1.Everyone shall possess the right to freely express and publicise his thoughts in words, images or by any other means, as well as the right to inform others, inform himself and be informed without hindrance or discrimination 2.Exercise of the said rights shall not be hindered or limited by any type or form of censorship Constitution of the Portuguese Republic, Article 37.º

Who framed Robert Murat?

An anonymous phone call from a Portuguese woman alerts the authorities to the “abductor” Murat, one week before the Englishman was known around the world

The denunciation from a journalist, an anonymous phone call and Jane Tanner, the McCann couple’s friend who saw a man carrying a child on the evening that Maddie disappeared, produced the first arguido in the investigation. Murat’s over-helpful posture was one of the first indicia that turned him into a suspect. But what led to his anonymous incrimination, days before he was known around the world?

The Polícia Judiciária was first in suspecting Murat. On the 7th of May, it already possessed diverse information about his personal and professional life: what he did, his bank accounts, where and with whom he lived, among other details.

On the 8th, one week before the suspicions were made public and Murat was made an arguido, another log fed the fire. A female voice makes an anonymous phone call, in Portuguese, to the PJ and states that the abductor is closer than the police thinks. The inspector asked who she was referring to and the female voice explained: it is an individual who resides in Praia da Luz, from a British mother, fluent in Portuguese and in English, who walked around in the area to help the authorities.

The author of the anonymous phone call added that the abductor was called Robert, that he visited chats of a sexual type and that he managed to encrypt his emails.

Suspicious British journalist…

The suspicions about Murat are also raised by a British journalist. Three days after Maddie’s disappearance, on the 6th of May, the reporter gets in touch with the English police, to share her suspicions about a man, who lived in the area and was excessively helpful.

Born British, he has been living in Portugal for a long time. The fluency of his Portuguese and his English soon rendered him useful to the Portuguese authorities, which were confronted with a case that involved British tourists. Furthermore, he had a daughter of Maddie’s age, from whom he was separated, as the child lived in England with her mother.

The journalist remembered a case that had taken place in England, where the criminal had a similar attitude and even helped in the searches of his own victim.

Serving as a translator

Even after the suspicions were assumed, the Judiciária continued to use Murat’s translation services in several questionings, to English employees of the Ocean Club resort, until the 9th of May. “In order to prevent the suspect from noticing something”, they then justified.

It is only at a later date that Jane Tanner, a friend of Kate and Gerry, is confronted with the possibility that Murat is the individual that she saw carrying a child. Despite the fact that the physical description that Jane gave and Murat’s look are not the same, the English tourist had no doubts in stating that he was almost certainly the man that she had seen.

It is worth reminding that after having been made an arguido, other members of the group that was on holidays with the McCanns asserted that they saw Robert Murat participating in the searches, on the night of the disappearance. A fact that was always denied by himself, who said that he had been at home with his mother. He only heard about the alleged abduction on Friday the 4th. The GNR itself confirmed to the PJ that it only remembered seeing the Englishman on the following morning.

But the English profilers also guaranteed that there was a 90% chance of Murat being the abductor. And as if that was not enough, an alleged childhood friend asserted that as a teenager, he revealed an inclination to have sex with animals.

A set of circumstances, a friendly behaviour, a suspicious sighting, an anonymous phone call and convenient testimonies turned Murat into the first arguido by Portuguese justice to be financially compensated by British newspapers, for becoming a suspect in a crime that nobody managed to prove to exist.

Without evidence to support that any crime was committed, the Public Ministry archived the Maddie process, on the 21st of July. Kate and Gerry, together with Robert Murat, saw their arguido status lifted.

source: IOL Portugal Diário, 07.08.2008


  1. Mitchell, in a written comment, likened Murat's behaviour to that of Ian Huntley, the abductor/killer of the Sohom schoolgirls.

    Strange, then that he's excluded from the article !!!

  2. Bloody hell, underhand or what, but we should not be surprised, its been a sleazy affair from start to finish.It is blatantly obvious the anonymous caller was connected to the case and had a personal interest in it..Perhaps the friends of the MCCanns who owned a bar and offered to ring the P.J that night?!
    The caller expressed concerns saying Murat had enjoyed chats of a sexual type!!! Nothing wrong with that in a grown man....unless of course he is sucking his finger in a simulation of fellatio whilst talking about a three year old child!!
    I'm not very good at articulating myself and often my fingers type faster than my brain so bare with me on this next thought.
    Supposing the Payne allegations are true and with foundation, it implicates the McCanns because the conversation involved one of them listened on by the other...
    So the McCanns it would seem have no problem with paedophiles and paedophile chat,this may explain why when they claim Madeleine is with paedophiles they do not show alarm or fear for her, in fact they say shit like " there is no evidence Madeline has come to any serious harm" Because to them abusing children is nothing out of the ordinary and in fact is viewed as normal, whereas if my child was with Paedophiles I would have to be sedated and couldn't even mention the word, I would hope and pray anything but paedophiles had her, whereas they are positively pushing the theory.
    Their act of innocent grieving parents is shit because they cant think like normal people so have no idea how normal people behave, consequently they come over as blase to the plight of a child in the hands of Paedophiles....Even heir own first born child!!
    God bless Madeleine may she rest uin peace and remember all the children of the world who have suffered and still are at the hands of the likes of paedophiles.
    thanks for allowing me to express these thoughts Joana, I hope they make sense to the reader...they do to me!!

  3. Surely the PJ would have checked out Robert Murat's personal details as a matter of course before giving him an official role in the investigation. I don't think that this is necessarily an indication that the they suspected him of the crime at that stage.

    It is also interesting to note that the anonymous phone call came AFTER the tabloid journalist had said her piece.

  4. Surely the PJ would have checked out Robert Murat's personal details as a matter of course before giving him an official role in the investigation. I don't think that this is necessarily an indication that the they suspected him of the crime at that stage.

    It is also interesting to note that the anonymous phone call came AFTER the tabloid journalist had said her piece.

  5. I find this odd, as we have been lead to believe a journalist "fingered Murat".
    I also read yesterday in police files, it was a policeman that reported Murat.
    He said he knew all the routine's of the McCanns and the Tapas 7 and was asking questions about witness statements and he told him to get on with the job he was supposed to be doing.
    I now have doubts about him!

  6. Don't be ridiculous, Anonymous. Anyone with half a brain can see that Robert Murat was a scapegoat. They were desperate for a suspect.

    Robert must be careful, though. Such over enthusiastic desire to help can be easily misinterpreted. He should be calmer and more guarded. It seems he was, perhaps, a bit naive and didn't think through the possible interpretations suspicious people could make of his approach.

    Living where he did I think Robert would have met thousands of families like the McCanns on holiday. Their routines and behaviour would be much the same as each other. Only the McCanns think they are special.dentst


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