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What is an 'arguido'?

By Channel 4 News

Updated on 08 September 2007

As Kate McCann's status as a witness changes, Channel 4 News online explains what it means to be a 'formal suspect' in Portuguese law.

Arguido refers to someone of interest to the inquiry. While there is no direct equivalent in UK law, it has become shorthand in this case for 'formal suspect'.

As an arguido, the person connected to the case is granted certain legal rights under Portuguese law.

These inlcude:

On the other hand, an arguido is likely to have limited freedom of movement and must be in regular contact with the police.

A person can ask for arguido status if they feel the line of questioning is implying that they are a suspect. And it's not uncommon for a person to request this status.

So far the only other formal suspect in this case has been Robert Murat.

The 33 year-old property developer - who lives near the apartment where Madeleine McCann went missing - had to report to the police every five days.

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