Authorities are expected to interview a person of interest in the disappearance of English girl Madeleine McCann for a second time, according to reports from Portuguese media that were confirmed Tuesday by British news outlets, including the BBC and ITV News. Robert Murat was a suspect in the girl’s disappearance from a Portuguese resort town in 2007, but Portuguese authorities later cleared him.
Murat and his wife, Michaela Walczuk, are among 11 people to be questioned by British authorities, who are traveling to Portugal to conduct the interviews, the BBC reported. Four of the 11 people are persons of interest, according to ITV News, which reported that “legal difficulties” may hold up plans to hold the interviews next week.
Murat, a Briton living in Portugal who works as an IT consultant, has maintained that he had nothing to do with Madeleine’s disappearance from Praia de Luz, where her family was on vacation, according to the Guardian. The girl was 3-years old when she went missing in a case that captured the hearts of people around the world. Murat won numerous legal judgments in libel cases against media outlets after he was cleared as a suspect by Portuguese police.
The second interview of Murat comes as Scotland Yard reopened their investigation into Madeleine’s disappearance. Portuguese authorities had been the lead investigators in the case.
Murat said he would cooperate with the British investigation, but said they didn’t contact him and he only learned about the second interview through media reports.
“My conscience is clear and I have no problem speaking to police again,” he told the Guardian. “I have more important things to worry about, like running my business, paying my taxes and I also need to paint my house.”
If Madeleine is alive, she would be 11-years old.