call

- unless that call lasted all night - he could have easily walked up to 5a or to the general OC parameter in just under a minute - without breaking out into a sweat.

That I know - because I timed my walk.
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Re: The strange case of Robert Murat

Post  Guest on Wed 19 Nov 2014, 10:22 pm

bellisa wrote:Perhaps candyfloss but like nobodythereeither has said why not just say no comment.

I have mixed feelings about robert murat and there's always being a niggling doubt in the back of my mind about his involvement.
His eagerness to help paired with the changes to his statements are a red flag but I also think that somebody had something on him that compelled him to go along with the story.

Endgame indeed.

If I suddenly came under intense Police scrutiny, there might be things in my private life that I'd rather they didn't know - nothing too serious, considered okay by the majority, but still things I'd prefer remained unknown . . .

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Re: The strange case of Robert Murat

Post  Stewie on Wed 19 Nov 2014, 10:22 pm

Tristar wrote:
Winston Smith wrote:
Tristar wrote:I welcome Robert Murat being interviewed again - as a witness or arguido? - I don't care at all

For Robert Murat's timeline of what he did - and when/where on the supposed night of the disappearance

Is every bit as befuddled and contradictory

as that of the Tapas 9

and by the same token the Tapasniks - all of them, should be interviewed again

Back to the beginnings - ironically, that's the only way I can see the case progress rather than regress

Maybe SY - and the PJ  - have peeled the layers of the onion back to the core . . . ?

That's my hope Winston -

that both police forces cut through all the media crap and propaganda and mass hysteria of 7 years

and went back to square one.

'Where were you on that night and who can (independently - mum doesn't count Robert) corroborate you were there at that time?

Can't answer that satisfactorily? - hey, then you are not witness or arguido - you my friend, are
a potential suspect'.

The pussy footing has to stop - neither the PT nor UK public will fall for the soft soaping approach anymore - and will demand more rigorous practises.

Let's hope that is what is going on..I might allow myself to be a bit optimistic again and dare to hope the truth is slowly being exposed now they are back down to basics.. The passage of time and the distance from the events in 2007 may have lessened the fear of consequences and allegiances may not be as strong as 7 years ago..

So I imagine there may be deals offered to certain key people and weak links...

I can imagine the weakest link being told - we've taken it back to basics, investigated all supposed "abductors" and can't find anything to support an abduction. We're left with the dogs and a whole pile of changing statements from those closest to the events with more holes than swiss cheese...

We think this is how it went down, we don't believe you saw someone carrying a child, we think you are covering for someone.. admit it was all a steaming pile of doodoo, and we'll help you save face on the sighting by explaining it away after all these years as some innocent crecheman..

- I can imagine RM similarly having it bluntly put that there are more holes in his statements than swiss cheese, explain why you hired the car and it had 400 miles on it, explain why your statements changed so much, or we'll have to presume you are in it deeper than you were..

Same could be said of the rest of the Tapas7 ...

Well that's how it plays out in my head.. dare I hope that may be what's actually going on?... fingers crossed...
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Re: The strange case of Robert Murat

Post  Tristar on Wed 19 Nov 2014, 10:40 pm

What's different now, compared to 2007?

a) The PJ then had to weigh up being robust in their approach to the parents - and allowing
a decent period of 'giving the grieving parents the benefit of the doubt'.

b) The juggernaut of hundreds of journos from all corners of the world, clogging the streets of Luz has gone.

We all know of the value of the golden hour - but obviously, that has long since passed.

Now is the time of the logical scalpel.

Sorting scribbles on a child's picture book and a mother's alibi from real, verifiable timelines.

No more Clouseau - but a lot more Morse, please.
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Re: The strange case of Robert Murat

Post  Guest on Wed 19 Nov 2014, 10:44 pm

Tristar wrote:What's different now, compared to 2007?

a) The PJ then had to weigh up being robust in their approach to the parents - and allowing
a decent period of 'giving the grieving parents the benefit of the doubt'.

b) The juggernaut of hundreds of journos from all corners of the world, clogging the streets of Luz has gone.

We all know of the value of the golden hour - but obviously, that has long since passed.

Now is the time of the logical scalpel.

