New Madeleine McCann documentary released on Netflix tomorrow
A controversial new Netflix documentary about Madeleine McCann's disappearance will be released on Friday, despite opposition from her parents and speculation that producers failed to gain access to new information and key individuals involved in the case.
The streaming service first commissioned the eight-hour series in 2017, but its release has been repeatedly delayed.
Her parents Kate and Gerry have refused to take part in the show, titled The Disappearance Of Madeleine McCann, with reports claiming they are "horrified" it is being made without their approval.
The couple - who fear the show could hinder the ongoing "active police investigation" - are also said to have urged those around them to refuse interviews with London-based Pulse Films, which is making the programme on behalf of Netflix.
Clarence Mitchell, the family’s former spokesman, who still assists with media inquiries, told the Guardian that the couple didn't see how it would help the search "on a practical level".
"Kate and Gerry and their wider family and friends were approached some months ago to participate in the documentary," he stated. "Kate and Gerry didn’t ask for it and don’t see how it will help the search for Maddie on a practical level, so they chose not to engage."
Despite objections from Madeleine's parents, production staff are thought to have spoken to roughly 50 individuals, including Portuguese detective Gonçalo Amaral, journalists Anthony Summers and Robbyn Swan, who wrote a book on the case, and child protection experts Jim Gamble and Ernie Allan.
Some associates of the McCanns did reportedly take part, with Brian Kennedy, the millionaire businessman who helped fund the initial search for the little girl, also speaking to makers.
However, it's been questioned in the press whether producers have managed to dig up anything groundbreaking on the case.
British police officer Gamble will allegedly appear onscreen to state that he believes the case will be solved "within his lifetime", claiming new technology will lead the way.
The senior child protection officer in the UK's first investigation into the youngster's disappearance, said: "I absolutely believe that in my lifetime we will find out what has happened to Madeleine McCann. There's huge hope to be had with the advances in technology. Year on year DNA is getting better."
"Year on year other techniques, including facial recognition, are getting better. And as we use that technology to revisit and review that which we captured in the past, there's every likelihood that something we already know will slip into position."
However, other experts featured in the documentary apparently believe the youngster is more likely to have been "kept alive" by traffickers due to her financial value as a "middle-class British girl".
Private investigator Julian Peribanez, who was hired by the McCanns, will apparently claim that traffickers "usually go for lower-class kids from third world countries," saying: "That's the main supplier of these gangs. The value that Madeleine had was really high because if they took her it's because they were going to get a lot of money."
Viewers will also hear from the former Portuguese police chief, Goncalo Amaral, who alleges that the missing girl is dead and that her parents faked her kidnap. Kate and Gerry McCann have reportedly vowed to sue if he defames them in the documentary.
"Their lawyers will be watching with interest and are warning 'Beware!" a source told the Mail Online. "Mr Amaral is the one who has continued to make false and malicious accusations against Madeleine's parents which has resulted in a long-running libel battle. Whilst he won on a counter-appeal Kate and Gerry are challenging the Portuguese Supreme Court judgement."
They continued: "Kate and Gerry wanted absolutely nothing to do with the Netflix programme but they now understand Mr Amaral is playing a part in it and they want to ensure he says nothing again to incriminate them."