British man is suspect in Madeleine disappearance

A British man is being treated as a suspect in the disappearance of Madeleine McCann in Portugal, it has been revealed.

Robert Murat was one of three people being questioned by police in connection with the four-year-old's disappearance earlier this month.

It has now been revealed that he has been given 'arguido' - or suspect - status. This means that he is considered to be a suspect by Portuguese police, but can remain free.

However, a person can request this process to be invoked, because of the rights it offers, such as access to a lawyer and the right to remain silent.

Mr Murat lives in a villa with his mother Jenny, 100 metres from where Madeleine was abducted.

Mrs Murat had been running a stall on the seafront on Praia da Luz, appealing for information about Madeleine's disappearance.

The villa, in Praia da Luz in the Algarve, was searched on Monday morning.

Mr Murat was one of three people who were questioned over the four-year-old's disappearance on Monday. It is understood that the others were a German woman and a Portuguese man. Portuguese police said that no one had been arrested or charged.

The search at the villa began after Lori Campbell, a journalist with the 'Sunday Mirror' spoke to both the local police and the British Embassy about Mr Murat.

Mr Murat, who describes himself as half-Portuguese, had told journalists that he was helping as a translator in the investigation.

Madeleine is believed to have been abducted from her family's holiday apartment, while her parents, Gerry and Kate McCann, were eating at a nearby tapas bar on May 3.

On Tuesday, her parents made a statement in which they said they are focusing on the hope that their daughter is alive.

The couple have pledged to remain in Portugal until Madeleine is found.

A close relative of Madeleine has pointed out a distinguishing feature of Madeleine's right eye, which has a pupil that extends into the iris.

The picture has been circulated in a poster with the banner 'Look into my eyes!' that is being distributed with the Crimestoppers telephone number.

A reward of more than £2.5 million has been offered for information leading to her discovery.

Anyone with any information is asked to contact Crimestoppers on the international number: +44 1883 731 336.


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