Sorting scribbles on a child's picture book and a mother's alibi from real, verifiable timelines.

No more Clouseau - but a lot more Morse, please.

I think the biggest difference between now and 2007 is that the political interference so obviously present in the case back then has been replaced with a genuine investigation into the truth.

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Re: The strange case of Robert Murat

Post  Tristar on Wed 19 Nov 2014, 10:45 pm

Winston Smith wrote:
Tristar wrote:What's different now, compared to 2007?

a) The PJ then had to weigh up being robust in their approach to the parents - and allowing
a decent period of 'giving the grieving parents the benefit of the doubt'.

b) The juggernaut of hundreds of journos from all corners of the world, clogging the streets of Luz has gone.

We all know of the value of the golden hour - but obviously, that has long since passed.

Now is the time of the logical scalpel.

Sorting scribbles on a child's picture book and a mother's alibi from real, verifiable timelines.

No more Clouseau - but a lot more Morse, please.

I think the biggest difference between now and 2007 is that the political interference so obviously present in the case back then has been replaced with a genuine investigation into the truth.

Yep and that too - although it's a chicken and egg question - and I believe an important one:

Did the media - frenzy prompt the political stirring

or

vice versa?
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Re: The strange case of Robert Murat

Post  Guest on Wed 19 Nov 2014, 10:55 pm

Dee Coy wrote:
The BBC have updated their report.

On the 6 o'clock news Fiona Bruce clearly said it is the Portuguese who will be re-interviewing him. She mentioned the British sitting in. The report has also been amended:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-30115913

"Portuguese police investigating the disappearance of British girl Madeleine McCann are to question former suspect Robert Murat, the BBC has learned."


Is this a Portuguese initiative?

He's being interviewed as a witness, not an arguido, too.

That's the way all the interviews are done.  SY give the Portuguese the questions that want asked, and the British sit in on the interview - this is no different from any of the other interviews.

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Re: The strange case of Robert Murat

Post  Guest on Wed 19 Nov 2014, 11:01 pm

Tristar wrote:
Winston Smith wrote:
Tristar wrote:What's different now, compared to 2007?

a) The PJ then had to weigh up being robust in their approach to the parents - and allowing
a decent period of 'giving the grieving parents the benefit of the doubt'.

b) The juggernaut of hundreds of journos from all corners of the world, clogging the streets of Luz has gone.

We all know of the value of the golden hour - but obviously, that has long since passed.

Now is the time of the logical scalpel.

Sorting scribbles on a child's picture book and a mother's alibi from real, verifiable timelines.

No more Clouseau - but a lot more Morse, please.

I think the biggest difference between now and 2007 is that the political interference so obviously present in the case back then has been replaced with a genuine investigation into the truth.

Yep and that too - although it's a chicken and egg question - and I believe an important one:

Did the media - frenzy prompt the political stirring

or

vice versa?

The media frenzy - initiated by the McCanns almost immediately - prompted the political interference.

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Re: The strange case of Robert Murat

Post  bellisa on Wed 19 Nov 2014, 11:03 pm

Winston I understand that if he is an innocent victim in all this that he wouldn't want his private life splashed around the media, I'm not sure how I feel about his involvement though.

one thing is for sure though, certain posters elsewhere are quick to jump and discuss him and do a great amount of research into his background etc. I wonder if he's still being set up as the fall guy.

Murat, smithman and the last photograph... why do they get everyone in such a tizz?
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Re: The strange case of Robert Murat

Post  Tristar on Wed 19 Nov 2014, 11:07 pm

Winston Smith wrote:
Tristar wrote:
Winston Smith wrote:
Tristar wrote:What's different now, compared to 2007?

a) The PJ then had to weigh up being robust in their approach to the parents - and allowing
a decent period of 'giving the grieving parents the benefit of the doubt'.

b) The juggernaut of hundreds of journos from all corners of the world, clogging the streets of Luz has gone.

We all know of the value of the golden hour - but obviously, that has long since passed.

Now is the time of the logical scalpel.

Sorting scribbles on a child's picture book and a mother's alibi from real, verifiable timelines.

No more Clouseau - but a lot more Morse, please.

I think the biggest difference between now and 2007 is that the political interference so obviously present in the case back then has been replaced with a genuine investigation into the truth.

