If the December 2014 interview of John Hill, manager of the Ocean Club, made perfect sense, the interview of Robert Murat in the same phase appears to make perfect nonsense.
Robert Murat was made the first arguido in the 2007 investigation. Let me try to list all of the allegations against him.
First, he was behaving strangely. This was a combination of getting involved in the case, translating for the police and more, whilst not wanting his photo in the papers.
Second, he made a late night phone call to Sergey Malinka on 3 May 2007.
Third, after being made an arguido, three of the Tapas 9 stated he had been at apartment 5A on the night of 3 May, when his alibi was that he was with his mother in Casa Liliana.
Fourth, Tannerman was heading in a direction that is compatible with Casa Liliana as the destination.
Starting with the latter first, Casa Liliana was searched both by the PJ and by Martin Grime and Eddie. Ground penetrating radar was deployed. The family vehicles were searched, again by the PJ and Martin Grime and Eddie. Nothing was found. Further, Scotland Yard seems to have ruled Tannerman out as crècheman.
In Casa Liliana, there was a newspaper clipping called into question (was Casanova a paedophile), and Robert Murat had encrypted files on his computer that he could not or would not explain. Other than that Robert answered every question put to him.
Looking at the question of whether Robert was around 5A the night Madeleine disappeared, this allegation did not arise until he was made an arguido on 14 May 2007, although suspicions about him had started about a week earlier.
Fiona Payne’s statement, dated 16 May 2007, said she saw Robert around apartment 5A on the night of 3 May 2007. Russell O’Brien was another to put Robert in the vicinity, at 01:00 on 4 May. His statement is also dated 16 May 2007. Rachael Oldfield says she first saw Robert around 11:30 pm on 3 May. As soon as the GNR arrived, Robert put himself forward as an interpreter, introduced himself to Russell and handled all the initial contacts between the group and the police. Rachael´s statement is dated 15 May 2007.
The discrepancies in the statements are much as I would expect 12 or 13 days after the event, with the possible exception of making Robert the interpreter rather than Silvia Batista.
It is the order in which things happened that strikes me. Robert Murat hits the headlines on 14 May as an arguido in the case then 3 of the Tapas 9 remember him at Apartment 5A that night. Others who were there at the time did not place him there.
A face-off meeting was held between the 3 and Robert Murat. They insisted they had seen him. He insisted he was not there.
This takes us to the late night phone call with Sergey Malinka. If the media can be trusted on this, Sergey had been made an arguido in July 2014, but by Aug 2014 he was deemed to be a person of no interest. If the latter part of that sentence is correct, then a late night call is somewhat of a non-event.
That leaves us with ‘he was acting strangely’, taking an interest in the case but not wanting to have his photo taken. He is not the only person who was taking an interest in the case, far from it. Luz was swarming with people taking an interest.
The evidence in 2007 against Robert Murat amounted to nothing. What he could possibly add in 2014 is baffling. I cannot see Crimewatch of Oct 2013 adding anything with respect to Robert. Equally, I cannot see phone traffic analysis as being incriminating. If it was, he would be back as an arguido, not a witness.
I can only conclude that in December 2014, after looking at the case for around three and a half years, Scotland Yard was still at first base.