Big Announcement Pending in McCann Case

This is a rush transcript from "America's Election HQ," July 17, 2008. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

HEATHER NAUERT, HOST: Breaking news to bring you tonight on a story that is still making headlines across the globe. A major announcement is coming soon in the Madeleine McCann case. The British child disappeared in Portugal more than one year ago. This is one of the named suspects in the case who wins a major victory in the U.K.

FOX's Douglas Kennedy has all of the new developments for us. Douglas, what's happened?

Video: Watch Heather's interview with Douglas Kennedy

DOUGLAS KENNEDY, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Yes. Portuguese police say they will announce Monday whether they will bring any charges or simply close this case altogether. Meanwhile, one former suspect today already has reason to be relieved.


KENNEDY (voice over): When British toddler Madeleine McCann disappeared, Robert Murat says he was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

LOUIS CHARALAMBOUS, ROBERT MURAT'S LAWYER: Robert Murat had to watch silently at the worst element of the British media has gone about destroying his good name and reputation.

KENNEDY: The British native lived in the Portuguese resort town where McCann was visiting in May 2007. Police named him as a suspect in her disappearance and 11 British newspapers followed suit with headlines and stories calling Murat a child molester and baby killer.

ROBERT MURAT, FORMER SUSPECT: The newspapers brought about a total and utter destruction of mine and my family's lives and caused immense distress.

KENNEDY: Now, those newspapers, including two owned by FOX's parent company, News Corps, have settled Murat libel lawsuit, agreeing to pay the property manager a hefty $1.2 million in damages.

MURAT: I'm pleased that the publications concerned have today admitted the falsity of their allegations and I can now start to rebuild my life.

KENNEDY: Some of the worst allegations were that Murat had pedophile tendencies and was part of a child sex ring. Another story falsely claimed DNA evidence proved Madeleine had been in Murat's apartment in the days before she disappeared. All 11 publications apologized today in court.

MURAT: Today's statements of a full apology in open court means I can emerge from this action vindicated and with the recognition and acknowledgment that what was said against me was wholly untrue.


KENNEDY: McCann's parents are the only other suspects named in this case. They will know Monday whether they will be charged or officially cleared. But pretty amazing, Heather, that the libel case is settled before the official case is resolved.

NAUERT: He's still considered a suspect, but he won this libel case. What do the papers say about that?

KENNEDY: You know, this would never happen in the United States because a U.S. court would never let a libel - civil suit go before - very rarely do they let civil suits go before a criminal case.

NAUERT: But they reported more than the fact that he is just a suspect. They said some pretty damning things about him.

KENNEDY: Yes. I mean, you know, the British newspapers, which - the libel laws in Britain are very strict, and you cannot libel somebody. But they said some awful things about this guy.

NAUERT: OK. We will be watching this developments next week - Douglas Kennedy. Thanks for watching "America's Election Headquarters".

Content and Programming Copyright 2007 Fox News Network, Inc. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Transcription Copyright 2007 ASC LLC (, which takes sole responsibility for the accuracy of the transcription. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. No license is granted to the user of this material except for the user`s personal or internal use and, in such case, only one copy may be printed, nor shall user use any material for commercial purposes or in any fashion that may infringe upon Fox News Network, Inc.`s and Voxant Inc.`s copyrights or other proprietary rights or interests in the material. This is not a legal transcript for purposes of litigation.