Tuesday, 7 August 2007

Police “does not confirm news” that refer the possibility of Madeleine being dead

News about the possible death of Madeleine first appeared last Saturday, August 4, when the weekly “Sol” published a story, by Felícia Cabrita and Margarida Davim, saying that there were “strong signs" that Madeleine “is dead”, quoting unidentified police sources. On Sunday and Monday, several other Portuguese newspapers either quoted “Sol” or followed the same line, giving more details. “Jornal de Notícias” (JN), a leading daily newspaper, wrote that “traces of blood from a dead body, presumably from young Madeleine” were found at the Ocean Resort apartment from where she vanished. “Investigators are not sure that is was a homicide, in spite of the fact that, according to forensic analysis, somebody tried to clean those traces”. The newspaper also wrote that Madeleine's death is now “considered almost certain”. “It's now clear, for Polícia Judiciária, that the child's death occurred inside the room”, says JN. No source is quoted to substantiate those informations, the journalists just mention that Jornal de Notícias “know (...)” or “found that (...)”.

New forensic searches to vehicles belonging to Murat and “other people connected to the case”

Weekly “Sol” and other newspapers mentioned that those traces of blood were found by specially trained dogs, brought to Portugal by a British Police team. But the spokesman for Polícia Judiciária told Gazeta Digital, yesterday, August 6, that Portuguese CID “does not confirm news published today by the Portuguese Press”. Chief-Inspector Olegário de Sousa said also that “two specially trained dogs were used, in several searches, in cooperation with British Police.” PJ spokesman referred that this case "has several witnesses and one formal suspect and further forensic analysis were made today, at the end of the afternoon, in vehicles that belong to the suspect ('arguido' Robert Murat) and other persons connected to the case”. Gazeta Digital knows that one of the vehicles is a van that belongs to Ocean Resort. Analysis to this vehicle took place at a GNR (Portuguese Rural Police) precinct, near Praia da Luz. Other vehicles were searched at a closed car park, near CID headquarters, at Portimão. Murat's girlfriend car and another vehicle that belongs to his estranged husband are among the cars that were subjected to these new forensic searches, according to SIC, a Portuguese news channel.

Searches at Murat's home

From Saturday to Sunday, a team of Portuguese and British detectives searched the home of Robert Murat. Workers from a gardening company cut trees and bushes in the garden. Later, iron bars were placed in specific areas and dogs were brought in. On Monday afternoon, Police left the house. Minutes after that, Robert Murat, his lawyer Francisco Pagarete and Felícia Cabrita, a journalist from weekly “Sol” left through the front gate. Murat refused to talk to journalists, but his lawyer explained that searches were taking place with his client full cooperation and Mr. Murat expected that it “may contribute to prove he is innocent and ceases to be involved in this situation”. Questioned about the fact that Murat has always refused to talk to the Press but allowed the Portuguese journalist to come to his home, Mr. Pagarete said that he advised his client not to talk to the Press and complained that the way journalists treated his client was not the correct way. He further explained that Mrs Felícia Cabrita “treated us in a correct way” and, when she requested to come inside Murat's home to talk with Mr. Pagarete, Mr. Murat accepted the request.