Tuesday, May 15, 2007


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No evidence to arrest Madeleine suspect, police say.

James Sturcke, Fred Attewill and agencies
Tuesday May 15, 2007

Portuguese police searching for Madeleine McCann today said they did not have enough evidence to arrest a British man questioned as a formal suspect.

Robert Murat, 33, was questioned for more than 16 hours yesterday as a named suspect - an "arguido" - before being released early today.

Speaking today at a press conference in Portimao, Chief Inspector Olegario Sousa said: "We further interviewed a 33-year-old man who lives in the area where the incident happened. We have not able to find enough evidence to arrest this man or to charge him but we have continued to investigate.

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"We are continuing with this investigation. There are direct relations with what we did yesterday."

Mr Murat, who grew up in Portugal and returned to the country two years ago after going to live in England, has signed an identity and residence statement which requires him to regularly report to police. He is unable to move home or leave the country.

He was interviewed along with a Portuguese man and a woman, understood to be German, who have also been released.

Mr Murat lives less than 150 metres from where the four-year-old vanished from the holiday villa where she was staying with her family in Praia da Luz.

Under Portuguese law, an arguido is someone who is being treated by police as more than a witness but has not been arrested or charged.

Five properties - one thought to be the Casa Liliana where Mr Murat lives with his mother Jenny - had been subject to forensic examination to find information "that will enable us to hopefully locate little Madeleine", said Ch Insp Sousa.


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