Kate and Gerry McCann are to ask a High Court
judge to order the release of police documents which they
hope will kick-start the search for their missing daughter
Madeleine, The Daily Telegraph can disclose.
Kate and Gerry McCann are
determined to everything
necessary to search for their daughter
The McCanns hope their application to Mrs
Justice Hogg will result in Leicestershire Police opening
their files on scores of reported sightings of Madeleine,
most of which have been passed on to them by police in
Portugal, where the
four-year-old disappeared in May last
Until now police in Leicestershire, the
McCanns' home county, have refused the couple's requests for
information about sightings, saying they are bound by the
terms of an agreement with Portuguese police.
But Mr and Mrs McCann, who retain the
services of a Spanish-based detective agency, are anxious to
make sure that every possible lead has been checked out,
which they believe the Portuguese police, whose
investigation is gradually being wound down, may not be able
The Telegraph can also disclose that
Madeleine was made a ward of court last summer at the
request of the McCanns, to empower judges to act in her best
interests in any legal dispute such as the case which is
about to be heard.
Clarence Mitchell, the McCanns’ spokesman,
said: “I can state that on the instigation of Gerry and Kate
McCann Madeleine is a ward of the High Court of England and
“An application has been made on Madeleine’s
behalf by her parents for disclosure of certain documents.
The hearing is currently scheduled for July 7 in the High
Court in London.
“It has been the stated intention of Gerry
and Kate McCann to leave no stone unturned in doing
everything necessary to search for their daughter, as would
“This application is just part of their
search for Madeleine.”
Madeleine’s status as a ward of court has
never been disclosed by her parents, who quietly made a
wardship application in the High Court just weeks after she
The couple’s legal team had advised them to
ask for Madeleine to be made a ward of court because
wardship status gives the courts certain statutory powers to
act on her behalf in legal disputes such as the one which
has arisen with Leicestershire police.
They still believe their daughter is alive
and hope the police files may contain information which
could yet lead to a breakthrough.
The case is listed to be heard in open court
on July 7 in the Family Division of the High Court in
London, and is expected to be
contested by Leicestershire Police, according to legal
Clarence Mitchell, the McCanns' spokesman,
said: "Kate and Gerry have always said that they will do
whatever is necessary to find Madeleine and that they will
leave no stone unturned in their search for their daughter.
"They will take whatever legal steps are
necessary if there is information out there that can assist
their private investigation into finding Madeleine. Beyond
that I cannot make any comment."
Mr Mitchell said the hearing would not
involve any attempt by the McCanns to clear their names by
proving they were not involved in their daughter's
disappearance from a holiday apartment in Praia da Luz. They
remain official suspects, or arguidos, in Portugal.
In recent months the couple have become
increasingly frustrated at the slow progress of the
Portuguese investigation, and they suspect that many
possible sightings of Madeleine have not been followed up at
If they are given access to the police files
on reported sightings, each one will be looked into by
private investigators retained by the couple.
For the past year the McCanns have employed
Metodo 3, a Barcelona-based detective agency, to carry out
an investigation in parallel with the Portuguese police
The agency has checked out sightings as far
afield as North Africa and South
America – all of which have proved to be false –
using either its own staff or affiliated firms, which it
says it can do far more quickly than the police.
In one instance earlier this year, the agency
ruled out a sighting of Madeleine in
within three hours of receiving a tip-off, by employing
local investigators to track down the girl concerned. The
agency argues that police would have taken days to achieve a
similar result because they would have been hampered by
bureaucracy and official procedure.
Earlier this week Portugal's Attorney General
suggested that police files may be opened up at the end of
July, but the McCanns fear his comments may prove to be
another false dawn.
Their case is being heard in the Family
Division because it involves the welfare of a child. Mrs
Justice Hogg, a specialist in child welfare cases, is the
sister of former cabinet minister Douglas Hogg and the
daughter of former Lord Chancellor Lord Hailsham.