Detectives searching for Madeleine McCann raised "serious
questions" about suspect Robert Murat's alibi yesterday after
two new witnesses came forward.
Robert Murat: Detectives
searching for Madeleine McCann
have 'serious doubts' about his
Six people now claim to have seen the British expat outside Kate
and Gerry McCann's holiday apartment on the night the girl
The two new witnesses, who were tourists, have just made contact
with the private detective agency Metodo
Their accounts directly contradict Mr Murat's alibi that he was
inside the villa he shares with his mother on the night of May 3
and that he did not learn of the disappearance until the next
Metodo 3 have also spoken to a nanny at the resort in
Praia da Luz, Charlotte Pennington,
who says she saw Mr Murat hanging around reception shortly after
Mrs McCann raised the alarm.
In a statement to the agency Miss Pennington, 20, said she saw
him at midnight. But he denied this when she confronted him the
next day, as he was translating her statement to police.
Miss Pennington, of Leatherhead, Surrey,
told police she had seen him at the Ocean Club complex the night
before, and said he replied: "No, I wasn't here."
In her written statement to Metodo 3
the nanny said she thought his answer was strange because she
was "certain" she had seen him.
Miss Pennington said Mr Murat, 34, also translated the
statements given to police by her two friends and gave one of
them his mobile number, telling her:
"When you see something strange, contact me."
She said he was "constantly in the resort" in the days after the
Mr Murat was reported to police by journalists who found his
behaviour and extreme interest in the case bizarre. He was named
as an official suspect on May 14.
He has always denied any involvement and told detectives he had
spent the night in with his mother Jenny in their villa, Casa
- an alibi his elderly mother has supported.
|Six people now
claim to have seen the British expat outside Kate
and Gerry McCann's holiday apartment after Madeleine
McCann (pictured) vanished
The latest witnesses told Metodo 3
they had seen him walking along a road outside the McCanns'
apartment that night.
Three of the couple's friends, Fiona Payne, Rachael Oldfield and
Russell O'Brien, also claim to have seen him in the hours after
the four-year-old vanished.
A Metodo 3 source told the Sunday
Mirror: "There are serious questions around Murat's alibi. He
says he was at his mum's house and did not learn of Madeleine's
disappearance until the following morning.
"But his claims have now been challenged by eyewitnesses. Three
of the McCanns' friends have always insisted they saw him that
night. They say they are sure it was him.
"Now two new people have contacted us saying they are certain
they also saw him. They do not know each other and called our
Miss Pennington said she saw the suspect again days after the
He was having coffee at a supermarket in Praia
da Luz with a man she did not recognise, but she saw the
stranger again in Faro Airport
on May 13 as she prepared to fly home to Britain.
She told Metodo 3 she thought the man
looked "similar" to the description given of a man seen carrying
a child away from the McCanns' apartment at 9.15pm on May 3.
Officers have not given up on their theory that Madeleine died
in an accident in her parents' care and that they covered up her
death, possibly with help from their friends or even from Mr
They were said to be puzzled by possible links between him and
Dr O'Brien, 36, and his partner Jane Tanner.
Mr Murat, a property consultant, was visiting his sister in Exeter in April a few days before the
disappearance, and Dr O'Brien and Miss Tanner, 37, live there.
A source said: "It needs to be established if Murat knew
families with children would be staying 100 metres from where he
Mr Murat was unavailable for comment.