Wulczuch and her estranged Portuguese husband
suspect Robert Murat has spoken for the first time since he was
questioned by Portuguese police and claimed: "I'm a scapegoat."
Robert Murat &
property developer Robert Murat spoke out as the missing
four-year-olds family, friends and colleagues launched a fund,
to help pay for the rising costs of the search.
fund will be a vehicle to help our family get our darling wee
niece back," the girls uncle John McCann told a news
Former England rugby union captain Martin Johnson lent his
support, saying: "As a parent, as a father, it really does hit
Mr Murat, who was quizzed by detectives for 12 hours about
Madeleine - who was snatched from her bed 13 days ago - said:
?This has ruined my life and has made things very difficult for
my family here and in Britain.
?The only way I will
survive this is if they catch Madeleines abductor.
have been made a scapegoat for something I did not do.?
His outburst came as Prime Minister Gordon Brown has offered
"practical help" in the search for Madeleine.
was disclosed by Madeline's aunt, Philomena McCann, as she
visited Westminster today to lobby MPs for their support.
Mrs McCann, who is from Glasgow, and other family members are
due to meet John Prescott, the Deputy Prime Minister, almost two
weeks after her disappearance.
Standing in for Tony Blair
at Prime Minister's Questions today, Mr Prescott said: "I'm sure
that the thoughts of the whole House will be with them at this
Shadow foreign secretary William Hague
said: ?May I echo what you've said about Madeleine McCann and
her family - and their terrible worries at this time.
all parts of this House and throughout the nation, people will
be praying for the safe return of this little girl.?
MPs wore yellow ribbons that have become a symbol of hope for
the missing four-year-old.
Portuguese police said
yesterday they did not have enough evidence to formally arrest
or charge Murat.
A one-eyed estate agent, former car
salesman and turkey farm worker, Murat is a well-known figure
among the British expat community in the Algarve.
following a search of Murat?s home just 100 yards from where
Madeleine was snatched, Portuguese media reported how computers
were seized which were said to contain images of ?sexual
violence? from paedophile websites.
It also emerged that
Murat was caught up in a bizarre love triangle involving his
girlfriend Michaela Wulczuch and her estranged Portuguese
husband Luis Antonio. The three lived in a cramped flat with
Michaela and Luis Antonios eight-year-old daughter.
Murats affair with Ms Wulczuch was said to be one of the
reasons behind his ?subsequent divorce from wife Dawn.
Wulczuch still lives with her estranged husband and their
And yesterday it emerged that Ms Wulczuch and
her husband, a pool maintenance man, have been questioned over
Over the past six months, the three adults and Ms Wulczuchs
daughter have often shared the same cramped apartment in nearby
Lagos. Friends say Murat and Ms Wulczuch are lovers.
flat was also examined by forensic teams on Monday, when police
searched the apartment in Praia da Luz where Murat lives with
Murat worked for estate agents Remax and
Portuguese Homes. He and Ms Wulczuch started their own company
called Romigen Property.
Veronica Fennell, 46, who worked
with Murat and Ms Wulczuch at Remax, said: ?Robert was always a
bit of a ?try-hard? ? he wanted to be the focus of attention.
?We had coffee together on Sunday. He told me he had been
working as a translator for the police and had signed a secrecy
?The subject of Madeleine came up and we discussed the
various theories. Robert has not been around Praia da Luz much
recently but he does pop back to see his mother quite a lot. He
has had several business ventures which have not come to much.
?He is not much of an estate agent or even translator. When we
needed things translated at Remax I used to do it and not Robert
because I'm not sure he was up to scratch. Thats what surprised
me about him saying he was a police translator.?
added: ?Michaela lives with Luis Antonio and their
eight-year-old daughter. But I think they are just staying
together for the sake of the child.
Robert and Michaela are together. It is unspoken, unofficial,
but widely known. They met at work in about March 2005 and have
been seeing each other for around 14 months.
obvious at work that they had become more than just friends.
They were quite open about it and would spent time together,
spend time in a car together and go home together. They were
affectionate around others. I never see him around Luis much but
they get on fine.?
Jamie Hilario, 39, another Remax
colleague, said: ?He was definitely an oddball. But after the
separation people became a bit wary of him.
think anybody thought he would harm anyone but I think maybe
people?s perceptions of him changed a little bit.?
police looking for Madeleine searched five houses yesterday
after obtaining search warrants, Murats uncle Ralph Eveleigh
insisted the suspect and his mother were together in their villa
in Praia da Luz when the four-year-old vanished.
Eveleigh said: ?His mother says that on the night the kid
disappeared they were both in the house together all night.
?The first thing he knew was when his sister phoned up and said,
?Have you seen what is happening in Praia da Luz??
is definite, from his mother.?
During the searches forensic officers seized material
belonging to Murat from at least two of the five houses.
It is believed items were also taken from the home of Michaela
Wulczuch after ?officers swooped on the apartment she shares
with her husband at 8am on Monday.
Chief Insp Olegario
Sousa said the searches followed ?information collection? over
the weekend which had strengthened one of the lines of the
Asked why Murat had been released, Mr
Sousa said: ?We are not saying there is no evidence against this
man, we are just ?saying there is not enough.?