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Posted by portugalpress on December 02, 2014
Madeleine: Met returns to Algarve to grill Brits with “253 questions”

Back again with a reported 253 questions, Scotland Yard detectives are due in Faro next week to question as many as 11 witnesses over the seven-year-old disappearance of Madeleine McCann.

According to Portuguese media sources, three of the witnesses are British, including Robert Murat - the very first defendant named in the inquiry. Murat was later cleared of involvement and won over £600,000 in damages from British newspapers.

As the Met has revealed expenses in this latest investigation have now topped £10 million, their list of questions are understood to include “direct queries” like “Did you kill Madeleine McCann?” and “Where did you hide the body?”

This latest insight into the British investigation is revealed this morning by Correio da Manhã which added that “any witness could be cited as a defendant in the middle of the questioning”.

The reason for starting next week with everyone brought in as witnesses is that under Portuguese law defendants are entitled to refuse to answer certain questions, explains CM.

Thus Portuguese prosecutor Inês Sequeira has decided that no one should be considered a defendant until they begin answering the questions Scotland Yard has ready to put to them.

“If incriminating aspects are found, the interrogation as a witness is suspended and any one of the people could be immediately cited as a defendant once being made aware of their new rights,” writes CM.

As details of this new thrust of the Met’s investigation became known, Robert Murat was quoted in the Daily Express as saying he knew nothing about being called back for questioning.

“All I know is that I haven’t had anything official,” he said. “It’s all just fantasy land.”

Press reports on the Met’s comings and goings in Portugal frequently conflict, thus it remains to be seen who in fact does turn up for questioning in Faro next week.

According to CM, the 11 include three “Brits” all of whom live in the Algarve, Murat’s wife Michaela Walczuck and her former Portuguese partner Luís António.