15 Jul 2009
RUSSELL O'BRIEN 16/5/07 YES I RECOGNISE SUSPECT MURAT!
Processos Vol VPages 1320 to 1322Witness statement Russell James O’Brien Date: 2007.05.16He comes to the process as a witness and of his own free will to make this statement.When asked he says that he does not speak Portuguese and is assisted by the interpreter Alice Avakoff.When asked whether he is capable of recognising without any doubt the suspect Robert Murat, the witness replies yes.When questioned he says that the first time he saw Robert Murat was on the night of the events currently under investigation, in other words, the night upon which Madeleine disappeared, at about 01.00 in the early morning of 4th May.That he saw Murat for the first time at this moment in the Rua Silva in front of the apartment where the events occurred, near to the parking area.When asked whether Murat arrived before or after the police, the witness says that he does not know, given that at the time the police arrived he was not present as he was searching for Madeleine.When he saw him for the first time the police were on the scene.Robert Murat appeared in the middle of different people (friends from the group, people from the resort, tourists and locals) who were searching for Madeleine. he adds that he does not know at what time Murat appeared on the scene, nor whether he arrive alone or accompanied, in the sense that when the witness arrived at the scene, Murat was already there.When asked, he says that as far as he can remember, Robert was translating conversations between two officers and various people who were searching for Madeleine. As far as he could make out at that time, it seemed that Robert was trying to help, in the sense that these people were exasperated with some of the officers. He remembers that all the people were quite upset, whilst Robert was very calm. That morning was the first time the witness spoke to Murat, not remembering whether he had approached Murat or whether Robert had addressed him. They had various discussions including the fact that Robert was fluent in Portuguese as he had lived in the country for many years.He adds that Robert told him he had a daughter of Madeleine’s age in the UK and that Madeleine’s disappearance was a terrible thing.When asked what Murat was wearing that night, the witness says he is not certain but thinks he was wearing dark coloured trousers, he can’t remember the colour, and a T-shirt, perhaps dark grey in colour and perhaps a jacket, the characteristics of which he cannot describe. He clearly remembers that Robert wore glasses.When asked he says he does not know how Robert found out about Madeleine’s disappearance nor how he arrived at the scene.When asked, he says that he had never seen Robert before.After this morning the witness saw Murat 3 more times, once on the morning of 4th May in the same street, rua Silva at about 12.00 in the company of police officers. About two days later he saw Murat at the OC reception at about 12.00/14.00. Robert was alone and walking towards the previously mentioned road. The witness says that he (ROB) was accompanied by Rachel. The last time he saw Robert was last Sunday, near to his house at about 20.30. At that moment the witness was with Jane.He never noticed anything suspicious about Murat except for the last time he saw him when Robert was being transported in a vehicle, a green van with four windows, he does not remember the make, model or number plate and that he stopped, got out of the van, opened the back and showed photos of Madeleine and that he showed himself to be a very important person in the investigation, saying that he was providing immense help to the police in discovering the truth.When asked, he says that according to his wife Jane, she did not see Murat on the night of the events as she had spent most of the time looking after her children.No more is said. Reads, ratifies, signs.