Tuesday, 25 March 2008

Robert Murat's possessions returned and Lori Campbell's suspicions!


"La PJ rend à Robert Murat les objets personnels saisis lors de l'enquête.

La Police Judiciaire a retourné à Robert Murat divers objets personnels qu'ils avaient saisis lors de l'enquête. Ces objets avaient été saisis lors de la fouille de la maison du premier suspect dans cette affaire, à environ 100 mètres de l'appartement d'où Madeleine a disparu. Robert Murat pense qu'il va cesser d'être suspect dans le dossier. Depuis 10 mois qu'il est accusé dans le dossier Maddie, la PJ l'a privé de trois ordinateurs portables, divers CD et K7 vidéos, un appareil photo numérique et quelques vêtements."

The PJ returns to Robert Murat personal things seized during the investigation.

The Judicial Police has returned to Robert Murat various personal objects which they had seized during the enquiry. These objects were seized during the search of the house of the first suspect in this case, about 100 metres from the apartment from which Madeleine disappeared. Robert Murat thinks that he is going to stop being a suspect in the case. For ten months since he was accused in the Madeleine case, the PJ has deprived him of three laptop computers, various CDs and K7 videos, a digital camera and some clothing.

Ces objets saisis depuis mai 2007 ont été retournés au britannique mercredi dernier déjà. Seuls quelques papiers contenant des numéros de téléphone et des notes personnels resteront dans le dossier comme "pièces saisies". Avec la remise de ces objets, Robert Murat pense qu'il sera très bientôt libéré des accusations portées contre lui. Il croit, également, que son innocence sera prouvée lui permettant de reprendre une vie professionnelle qui a été suspendue depuis qu'il fut placé sous statut "d'arguido". Robert Murat a vu le site de sa société bloqué et vit, depuis lors, avec l'aide financière de sa mère. Il pourrait également préparer une procédure contre l'État Portugais."

These objects, in the police possession since May 2007, have already been returned last Wednesday. Only a few papers containing telephone numbers and personal notes remain in the file as, "seized items". With the return of these objects, robert Murat thinks that he will very soon be freed of the accusations leveled against him. He also believes that his innocence will be proved, allowing him to return to a professional life which has been suspended since he was placed under the status, "of arguido." Robert Murat has seen the company's site blocked and is living since then, with the financial help of his mother. He could also instigate legal action against the Portuguese State.

Enfin, en ce qui concerne l'enquête, elle même, il y a peu de nouveaux éléments. La PJ prépare maintenant le voyage d'une équipe d'inspecteurs rejoindre d'autres déjà en place au R-U. Ces derniers doivent mettre au point les derniers détails des interrogatoires demandés par lettres rogatoires et dont le début est prévu pour le 7 avril au plus tard !!!"

Finally, with regard to the investigation itself, there are very few new details there. The PJ is now preparing the journey of a team of inspectors to join the others already in place in the UK. They must now work on the last details of the interrogations requested by the rogatory letters, of which the first is planned for April 7th at the latest!!!


And now to the subject of that award-winning journalist, Lori Campbell! She may or may not have been the direct cause of Robert Murat's having been made an arguido, but she did let Uncle Tom Cobley and all know what she thought. What was it that Lori thought, way back in the mists of the early days of the enquiry into Madeleine McCann's disappearance? Well, here is what Lori reported in the Sunday Mirror on day 18 of the mystery, "WHY I SHOPPED MADDY SUSPECT"


Lori Campbell Lori Campbell (pic:Albanpix)

I HAVE no idea if Robert Murat is guilty of the kidnapping of Madeleine McCann.

But I would never have been able to live with the guilt had I not told police of my grave concerns about his behaviour.

Which is why I reported him to British police, the British embassy here in the Algarve and to Portuguese police.

At first, little came of it and I began to wonder if I had maybe been wrong to speak up. Then, on Monday, when Murat was arrested, my heart raced and I was gripped by a terrible sense of foreboding. Within minutes, I was thrown into the epicentre of her disappearance.

TV crews from around the world were desperate to hear what it was I told police - and what police said to me. Since then, I have replayed over and over again in my head what the prime suspect in this case said to me, desperate for any more clues that could help police.

