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Extent of Murat probe revealed

PUBLISHED: 17:27 05 August 2008 | UPDATED: 14:39 07 July 2010

Ian Clarke

New details today emerged showing the extent of the "exhaustive and methodical" police investigation into former Norfolk car trader Robert Murat during the 14 months he was an official suspect into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann.

New details today emerged showing the extent of the “exhaustive and methodical” police investigation into former Norfolk car trader Robert Murat during the 14 months he was an official suspect into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann.

Mr Murat, 34, who used to live at Hockering, near Dereham, had his phone tapped, his home in the Algarve was thoroughly searched including soil samples being taken, his computer was analysed and people he was in contact with were also interrogated.

The lengths to which Portuguese Police probed Mr Murat are contained in the police files - which run to thousands of pages - which have just been released.

The report reveals that “despite the exhaustive and methodical investigation into Mr Murat and the persons close to him, no elements whatsoever were collected to relate him to the crime that was under investigation.”

The files say that suspicions were first raised about Mr Murat - whose full name is Robert James Queriol Eveleigh Murat - by a British journalist who “found the special commitment and curiosity of him in this case to be strange.”

The journalist said it “had reminded her of another case that had taken place in the United Kingdom with similar outlines and where the guilty persons had actively participated in searches.”

It is understood the reporter was referring to the Ian Huntley case.

The police files have also shown that the massive Madeleine McCann police

investigation uncovered “very little” conclusive about the child's fate.

In their final report, the prosecutors noted that detectives had failed even to prove whether the little girl was dead or still alive.

The 17th and final volume of the files contains the final 58-page report written by public prosecutors Jose de Magalhaes e Menezes and Joao Melchior Gomes.

They said Madeleine's parents, Kate and Gerry McCann, did not “act with intent” in leaving their children alone in their holiday apartment on the night the child went missing.

“They could not predict that in the resort they chose to spend their holidays they could place the life of any of their children in danger.”

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