Robert Murat’s status unchanged, says lawyer

UPDATED 18.35 ON 24.09.07


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ROBERT MURAT, the first official suspect in the case of the disappearance of Madeleine McCann, has not been contacted by any officials concerning the removal of his arguido status.

According to his lawyer Francisco Pagarete, nobody from the investigation has contacted Robert Murat about possible changes to his status.

“I think it is a strange situation if that happens”, he told The Resident, adding that if what some newspapers are saying is true, his “client will be very happy”.

Mr Pagarete explained that in some circumstances what happens is that the arguido status is altered to the witness status, to protect the secrecy of justice, although he doesn’t believe this might happen with its client.

Reports that Robert Murat’s situation would be changed surfaced at the weekend when the Portuguese language weekly newspaper Sol revealed he was going to be informally “told that he wouldn’t have to face any charges” in the case.

According to Sol, Robert Murat would continue as suspect only to protect the investigation and that the situation was to be explained to him by officials from the investigation.

Francisco Pagarete also considered this information strange, adding: “I don’t see police inspectors using their time with those kind of procedures.”

However, he added, “if that happens and if we are to be called to the police because of that, we will go.”