Yep and that too - although it's a chicken and egg question - and I believe an important one:

Did the media - frenzy prompt the political stirring

or

vice versa?

The media frenzy - initiated by the McCanns almost immediately - prompted the political interference.

And I agree - t'was premeditated - I clearly remember the Sky reporter (I believe it was Mark Longhurst) saying to camera - some seven days in:

I paraphrase:

'Kate and Gerry have started a campaign for awareness run by Team McCann - not a name we chose  to give it'

It was then I realised, the search for a missing girl had gone corporate
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Re: The strange case of Robert Murat

Post  Dee Coy on Wed 19 Nov 2014, 11:09 pm

wlbts wrote:
Dee Coy wrote:
The BBC have updated their report.

On the 6 o'clock news Fiona Bruce clearly said it is the Portuguese who will be re-interviewing him. She mentioned the British sitting in. The report has also been amended:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-30115913

"Portuguese police investigating the disappearance of British girl Madeleine McCann are to question former suspect Robert Murat, the BBC has learned."


Is this a Portuguese initiative?

He's being interviewed as a witness, not an arguido, too.

That's the way all the interviews are done.  SY give the Portuguese the questions that want asked, and the British sit in on the interview - this is no different from any of the other interviews.

I know, but why shift the emphasis from 'police' to 'Portuguese police' and change the report to emphasise that?

The whole tone of the reporting of the previous interviews is that the Portuguese were asking questions on behalf of the British,  the inference being that it is the British that have posed the questions and orchestrated the interviews.

This latest BBC report makes it look as if the Portuguese are instigators rather than glorified interpreters.

And how does this fit in with the reports that SY have postponed the interviews because of the arguido/witness confusion? Is the Murat interview also on hold?  Or will the Portuguese press on with or without the Brit presence?

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Re: The strange case of Robert Murat

Post  Tristar on Wed 19 Nov 2014, 11:16 pm

bellisa wrote:Winston I understand that if he is an innocent victim in all this that he wouldn't want his private life splashed around the media, I'm not sure how I feel about his involvement though.

one thing is for sure though, certain posters elsewhere are quick to jump and discuss him and do a great amount of research into his background etc. I wonder if he's still being set up as the fall guy.

Murat, smithman and the last photograph... why do they get everyone in such a tizz?

Hi Bellisa,

Robert Murat/Smithman -I can see why folks chew the fat on those - crucial to what happened then - possibly.

The last picture - any eejit can take a picture - so any eejit has an opinion - when 'real' news happened in the case
no beggar bothered with the last picture post (regardless of forum) - I always likened the subject to crazy-golf.

If you stay at a nice resort and the weather is crapola - and nothing's happening

You go and play crazy-golf:D



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Re: The strange case of Robert Murat

Post  Guest on Wed 19 Nov 2014, 11:16 pm

bellisa wrote:Winston I understand that if he is an innocent victim in all this that he wouldn't want his private life splashed around the media, I'm not sure how I feel about his involvement though.

one thing is for sure though, certain posters elsewhere are quick to jump and discuss him and do a great amount of research into his background etc. I wonder if he's still being set up as the fall guy.

Murat, smithman and the last photograph... why do they get everyone in such a tizz?

Bellisa, I don't know if RM is involved or not but my gut feeling - if that's allowed - is that back in 2007 he wasn't involved and therefore, still isn't.  In my universe, there's no need for his involvement in the disappearance of Madeleine.

As for getting into a tizz, I've always believed I'm on the sidelines and am not privy to all the evidence, so much of which wasn't released in the PJ files.  I'm happy to be proved wrong in my beliefs and feel that those who defend their position 'to the death' have other motives - nature abhors a vacuum and this case abhors sitting on the fence.

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Re: The strange case of Robert Murat

Post  Guest on Wed 19 Nov 2014, 11:51 pm

I get the feeling that SY really didn't want this to go public yet, but now that it has their hand has been partially revealed and they might have to move sooner than they had intended.  It's definitely the final phase, question is how long that phase is going to be.

