UPDATED 10.00 HOURS ON 15.10.07
ROBERT MURAT, who was the first person to be named as an arguido over the disappearance of Madeleine McCann, has pleaded with Portuguese police to finally clear him of suspicion.
He told the BBC: “It’s five months, my savings have gone. Mum is doing what she can. It is just very, very difficult.”
The property consultant spoke in the presence of family members, including his cousin, Sally Eveleigh, who runs a local guesthouse.
She said normal life has been impossible for Robert since he was taken in for questioning by police 11 days after Madeleine disappeared on May 3.
She urged the police to finally remove Mr Murat’s formal status.
“Five months down the line, he hasn’t heard from the police for three months, and there’s no evidence against him,” she said.
“He hasn’t seen his daughter for over five months. He has no finances now, all his savings are gone and he needs to rebuild his life.”
After his first night of questioning at the local headquarters of the Policia Judiciaria (PJ) in the town of Portimao Mr Murat was declared an arguido.
Although police took him in for further questioning later and carried out new searches over the summer, he has never been formally arrested or charged.
His brief comments in the BBC television interview may, however, land him in trouble with the authorities.
Police restrictions on the 33-year-old include a ban on interviews with the media.