Thursday, 17 July 2008

Murat takes to court three Portuguese newspapers and two TV channels

Robert Murat will take legal action against three Portuguese dailies - Correio da Manhã, Jornal de Notícias, 24 Horas - and two TV channels – RTP and TVI, according his lawyer, Mr. Pagarete. The first two daily newspapers will be prosecuted for defamation and invasion of privacy. These two cases are classified as crime cases and, if there is a trial and he wins, the editor and the journalist who wrote the story can be sentenced to prison (usually, a suspended sentence, with the jail time being replaced by a daily fine) and could also have to pay an indemnification.

24 Horas, RTP and TVI will be prosecuted only for damages to his reputation and loss of earnings, on what is referred as a civil case, a non-criminal lawsuit. Mr. Pagarete regretted the fact that he couldn't take a criminal action against 24 Horas because more then six months have passed, after the publication of the news that Robert Murat considers seriously harmed his reputation, and a criminal case should have been launched before the end of that period of time.

Mr Pagarete said that he is also preparing a case against the Portuguese State and against “some persons that made statements, as having witnessed things that are not truth”. Several witnesses told Police and, later, the British Media, that they saw Robert Murat near the McCann's apartment, at the Ocean Club, the night Madeleine McCann disappeared. Murat always said that he was at home, with his mother.