Murat has accepted a £600,000 settlement from media outlets
who made false accusations against him in the wake of the
disappearance of Madeleine McCann.
34, launched the libel action after dozens of stories
implicated him in the disappearance of the four-year-old,
who vanished last May from the Algarve resort of Praia da
High Court today, he said: “The newspapers in this case
brought about the total and utter destruction of mine and my
family’s life and caused immense distress. I can now start
to rebuild my life.”
Algarve-based property consultant was in court to hear his
solicitor, Louis Charalambous, tell Mr Justice Eady that it
was now acknowledged that the allegations against him were
Charalambous said the newspaper journalists and their
editors had acted “with a reckless disregard for the truth”.
lawyers brought proceedings against Associated Newspapers,
Express Newspapers, MGN Limited and News Group Newspapers
over nearly 100 “seriously defamatory” articles.
As well as
Mr Murat, Sergey Malinka, a Russian IT operative, and his
girlfriend, Michaela Walczuch, accepted more £100,000 each
in damages for allegations made against them in the British
Charalambous said “Let’s not forget Mr Malinka’s and Ms
Walczuch’s lives have also been devastated by the baseless,
inaccurate media coverage that has proliferated about them
through swathes of the British press over the last year.
public apology and the six figure sum in damages that each
of these parties have also secured will go some way to
compensating for the distress they have suffered and
restoring their good names.
bury the lies published about them which included made up
allegations of sexual perversion and, in Mr Malinka’s case,
a criminal record.”
Murat said that he felt “vindicated” after the newspapers
made a formal apology for the stories, which he described as
was named a formal suspect, or 'arguido,' by Portuguese
police during their investigation, but officers completed
their inquiries at the start of this month without charging
questioned by police 11 days after Madeleine went missing on
May 3, 2007. Police searched the villa near the McCann's
holiday apartment where he lived with his mother after a
journalist spoke to the British Embassy and the police about
him. He said today that he would continue to live in the
met Mr Murat while dozens of members of the British media
were in Praia da Luz after Madeleine’s disappearance. He
told them he had been helping police with translation work
during the search.
Mr Murat said that his computers had been returned to him by
the police, which he hoped would signal the end of his