According to James Murray in today's Sunday Express Robert Murat's mother Jenny has hit out at the way her son is portrayed in Kate McCann's book "Madeleine." Kate McCann wrote:
"Two officers talked openly about Robert Murat, who remained an arguido [suspect] and drip-fed us snippets of 'evidence' linking him to Madeleine"
However, later in the book, Kate McCann added:
"Nothing we were told by the police indicated Murat took Madeleine or was in any way involved in her abduction."
There appears to be a contradiction there. How could the police have drip-fed 'evidence,' that linked Murat to Madeleine but none of that 'evidence,' indicated any involvement? Maybe Kate McCann just needed to blame the police for her initial belief that Robert had been involved.
On July 18th 2007, Kate McCann wrote in her personal journal (for the publication of which by the News of The World she was awarded substantial damages)
"I had lots of hope that there would be progress in Murat's situation. I'm sure that he is involved and I feel like killing him, but I can't" The McCann Files
A reasonable question to ask is what made Kate McCann sure that Robert Murat had been involved in her daughter's disappearance. Surely not all that 'evidence,' that linked Robert to Murat but did not indicate any involvement in Madeleine's disappearance.
Well, there were her friends, who stated that they had seen Robert on the evening of May 3rd soon after the alarm was raised that Madeleine had disappeared.
Three of the Tapas group (Russell O'Brien, Rachel Oldfield and Fiona Payne) claim to have seen Murat on the streets of Praia da Luz during the aftermath of Madeleine's disappearance. The McCann Files
That same trio returned to Portugal for a face-to-face confrontation with Robert Murat on July 11th 2007.
Three of the Tapas group (Russell O'Brien, Rachel Oldfield and Fiona Payne) are re-interviewed by police to clarify points in their initial statements. Robert Murat is then brought into the questioning by police to 'confront' the 3 members of the Tapas group. The police apparently allow them to argue over the inconsistencies in their statements. The police later say that this was a valuable exercise.The McCann Files
Rachel Oldfield, Fiona Payne and Russell O'Brien on their return to Portugal
in July 2007
And let's not forget Jane Tanner's crucial evidence in identifying Robert Murat as the man she had seen carrying a child away from the direction of apartment 5A, from where Madeleine had disappeared. On the night of May 13th 2007 the Portuguese police obtained a warrant to search Robert Murat's property where he was living with his mother.
JANE TANNER FORMALLY RECOGNISES ROBERT MURAT
Before the search, we want to assure ourselves that Jane Tanner recognises him as the individual she saw on the night of the disappearance. She is sitting inside an unmarked car, whose tinted windows allow her to see out without being spotted. The vehicle is parked at the exact spot where she was on the night of May 3rd. Robert Murat, anonymous amongst plain clothes police officers, goes up the road in the same way as the alleged abductor. Jane Tanner is adamant: it certainly is Robert Murat that she saw that night. She definitely recognises his way of walking. But does he resemble the description she painted previously? (Chapter 7 "The Truth of the Lie," by Gonçalo Amaral)
So, it wasn't just the two police officers drip-feeding Kate McCann snippets of evidence about Robert Murat that led to her being convinced or trying to convince others, in my opinion, that Robert was involved in Madeleine's disappearance. Kate McCann was aided by four of her friends in her quest to implicate Robert. Jane Tanner identified him as the man she had seen carrying a child on the evening of May 3rd and another three of the group, known as "The Tapas Nine," stated that they had seen Robert outside the McCann apartment soon after Madeleine was found to have disappeared.
Oddly enough, there happens to be a strong resemblance between Robert Murat and Dr David Payne, but surely David's own wife wouldn't make such a mistake?
None of the residents of Praia da Luz who knew Robert Murat identified him as having been there, outside the apartment. So, why did those friends of Kate and Gerry McCann make statements that they had seen him? It is my opinion that Robert was just an easy patsy, someone who turned up on the morning of May 4th, offering to interpret for the English group who spoke no Portuguese. Memories of Ian Huntley and the Soham case were still strong in the minds of the public and Robert Murat was likened by Lori Campbell of Sky News to Huntley as appearing to help, but hanging around in a very suspicious manner.
It's not just Kate McCann, as far as I am concerned, who should bear the responsibility for the awful things said about Robert Murat. Kate McCann's four friends, Jane Tanner, Rachel Oldfield, Fiona Payne and Russell O'Brien also carry a load of responsibility in that direction.
I am still hoping that as part of their review the Scotland Yard team will call for a reconstruction of the events of May 3rd 2007 surrounding the disappearance of Madeleine McCann. Do those four people still believe it was Robert Murat they saw? Perhaps the three who were adamant that he was there outside the apartment should indicate where they were and where they "saw," Robert Murat. But since Robert gained substantial damages from several UK news outlets, perhaps their conviction will not be so strong.
And back to Kate McCann's book and her comments about Robert Murat. Jenny Murat adds this to her statement in today's Sunday Express:
“Surely it would have been wiser not to mention the allegations from the outset if there was ‘nothing relevant’.”
Yes, might have been a good idea. Might also have been a good idea not to refer to the Portuguese Family Liaison Officer as a f*cking t*sser, but that's another story from Kate's bewk!