Ashya King: Parents of ill boy held by Spanish courts for 72 hours as they fight extradition warrant

 

crime correspondent

The parents of a gravely ill child will be held for up to three days in Spanish custody while a judge decides whether to grant bail, as they fight extradition over suspected neglect for spiriting their five-year-old son, Ashya, away from a British hospital.

The decision to arrest Brett King, 51, and his wife Naghmeh, 45, on a European arrest warrant was fiercely debated last night. The couple remain separated from their son and are opposing their removal from Spain back to the UK in a legal battle that could last months.

Police were accused by the family of heavy-handedness over treatment of the Kings, who were arrested on Saturday. They had taken Ashya from Southampton General Hospital last Thursday without the consent of his doctors, who warned the battery-operated machine feeding him was likely to have run flat.

The couple were found in Malaga – having reportedly travelled to Spain to sell a holiday home to obtain funds for proton beam therapy, which is not available through the NHS – and Ashya is now being treated in a Spanish hospital.

The family complained British doctors did not listen to their views and that they were now being stopped from visiting Ashya. The boy’s brother Naveed told Channel 4 News: “We’re not allowed to go and see Ashya at all. There is police standing outside his room. We have tried to call the hospital but they are not revealing any information at all to us.”

Television footage yesterday showed the Mr and Mrs King being taken to the court. Mr King could be heard saying: “We just want the best for Ashya,” while his wife said they just want the “best treatment” for their son.

British police have travelled to Spain to question the couple on suspicion of neglect.

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