I don't think they're interested in Murat as a witness.  They've already interviewed Malinka.  I expect they're very interested in the 30 second call from Murat to Malinka on 3rd May at about 11:30pm (among other things).  The call that neither of them initially remembered.  And the desperation to hire a car on the 12th May, the day of the gardener's interview.  And I doubt that SY would bother interviewing Murat if they didn't have something up their sleeve, otherwise it would be a waste of time, unless what they want to do is compare inconsistencies between witness statements.

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Re: The strange case of Robert Murat

Post  Mimi on Thu 20 Nov 2014, 1:24 am

Would it be better to interview, say RM, as a witness or as an arguido ?
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Re: The strange case of Robert Murat

Post  Meteor on Thu 20 Nov 2014, 1:46 am

Wow! I am only catching up now but think this is huge.

No matter what way you look at it this can only be good news. It means we are back to square one. Whether he is a witness or arguido, there's only really one other direction to go once they have interviewed him, isn't there? Either he was: a) responsible, b) was an accomplice to an awful crime or c) is completely innocent and therefore another to be crossed off the list leaving who else exactly?

All my opinion but I definitely sense the net is tightening on whoever was responsible for what happened on that tragic week.
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Re: The strange case of Robert Murat

Post  Guest on Thu 20 Nov 2014, 4:35 am

Mimi wrote:Would it be better to interview, say RM, as a witness or as an arguido ?

He has to be given arguido status in order to be asked direct accusatory questions.  But he would also have the right to have a lawyer present, and have the right to remain silent.  Weirdly, arguido status also gives you the right to lie without legal action being taken.

My guess is that the questions will fall somewhere in between, and this might be the cause of some friction between the two police forces.

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Re: The strange case of Robert Murat

Post  Guest on Thu 20 Nov 2014, 7:34 am

Hmm, telephone records are interesting though. the PJ certainly found them so and held back several.
Gerry and Murat both turned off their mobiles at the same time and switched on within minutes of each other.

Remember also the question ifhe knew Murat which Gerry refused to answer.

I think Murat's involvement is all after the fact and none of it 'hands on'. Murat imo never knew he got short-listed for the abductor role by TM within days. I doubt they cleared it with him.
Just my imaginings, but I could believe a sort of 'Thanks for the key and errm, sorry, but MI5 and experts decided you fit the profile, so we're just going along with that for the moment...


During the period of the Murat/Gerry mobile silence, which extended in both their cases from 1545 on 2 May to 2315 after the "abduction" on 3 May, the Tapas Seven were almost equally silent.

Exceptions are Rachel Oldfield who received a text from an unidentified UK mobile at 1133 on 3rd, and O'Brien who received a text said to be from his mother at 1053 on the same day.

Tanner received a very brief call - no more than a pulse - from somebody at her child's pre-school group, Stoke Hill in Exeter, at 1359 on 2 May. A pre-planned signal, you might well think. Tanner returned the call from her mobile - it lasted over three minutes - at 1433. An hour and twelve minutes later began the joint mobile silence.

Nothing proven, but given the possibility that the person at Stoke Hill was also an acquaintance of Robert Murat, it's conceivable that Tanner was passing a message between them, and they had taken the trouble to set up the call with the pulse at 1359.
Looking at Tanner's call in relation to what everyone else was doing at that time, is quite interesting.

Gerry’s phone receives a voicemail at 13.46 - gets deleted
Gerry’s phone receives a voicemail at 13.48 - gets deleted

Tanner receives a very brief call at 13.59 from Stoke Hill in Exeter. (her pre-school)

Gerry’s phone receives a voicemail at 13.59 - gets deleted

They are both in action at the same time on the 2nd and Gerry needs to delete his messages.

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Re: The strange case of Robert Murat

Post  chirpyinsect on Thu 20 Nov 2014, 8:39 am

Interesting article about Robert Murat.



I know Robert Murat would never take Madeleine, says his ex-wife

By HELEN WEATHERS

Last updated at 23:05 23 November 2007


At bedtime five-year-old Sofia Murat always asks her mother Dawn the same question: "Have they found Maddie?"

The reply hasn't changed since the day, more than six months ago, that Madeleine McCann went missing from her holiday apartment in Portugal: "No, not yet."

Before she goes to sleep, Sofia often tells her mum: "When they do find her, I will get Daddy back."