It was on the third day of Madeleine's disappearance that I interviewed Murat - and what he said left me deeply troubled.

Having seen him with police, I assumed that he was part of the investigation and asked him for any news. He gestured at me to sit with him on the pavement outside the McCann apartment.

He told me: "Officers have turned this whole area inside out looking for her. They have thoroughly searched a 3km radius around the apartment and found nothing. Soon they will abandon hope of finding her here and look further afield.

"It is likely that whoever kidnapped Madeleine is far away by now. They could have changed her appearance. The Portuguese police didn't take her disappearance seriously at first. They thought she had just wandered off. Because of this, it was 15 hours before they alerted the Spanish border police. It is only a couple of hours' drive to Spain. The poor little thing could be long gone by now."

I found it strange that he would criticise the police operation he seemed to be part of, so I asked what his role was. He said "I've been acting as a translator for the police. I live here and speak fluent Portuguese and English. I wanted to do anything I could to help."

I then asked him when he had first heard of Madeleine's disappearance and he said: "It was first thing Friday morning. I went to the McCanns apartment and immediately offered my services to police as a translator."

He added with pride: "I helped the McCanns communicate what had happened the night before to the police. They were frantic with worry and frustrated that they were not being understood.

"I have also been translating witness statements for the last few days from Mark Warner workers and holidaymakers."

Much of that, we now suspect, was not true. But at the time, he made it sound like the police knew him very well and he was trusted enough to assist them.

Since Murat's arrest, the McCanns have said they have no memory of even meeting him. One family member said: "He is talking lies and rubbish." But it is what he said next that really set my alarm bells ringing.

I asked why he was so touched by her disappearance. "I have a daughter of the same age," he replied. "In fact, she's the spitting image of Madeleine. I felt sick to the stomach when I heard. I rushed here as soon as I could to offer my help."

WHEN I pushed him further on his background, he suddenly became uncomfortable.

He said: "I'm going through a divorce at the moment so I don't see my daughter much."

There was an evasiveness and unease about Murat that left me feeling extremely uncomfortable.

Murat was reluctant to tell me what he did for a living when I asked. After pausing for several seconds, he said: "I'm in real estate. I've just bought a couple of properties in the Algarve which I'm doing up." Why all the mystery? At this point I still knew him only as Robert, so I asked him his surname. Again he stonewalled. "It's not important," he blustered. "I'm no one really. I'd rather not say."

One minute he was desperate to talk up his role in the investigation, the next he was acting coy.

I asked him for his phone number, hoping he might be a useful source of information.

"No." he replied. "I'm not giving it out to people. I don't want to be quoted. I'm just trying to help. I'll be here quite a lot for the next few days if you need me."

More mystery, more contradictions, more mixed messages.

While we had been speaking, Sunday Mirror photographer Alban Donohoe had taken our picture.

MINUTES after we said goodbye, Murat came back to our car, agitated. He was desperate for Alban to erase the photos.

"I saw you take my picture," he blurted. "I really need you to erase it. I'm not important in the investigation."

He was polite as always, but I sensed panic in his voice and it made me uneasy. Why would a man so apparently keen to attract attention suddenly be so concerned about a couple of pictures?

Like so much else about him, it just didn't add up. Later, as we drove past I deliberately glanced at him and waved goodbye.

He was holding court as usual at the centre of a dozen film crews. He stood, hands on hips, just yards from the police tape which cordoned off the crime scene. But as he caught my eye, he appeared to freeze for just a moment and his expression changed to one of a man exposed.

My encounter with him played on my mind that night. I rang my office in London and we agreed I should pass on my concerns.

I called Leicestershire Police and they took a statement and advised me to speak to the Portuguese authorities. I called the British Embassy in the Algarve and then approached an officer for GNR - the local police force - who was guarding the McCann's apartment.

I told him I had suspicions about a man called Robert who said he was translating for police. He knew instantly who I meant and assured me he would be checked out. I told him Robert had claimed he was translating witness statements and he replied: "That is very unlikely to be true."

