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Diplomats abandoned me, says Madeleine McCann case suspect

Original Source: TIMES ON LINE:  13 DECEMBER 2007  
From The Times December 13, 2007 David Brown
A suspect in the disappearance of Madeleine McCann has complained about being “abandoned” by the British Government.

The lawyer for Robert Murat, who has British and Portuguese nationality, claimed that the Foreign and Commonwealth Office ordered diplomats not to offer assistance after he was seized by police.

Mr Murat, 34, is still seen by detectives as a key suspect in Madeleine’s disappearance in Praia da Luz on May 3. He insists that he was with his mother, Jenny, at their nearby villa.

The Foreign Office was reported to have told diplomats to avoid offering Mr Murat consular assistance due to “the specific nature of the case” and because they “were already helping Madeleine McCann’s parents”. It said yesterday that in some circumstances it could offer only limited assistance to people with dual nationalities.

Mr Murat’s mother, 71, has criticised the McCanns for leaving Madeleine in their apartment while they dined with friends at a nearby restaurant. “The worst part is they did something wrong [by leaving Madeleine alone], we did nothing wrong and have been penalised for their mistake,” she said.

The Mayor of Praia da Luz added to the criticism yesterday. Manuel Domingues Borba accused the McCanns of “extreme negligence” and said they should never have been allowed to return to Britain. He told The Sun: “I would never leave my children in bed in a foreign country and go off to dinner, especially seeing as there are babysitters for that very purpose.”


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