Over four months after he was officially named as a suspect by police investigating the case of the missing child Madeleine McCann, Robert Murat has been told he will be cleared.
The British expatriate was arrested 15 days after Madeleine's disappearance on 3 May, on suspicion of abducting the child, who was a few days short of her fourth birthday when she vanished. She was taken from the McCanns' holiday apartment in Praia da Luz, Portugal, where she had been left with her younger siblings while her parents dined in a nearby restaurant.
Mr Murat faced lengthy questioning, and the villa that he shares with his mother – which lies less than 120 yards from the spot where Madeleine was taken – was searched by police and sniffer dogs. Despite being formally named as a suspect, or 'arguido', Mr Murat was never arrested or charged, and has always vehemently denied involvement in Madeleine's disappearance. The property consultant, who was born in Portugal, is divorced and has a four-year-old daughter who lives in the UK. Portuguese police also declared that Madeleine McCann's parents, Kate and Gerry McCann, were arguidos, after DNA samples found in their hire car were thought to suggest it had been used to transport the child's body. They too have insisted that they played no part in her disappearance.