But will she? Dawn hopes so, but not everyone shares her optimism and some might question the wisdom of letting their child have anything more to do with him.

For Sofia's father - Dawn's ex-husband - is Robert Murat, 34, the British expatriate questioned by police shortly after four-year-old Madeleine vanished on May 3 on suspicion of abducting her.


Since then he has remained an arguido or formal suspect.

This week, just as everyone had started to believe that Murat might just be the "scapegoat" he claims to be, the finger of accusation pointed sharply in his direction again.

Private detectives hired by Madeleine's parents Gerry and Kate McCann - themselves formal suspects - revealed that a lorry driver insisted he had seen the child two days after she went missing from Praia da Luz.

He claimed to have spotted her on a road outside Silves - 25 miles from the resort - with a blonde woman he subsequently identified as Murat's girlfriend, 34-year-old German-born Michaela Walczuch.
A second witness, Isabel Gonzalez, 60, who claims to have seen Madeleine with a European couple in Morocco in June, says she is also "sure" the woman she saw was Walczuch.

So could Murat have left the Portuguese villa he shares with his British mother Jenny to sneak into the McCanns' unlocked holiday apartment nearby to snatch Madeleine while her parents ate with friends at the resort's tapas bar?


Was he the man seen by Jane Tanner, one of the so-called Tapas Nine, carrying a child in his arms away from the apartment, and could Murat's girlfriend be the mystery blonde from the various sightings since?
Friends of Walczuch had claimed she was in a Jehovah's Witness prayer meeting in Lagos five miles away on the evening Madeleine disappeared from Praia da Luz, but yesterday worshippers at the church said she was "cast aside" by the Jehovah's community more than a year ago because she "broke the rules of the Bible".

Walczuch still lives with her estranged husband Luis Antonio (with whom she has a nine-year-old daughter) despite having a relationship with Murat, a domestic situation that would be seen as sinful to the religious leaders.

As for Dawn Murat, 42, she has never once doubted her former husband's innocence.

"I have known Robert for 13 years and was married to him for six and he would never, ever hurt a child," says Dawn, who lives in Norfolk.

"He's the parent of a daughter, almost the same age as Madeleine, and he would never put anyone through the misery the McCanns are going through because he couldn't bear to think of something like that happening to Sofia. She is the most important person in Robert's life.

"No one has ever produced a shred of evidence linking him with Madeleine's disappearance. This has totally ruined his life and he does not deserve that."

Indeed, Dawn reveals that last month Murat secretly travelled to Britain to see Sofia during half-term and she allowed their daughter to stay with him overnight at the Devon home of Murat's sister Sam.

"If I had thought for just one second that Robert was involved in Madeleine's disappearance I wouldn't let Sofia near him, but I trust him with her 100 per cent," says Dawn.

What makes Dawn's unswerving support for her former husband all the more remarkable is the fact that he doesn't really deserve it.

She has every reason to hate him for the way he callously ended their marriage two years ago and for the upheaval his arguido status has caused them since May: this summer Dawn had to stay with relatives in Devon after Murat received hate mail making threats against his own daughter.
.

"When Robert first became a suspect he was in a terrible state. I was really worried he might kill himself," says Dawn.


"But his thoughts quickly turned to Sofia when he got hate mail. He called me, and though he never told me exactly what was in the letters, he was obviously very frightened for her. I thought it safest to go and stay with my family.
The story Dawn tells gives an intimate and fascinating insight into the character of the man at the centre of the Madeleine mystery.

Dawn was 27 when she first met Robert Murat, eight years her junior, through her sister who lives in Devon near Murat's family.

Dawn was the unhappily married mother of a six-year-old son, David, and Murat - the son of a British mother and a Portuguese entrepreneur - had moved to Britain from Portugal aged 16 to care for his frail grandmother.

They were friends first, and when Dawn separated from her husband they started a romance.


"At first, my family were against the relationship because they thought he was too young for me," says Dawn.


"But Robert seemed so much older than his years. He was wise, gentle, loving and caring. Soon, my family thought he was fantastic, and he was wonderful with my son. David adored him.


"He never called Robert 'Dad', but when he introduced him to his friends, he'd say: 'This is my father.'

David loved him so much he formally applied to take his surname, Murat, at 17.


