Welcome to the new Independent website. We hope you enjoy it and we value your feedback. Please contact us here.


Murat 'settles claims'

Robert Murat, the first named suspect in the disappearance of Madeleine McCann, has settled libel claims against several British news outlets for £500,000, it was reported today.

Lawyers acting for Mr Murat, 34, an Algarve-based property consultant, announced the libel action in April.

Today law firm Simons, Muirhead and Burton confirmed that a statement would be read at the High Court on Thursday, but refused to comment further.

The media outlets named in the original libel action were Sky, the Daily Express, Sunday Express, Daily Star, Daily Mail, Evening Standard, Metro, Daily Mirror, Sunday Mirror, News of the World, The Sun and The Scotsman.

In May Mr Murat secured an apology from The Scotsman for a piece it ran about the disappearance of four-year-old Madeleine from Praia da Luz in Portugal last year.

The reported settlement follows legal action by Madeleine's parents Kate and Gerry which led to front page apologies from the Daily Express and Daily Star in March.

The newspapers also agreed to make payments to the couple's Find Madeleine fund.

Mr Murat, who owns a villa 150 yards from the flat where Madeleine went missing, was first questioned about the case 11 days after she disappeared.

He strenuously denied any involvement, saying he was at home with his mother at the time.