My decision to report Murat had nothing to do with being a journalist. It was based on gut instinct and a natural sense of duty that I should share my suspicions. Given the unimaginable horrors which Madeleine's parents were enduring, it seemed the very least I should do.

Murat insists he is innocent, a scapegoat for the failure of police to find Madeleine. He also claims he is a victim of a smear campaign orchestrated by me.

Nothing could be further from the truth, or more absurd. I have no grudge against Murat - just a desire to see Madeleine found.

All I did was pass on information I thought the authorities should be privy to. The rest is in the police's hands."


Now, I wouldn't have thought that Robert Murat was criticising the police with what he said about widenining the search and the borders not having been closed. I would have thought of that as more an explanation, a regret on the part of the police because they had originally thought that Madeleine had possibly wandered off and had come to feel they may have got it wrong.

I note that Ms Campbell says that Robert Murat said he was, "acting," as a translator for the police. This implies to me that he was not claiming any official status, rather that his was a temporary role.

Ms Campbell states that she approached Robert Murat to ask if there was any news, having seen him with the police. She then thought it odd that Mr Murat did not wish to discuss his personal life and background. This strikes me as being the actions of a rather modest person, not an attention-seeking person. Mr Murat was ready to speak about his part in what was happening, and like him, I would have wondered why a journalist would want to know about my background. I see nothing odd whatsoever in Murat's reluctance to discuss his personal life.

Ms Campbell, we still don't know what has become of Madeleine, nearly a year on. If Robert Murat's arguido status is lifted, his representatives may wish to speak to a few people. I read in another Sunday Mirror article that you traveled to Barcelona to, "give evidence," to Metodo3, about "Why I told cops"

"Give evidence."? You give evidence to the police Ms Campbell. Metodo3 is a private agency.

They were intensely interested as I told how he claimed he was a translator working for the Portuguese police and, as such, had offered to brief me on the investigation. I explained how he was always present at the scene during the first few days."

Ms Campbell, you said in the article above, "Why I shopped Maddy suspect," that you had approached Mr Murat for news. So, is that the same as his offering to brief you on the investigation?

And did he claim to be working for the police? You reported his saying that he was, "acting as a translator," for the police. Seems to be quite a different meaning there, at least as far as I understand it.

"I then asked him when he had first heard of Madeleine's disappearance and he said: "It was first thing Friday morning. I went to the McCanns apartment and immediately offered my services to police as a translator."

That is what you reported in your article, that he offered his services, not that he said he was working for the police.

Well, at least it wasn't you who mentioned Robert Murat and Ian Huntley in the same semtence! The person who did may find himself being asked a few awkward questions if Murat's arguido status is lifted.

SOS Madeleine McCann: the only logical attitude for the McCanns would be to co-operate with the police



"La seule attitude logique pour les McCann serait de collaborer avec la justice"

"Pour résoudre le mystère entourant la disparition de Maddie, les inspecteurs de la Police Judiciaire n’ont pas abandonné leur intention de réinterroger Kate et Gerry McCann, même si dans un premier temps, leur objectif est celui d’entendre au complet le groupe d’amis vulgairement connus comme Tapas 7."

To resolve the mystery surrounding Maddie's disappearance, the PJ inspectors have not given up their intention to re-interrogate Kate and Gerry McCann, even if in the first instance their objective is to hear the whole group of friends, known vulgarly as Tapas 7.

Nous n’avons pas écarté la possibilité d’interroger à nouveau les parents… la seule attitude logique pour les McCann serait de collaborer avec la justice. Pour connaître le sort de Maddie, j’espère, et il serait normal, de compter avec leur collaboration," affirme un inspecteur, rajoutant "qu'il y a des questions auxquelles le couple n’a jamais voulu répondre… peut’ être que dans leur pays ils soient prêts à le faire ."

We have not ruled out the possibility of interrogating the parents again...the only logical attitude for the McCanns would be to co-operate with the police. In order to know what happened to Maddie, I hope, and it would be normal, to count on their co-operation," states an inspector, adding, "that there are questions to which the couple never wanted to respond....perhaps in their country they would be ready to do that.