Robert Murat, former arguido in the Maddie Case joins tabloid press debate
Robert Murat flanked by his lawyers speaks to reporters at the High Court on July 17, 2008 in London. Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images Europe)
By Sam Emanuel
The Norfolk man paid libel damages after being accused by the media of being involved in the disappearance of Madeleine McCann will take part in a debate tonight about the tabloid press.
Robert Murat, a former property developer who is in his mid 30s, was listed as an official suspect by police investigating the disappearance of the three-year-old girl while she was on holiday with her parents in Praia da Luz, Portugal in May 2007.
Detectives later lifted his official suspect status and Mr Murat, who was living in Praia da Luz after leaving Hockering, Norfolk, accepted damages from newspapers and a television company.
He will take part in a discussion at Cambridge University and propose the motion "This House Believes Tabloids Do More Harm Than Good'' during the debate at the Cambridge Union Society.
His lawyer, Louis Charalambous, said today: "Mr Murat accepted Cambridge Union Society's invitation to propose the motion as it represented the most favourable forum within which he could personally and once and for all, set the record straight about his experience at the hands of the British tabloids.
"He has chosen this as his sole and only opportunity to share these experiences and the plight of victims of the press pack.''
Four national newspaper groups apologised for publishing false allegations about Mr Murat at a court hearing in July.
News International, Mirror Group Newspapers, Express Newspapers and Associated Newspapers acknowledged making "false claims'', in a statement read out in the High Court.
In November, Mr Murat accepted libel damages in settlement of an action against British Sky Broadcasting.
CAMBRIDGE UNION DEBATE
Thu, 5th Mar, 2009 at 7:30pm in the Chamber
The Cambridge Union invites you to join us in what is Robert Murat's first-ever public speech, and what should be an extremely lively debate, to be covered by ITN.
DEBATE: This house believes that tabloids do more harm than good
Robert Murat - successful litigant against British newspapers after being falsely accused of being involved in the abduction of Madeleine McCann. Speaking with...
Louis Charalambous, lawyer at Simons Muirhead and Burton.
Michael White - Assistant Editor and columnist, The Guardian
Lembit Opik - Liberal Democrat MP and tabloid staple. Complains to the PCC every time a newspaper says that he dumped Sian Lloyd (she dumped him).
Murray Morse - Editor in Chief, Sport Newspapers
Peter Bazalgette - former Chief Creative Officer of Endemol, who brought Big Brother and Deal or No Deal to the UK. Said to be the man who has 'done more to debase television' than anyone. Former President, Cambridge Union Society.
[NOTE: Kelvin MacKenzie, former editor of 'The Sun', was originally billed to appear for the opposition but his name does not appear on the latest Cambridge Union information sheet]
Just a Reminder
Sky News Ian Woods speaks to a British journalist(Lori Campbell) in the Algarve who contacted police with suspicions about Robert Murat. Lori Campbell of the Sunday Mirror describes Murat as a 'vague character', claiming he lied to her about his role in the inquiry. In this video they admit that they did the spinning about Robert Murat.