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Original Source: EXPRESS: THURSDAY 24 JANUARY 2008
Thursday January 24,2008
By Padraic Flanagan

Madeleine McCann
THE picture below may clear Robert Murat, the first suspect in the disappearance of Madeleine McCann.


On the left is
Praia da Luz estate agent Angus Symington, 37, and on the right Mr Murat, 34.

Their resemblance shows that witnesses who claim they saw Mr Murat outside the McCanns' apartment on the night Madeleine vanished may have named the wrong man.

Expatriate Mr Murat has always insisted he was with his mother.
Now many in Praia da Luz believe that the eight witnesses who say they saw Mr Murat could have confused him with Mr Symington.

Was Murat, right, confused with Symington'

The resemblance has emerged just two weeks after police revealed that one of the McCanns' friends, 41-year-old medical researcher
David Payne, could also have been mistaken for Mr Murat when Madeleine vanished.

The lookalikes could force police into a total rethink of their eight-month investigation.

Mr Symington, who is about the same height as Mr Murat, is a father-of-two who runs the Ocean Country Real Estate office at the
Ocean Club complex where the McCanns were staying in Praia da Luz.

I'm amazed by the likeness, The hairline and the nose, it could be me
Robert Murat

When shown his picture, Mr Murat said: 'I'm amazed by the likeness, The hairline and the nose, it could be me. Just the chin is different.

'This guy has every reason to be at the Ocean Club. Remember ' people work. I wouldn't want what happened to me to happen to anyone else.'

Mr Murat said he intended to give the new evidence to his lawyer so that it could be forwarded to
Policia Judiciaria investigators in nearby Portimao. Later, Mr Murat's uncle Ralph Eveleigh was shown Mr Symington's picture and said: 'b****y hell ' it's Robert. They are very similar.'

Mr Murat has always said he spent the fateful night at home in the villa he shares with his mother Jennifer, 72, fewer than 150 yards from the McCanns' apartment.

But a series of witnesses have given statements claiming to have seen him around the Ocean Club in the hours after Kate McCann raised the alarm. They include three friends of the McCanns ' Russell O'Brien, Fiona Payne and Rachel Oldfield.

There is no suggestion that Mr Symington had anything to do with the tragedy. He insisted that he was at home with his family six miles away when Madeleine vanished.

He said last night: 'I had been away in England for 10 days and came back the day before Madeleine went missing. I was here on the day, and for a few days following, but then I left again for a week.

'I categorically wasn't around on the night she vanished. I left Praia da Luz at close of business at 6pm to go home. It couldn't have been me. The first I was aware of the story was when I arrived at work the next day.'


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