"Robert was the kind of person who could walk into a room of strangers and start talking to anyone. He was incredibly sociable and everyone liked him.

"He was very family-orientated from the start and never liked going out to pubs and clubs. He was virtually tee-total."

Murat moved from Devon to live with Dawn in Norfolk and they started talking about having a baby together.

He found work initially at the Bernard Matthews turkey processing plant and then as a car salesman, which suited his outgoing personality.

They married on May 16, 2001, at Gretna Green and were thrilled when Dawn became pregnant with Sofia the following year.

"I remember the night I did the pregnancy test. Rob was out with his friends so I phoned him. He rushed home immediately and came bounding through the door with a huge smile on his face.

"He was by my side when our daughter was born and he was a doting father. The minute he came through the door from work, he'd say 'Where's my baby?' and go straight to her cot and give her a cuddle, even if she was asleep.

"If ever we went to family parties, Robert wouldn't be the one standing there looking at the children, he would be down on the floor playing with them. Everyone was totally enamoured of him."

Murat's father, John, had died when he was 12. It had always been Murat's dream to follow in his late father's footsteps and run his own business, and it was he who suggested they move to Portugal to turn this dream into reality.

So when Sofia was two, Dawn and Robert moved into his mother's villa in Praia Da Luz with their daughter, leaving David - who was by now almost 18 and wanted to stay in Britain - at the Norfolk house.

"At first it was fantastic living in Portugal in a lovely villa with its own pool, and Robert's mother was like a second mum to me, but it soon wore off,"says Dawn, a former office worker.

"Robert got a job selling properties and was putting in so many hours that we hardly ever saw him. Sofia would keep asking me 'Why can't Daddy take me to the beach?' or 'Why isn't Daddy home?' and we started arguing about the time he was spending away from us. I was also incredibly isolated. I couldn't speak the language and couldn't get a job."

The rows became so fierce and Dawn's unhappiness so apparent that Murat suggested she go back to Britain for a break.

He said he would join her there in a few weeks; they'd spend some time together before returning to Portugal to start afresh.

"As soon as I got home, Robert phoned me and said he wasn't coming over and didn't want me to come back," she says. "He said: 'I'm not sure if I still love you or if I want to be with you any more.' It was a complete bolt out of the blue."

Devastated, Dawn was convinced that Murat was simply going through some kind of premature mid-life crisis until she heard her daughter Sofia talking to her mother Margaret.

"They were watching TV and a presenter called Michaela came on. Sofia started telling my mum about her Dad's friend Michaela and how they'd bumped into her when he took her out for an ice cream. Then Sofia said: 'Why were Daddy and Michaela holding hands?'

"I had never met Michaela, but I knew she worked with Robert. I immediately phoned him and demanded to know if he was having an affair. He denied it and said: 'I just need to sort myself out for a bit.'"

Does she think Murat was telling the truth? "Probably not," she says sadly, "but it doesn't matter now."

Yet for six months Dawn held out hope that Murat would come to his senses. But on New Year's Eve 2005 Murat phoned Dawn and said he wanted a divorce.

"I pleaded with him not to leave us," says Dawn. "I had never cheated on him, never lied and had been 100 per cent committed to the marriage.

"He was the love of my life and I felt he had destroyed me. I had a nervous breakdown as a result and was on anti-depressants. I couldn't function."

At the beginning of January 2006, Dawn tried to commit suicide by taking an overdose of prescription drugs. Her son David saved her life when her found her and called for an ambulance.


"I was in despair," says Dawn. "For six months from the time he asked for a divorce, Sofia and I never heard from Robert.

"He has since told me that he wanted to give me time, that he was being cruel to be kind and that it was the hardest six months of his life. I think he regrets it now and he has apologised."

Murat renewed contact only in the summer of 2006 when he heard on the grapevine - falsely, as it turned out - that Dawn was seeing someone new.

"He said: 'I don't want Sofia to have a new Daddy. I will always be Sofia's Daddy.'

"Even though he hadn't spoken to Sofia for six months, the thought of somebody else becoming her father had jolted him back to reality," says Dawn.

That August Sofia and her mother saw Murat when he returned to Britain for the funeral of his grandmother.

