Police were last night investigating claims that Robert Murat hired a car two
days before he was questioned as the "main suspect" in the abduction
of Madeleine McCann.
It was claimed that Mr Murat telephoned a Praia da Luz hire company just after
noon on Saturday and ordered a vehicle "in a hurry". Mr Murat has
revealed he knew he was being followed by undercover officers at that time.
Mario Rocio, an assistant at Auto Rent III, claimed he was acting suspiciously.
She said: "There was something in his voice. I thought he needed a car in
Mr Murat said he wanted to hire a car because his own was being used to help in
searches for "the missing little girl". The Hyundai, which was still
in his drive when he was arrested on Monday, was searched along with a green
Claims were made yesterday in a Portuguese newspaper that home-made video tapes
of a "disturbing sexual nature" were found at Mr Murat's villa.
A spokesman for Mr Murat said the graphic allegations were
"disappointing". Tuck Price, a friend of the British expatriate,
denied the claims and said that police were "clutching at straws".
Mr Murat's elderly mother, Jennifer, was interviewed by police yesterday to
stand up her son's alibi. Mr Murat, 33, said he was with her on the night
Madeleine disappeared a fortnight ago.