Gerry and Kate McCann are to ask an English High Court judge to order the release of police files on their daughter’s disappearance.
Madeleine McCann went missing from the family’s holiday apartment in Praia da Luz, Portugal, in May last year but the country’s secrecy laws have left her parents in the dark on much of the police investigation since then.
The McCanns and the private detective agency they are employing want to examine the potential lines of inquiry as part of their own search.
However, police in their home county of Leicestershire, who lead the British arm of the official investigation, have so far stuck to an agreement with their Portuguese counterparts on the non-disclosure of information.
The couple made their daughter a ward of court, which empowers judges to act in the little girl’s best interests in a legal dispute.
They hope their application to Mrs Justice Hogg, listed for the Family Division of the High Court on July 7, will give them access to the police files on various reported sightings.
Clarence Mitchell, the McCanns’ spokesman, said: “I am limited in what I can say as matters are sub judice and relate to a minor.
“I can state that, on the instigation of Gerry and Kate McCann, Madeleine is a ward of the High Court of England and Wales.
“An application has been made on Madeleine’s behalf by her parents for the disclosure of certain documents.
“The case and the judgment may be in public and this will be a matter for the court to decide.
“It has been the stated intention of Gerry and Kate to leave no stone unturned in doing everything necessary in the search for their daughter, as would any other parent.
“This application is just part of their search for Madeleine.”