All the bitterness over the way Murat had treated her dissipated when she saw how happy Sofia was to see her father again.

In December last year Dawn even met Michaela when she visited Britain with Murat and charitably says now: "She is a very nice woman. Both Robert and I have realised that Sofia is our main priority so we have to get along. I still love him, but I'm not in love with him any more, and I think he still loves me."

Murat visited Sofia in Britain in April this year, staying for a few weeks, and returned to Portugal just two days before Madeleine disappeared - hardly time, he has argued, to plan and execute a kidnapping.

"I remember Rob then phoned me up on May 4 and said 'a little girl's gone missing from Praia da Luz, switch on the news'," says Dawn. "I switched on and there were these pictures of Madeleine McCann and I said: 'Oh my God, she looks just like Sofia.'"

"Robert said 'Where is Sofia, is she OK?' and I told him not to worry, that she was at playgroup."

Dawn believes that the nightmare which followed was all down to Robert's over-eagerness to help the police find a child so strikingly similar to his own.

In Britain he'd occasionally worked for the police as an interpreter - being fluent in both languages - so she says it would have been natural for him to offer to do the same there.
To outsiders, however, Robert Murat's constant presence at the very heart of the investigation appeared to border on the suspicious.

He came across as a bit of an "oddball", and the close proximity of his mother's villa to the McCanns' apartment appeared rather suspect, too.
A journalist, reminded of killer Ian Huntley's eagerness to help the media during the Soham murder hunt, related her suspicions to police.

Murat was subsequently hauled in for questioning, despite his mother Jenny's alibi that he'd spent all evening with her. Their villa was searched, his computer was seized, his mobile phone records examined.
He seemed to fit the description of a man seen hanging around the McCanns' apartment. Claims were made that police had found porn on his computer - fiercely denied by Murat and never officially confirmed - and details emerged of his relationship with Michaela and her curious domestic set-up.
Yet there remains not a single piece of evidence linking him to Madeleine's disappearance, and although he is prevented from speaking out under Portuguese law, his family vehemently insist he is innocent.

Dawn says: "When Robert was first whisked in for questioning by police my reaction was one of total disbelief.

"The Robert Murat you read about is not the person I know. I have yet to meet anyone who has ever known Robert who thinks he was involved in Madeleine's disappearance.

"My family will never forgive Robert for the way he treated me, but not a single one of them thinks he did this.
"When Robert was with me he never watched porn, but what he does have on his computer are hundreds of pictures of his daughter and nieces.

"Yes, some may include them playing naked on the beach, but they are totally innocent. Both Robert and I were brought up never to judge people without knowing all the facts, but people are so swift to judge him.

"My heart goes out to the McCanns and what they've been put through is absolutely horrendous. Personally, I would never leave my children on their own, but I would never condemn them for leaving Madeleine and their twins alone in the apartment.

"I know Praia da Luz, I lived there, and it is quiet and sleepy. When you are on holiday it's very easy to be lulled into a false sense of security and what parent hasn't at some time done something which in hindsight they regret?

"I don't know what happened to Madeleine. I do think she was abducted - predators are everywhere - but I know it wasn't Robert. He doesn't deserve this, and neither does Sofia."


• Additional reporting TOM HENDRY
..

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-496105/I-know-Robert-Murat-Madeleine-says-ex-wife.html#ixzz3Jb03p4Bo
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chirpyinsect

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Re: The strange case of Robert Murat

Post  Poe on Thu 20 Nov 2014, 8:43 am

I have an open mind about whether Robert Murat was involved but, to me, it is of secondary importance.

The absolute guilt for what happened to Madeleine lies with Kate and/or Gerry McCann. The poor child wasn't even four years old. Go through every possible scenario of what could have happened to her and you can trace it back to an action (or inaction) by at least one of her parents.

There are lots of insects caught in the McCann web. There are wasps and butterflies but it's the two spiders who reside in the centre of the web, and keep spinning away, who are most important.

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Poe

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Re: SY-Robert Murat-Special Interest.

Post  costello on Thu 20 Nov 2014, 8:53 am

I wonder if Robert Murat has spilled the beans...going on the fact he doesn't seem that angry to have found out(through the press) he will be re- interviewed.
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