RUSSIAN Serg Malinka told The Sun yesterday how he set up a website for Madeleine McCann suspect Robert Murat.
Speaking just before being arrested Malinka, 22, said he also worked on a computer owned by the one-eyed Briton and had met him several times.
He added: “I did do some work for Robert and found him a really cool guy.
“He wanted a website created and I did a lot of work getting it together for him.”
Before being quizzed as a suspect, he insisted to The Sun: “I’m not the man — it’s definitely not me”.
Asked if he had any criminal convictions, Moscow-born Malinka said: “Not as far as I know. I have just had all my residency papers approved and checks are always made for criminal convictions.”
Minutes after the interview, detectives took him into custody. It was later reported on Portuguese national TV that he had convictions for sex offences. Detectives are believed to have been in contact with the Russian branch of Interpol.
Police were searching his parents’ home in a five-storey block of flats in Praia da Luz and another property in nearby La Goa. Malinka had lived with his parents but is thought to have moved to a flat above his computer shop.
As the search began Malinka’s father, aged around 50, watched from the car park but refused to comment.
At one point Malinka was taken back there from a police station by six plain-clothed officers. Maddie’s parents almost stumbled into the police operation as they arrived for a church service 200 yards away.
Cops were just leading Malinka out of the building when 38-year-olds Kate and Gerry, of Rothley, Leics, walked past the end of the road. Police continued carting away bags and computers, then drove Malinka away for further questioning.
Meanwhile it emerged there is an under-floor chamber at his home, 100 yards from where Maddie, four, was snatched as she slept in a holiday apartment in Praia da Luz a fortnight ago.
Measuring nine yards by five yards the “void” is reached only through a trapdoor in the lounge.
Source: The Sun 17th May 2007