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Madeleine suspect collapses

Original Source: RUGBY ADVERTISER: 22 MAY 2007
Published Date: 22 May 2007
Location: The Press Association Newsdesk
The only suspect in the case of abducted Madeleine McCann has collapsed in front of his family, a friend has said.
It is the second time Robert Murat, 33, has fainted since he was questioned over the abduction of the four-year-old girl from her parents' holiday apartment in Praia da Luz on May 3.

As the father of missing Madeleine McCann visited the shrine to his missing daughter in his hometown on Monday, Tuck Price, a family friend of the Murats, said: "He collapsed right in front of his entire family."

Mr Price said a doctor had checked Mr Murat and found no problems with his blood pressure, but he added that the faint showed the massive strain he has been under since being named as a suspect.

Earlier, before his collapse, Mr Murat welcomed moves to trawl thousands of holiday snaps looking for known paedophiles.

British police have appealed for people to send them pictures taken in the resort of Praia Da Luz, southern Portugal, in the fortnight before the young girl's abduction on May 3. The photographs will be run through a facial recognition programme and checked against a database of images of UK paedophiles and other criminals.

The software can also find "new" suspects previously unknown to police if the same person repeatedly appears in different photographs. It is thought Portuguese police have already been going through all the photographs taken by the McCanns and their friends before Madeleine was kidnapped from her family's holiday apartment.

Mr Murat described the move as a "great idea", according to Mr Price. He said: "Why else would they be doing this? If they are so convinced about Robert, why would they still be looking?"

Mr Murat, who denies any involvement in the four-year-old's disappearance, believes DNA tests could prove his innocence as early as this week. But Portuguese police indicated that the suspect was still their strongest line of inquiry.

Mr Murat has also asked British PR guru Max Clifford to represent him in his campaign to clear his name. Mr Clifford said he had "a tremendous amount of sympathy" for Mr Murat but would not formally represent him until he is cleared by Portuguese police.


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