Olga Craig in Praia da Luz
6 August 2007
New Zealand Herald

Ten policemen, two of them believed to be British, have begun a renewed search of the Portugal home of Robert Murat, the chief suspect in the kidnap case of Madeleine McCann.

The officers yesterday began clearing undergrowth and cutting down trees at Casa Liliana, the home Murat shares with his mother, Jenny.

The property is metres from the holiday apartment in Praia da Luz where Madeleine was abducted on May 3.

The search is expected to last up to four days.

Murat, 33, has always said he is innocent, insisting he was at home with his mother on the evening Madeleine was taken.

The renewed search came as Belgian police said they were carrying out DNA tests on a milkshake bottle and straw used in a cafe in Tongeren, 130km from Brussels, by a girl who may have been Madeleine.

A little girl matching her description was seen with a couple who drove off in a black Volvo soon after being served by a waitress who suspected the child was Madeleine.

Police have issued an identikit picture of an unshaven, buck-toothed man, aged around 40, who was with an English-speaking younger woman.

Another witness, a child therapist, said the couple were acting strangely and the child seemed nervous.

``It was obvious that the couple were not her parents,'' she said.

The woman telephoned police but the three left before officers arrived.

Kate and Gerry McCann are in Spain highlighting the three-month anniversary of their daughter's disappearance.

They say they have been hurt by recent speculation that their relationship is crumbling under the stress of searching for Madeleine.

In Praia da Luz, police remained silent over why they were again searching Murat's home. Last month he was interrogated again by detectives who claim his original statement has inconsistencies.

``'We have reached a phase in the investigation where we are trying to evaluate everything,'' one Portuguese police source said. ``We are going through all the interviews, facts and clues - with the help of British profilers - to ensure nothing has been missed or left out. At the moment there is still only one suspect.''-Telegraph Group additional reporting, Observer

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