The father of gravely ill child Ashya King has said that doctors in England were going to turn his son into a “vegetable”, leaving them seeking alternative treatment abroad.
When asked by a Sky journalist whether he would do the same again, father Brett King replied “of course” and added: “My son’s worth everything, worth me going to prison, worth everything, because they were going to kill him in England or turn him into a vegetable.”
Mr King also said that he and his wife Naghmeh had been “treated like terrorists” following the international manhunt to find them, sparked by their removing their five-year-old son – who has a brain tumour – from a Southampton hospital.
However, after the parents' release from prison, their press conference and a journey this morning to the hospital that Ashya is in, Mr King has claimed that Portsmouth Council is still in charge of the child.
"We have come to see him but they won't let me see him.
"Portsmouth Council have made him a ward of court, so we don't have custody over him. If I see him, then they will arrest me."
The situation is continually changing and it appears that Ashya has now been reunited with his parents after this assertion, however the boy remains a ward of court in Britain, which means the authorities exercise responsibility over him.
There is understood to be no objections on the couple seeing their son.
Earlier today, Mr King has spoken of the torment at being left languishing in a Spanish prison unable to see his son, with no television and no understanding of why so many journalists were camped outside Soto del Real prison near Madrid waiting for their release.
British police dropped the case against them following an outcry against the treatment of Ashya’s parents, with Prime Minister David Cameron saying that he welcomed the prosecution being dropped and that “it’s important this little boy gets treatment and the love of his family”.
In pictures: Ashya King's case
In pictures: Ashya King's case
1/22 Ashya King
Brett King, back left, and Naghemeh King, right, accompany their son Ashya King (5) center, as he arrives for pre-cancer treatment examinations at the Motol hospital in Prague, Czech Republic
2/22 Ashya King
Ashya King (5) arrives for pre-cancer treatment examinations at the Motol hospital in Prague, Czech Republic
3/22 Ashya King
Brett King, father of five year old Ashya King, talks to members of the press after holding a press conference at his lawyer's office in Seville, Spain
4/22 Ashya King
Brett and Naghemeh King, parents of Ashya King, attend a press conference in Sevilla, Spain. The British parents are heading to see him at a hospital in southern Spain following release their from custody after United Kingdom authorities dropped accusations of child cruelty against them
5/22 Ashya King
British couple Brett (L) and Naghemeh (2L) King leave Soto del Real Prision in Soto del Real, near Madrid, Spain
6/22 Ashya King
Brett King leaving Soto del Real prison near Madrid, Spain after British authorities dropped the case against him and his wife for taking their son Ashya from Southampton General Hospital without the consent of doctors
7/22 Ashya King
Naghemeh King leaves Soto del Real Prision in Soto del Real, near Madrid, Spain
8/22 Ashya King
Ashya King in hospital with his mother
9/22 Ashya King
Journalist work outside the Materno Infantil Hospital where Ashya King is hospitalized in Malaga, Spain
10/22 Ashya King
Ethan Dallas and Sanjay Ganatra, friends of the family, deliver a petition of over 100,000 names calling for his parents' release from a Spanish jail
11/22 Ashya King
Spanish judge Ismael Moreno arrives to the National Courts to take statement to the parents of Britain's five-year-old boy Ashya King, in Madrid, Spain
12/22 Ashya King
Ashya King parents's lawyer, Juan Isidro Fernandez Diaz, arrives at the National court in Madrid
AP Photo/Andres Kudacki
13/22 Ashya King
Spanish policemen stand guard as a police van carrying the parents of Ashya King arrives at the courthouse in Madrid
JAVIER SORIANO/AFP/Getty Images
14/22 Ashya King
Ashya King’s parents after their court appearance
15/22 Ashya King
Ashya King's father explained why he took his son to Spain in a video uploaded to YouTube
16/22 Ashya King
This photo of Ashya King being examined by doctors in hospital was posted on Facebook by his brother, Naveed
17/22 Ashya King
Ashya King and his brother Naveed
18/22 Ashya King
Ashya King on a hospital bed
19/22 Ashya King
A CCTV still issued by Hampshire Police of Ashya King with his father Brett King at around 4pm yesterday
20/22 Ashya King
The exterior of Southampton General Hospital where Ashya King, who has a brain tumour was taken by his parents from the hospital without the blessing of doctors
21/22 Ashya King
Hampshire Constabulary said there are 'serious concerns' for the life of Ashya King as he needs constant medical care. Officers said his parents - Brett, 51, and Naghemeh, 45, - boarded a cross-Channel ferry from Portsmouth to Cherbourg at 4pm yesterday with Ashya's six siblings
22/22 Ashya King
Ashya King, who has a brain tumour and was taken by his parents from hospital without the blessing of doctors
As they prepared to see their son today for the first time since being detained on Saturday, Ashya’s mother Naghmeh told the BBC that all she could do “was just cry and pray” while in her prison cell.
“I just want to wet his mouth because he can't drink through his mouth, I want to brush his teeth, I want to turn him side to side every 15 minutes because he can't move.
“I just want to do all those things I was doing from Southampton, I want to do it for him here.”
Brett King said that he wasn’t angry: “My heart is aching for my son and anger can't come in at the moment because I've just got these feelings that I've got to see my son's face.
He later added that he hopes “no other parent has to go through this rubbish.
“I would be happy to spend years in prison rather than my son be given treatment that’s going to kill him or disable him for the rest of his life,” he said.
Mr King also claimed that he and his wife had advised Southampton hospital that they were taking Ashya out, though the hospital states otherwise.
The Kings had taken their son to Spain with the boy's six siblings last week after the British hospital he was being treated in – following the removal of a tumour on 24 July – refused to give proton radiotherapy to the child – a special treatment requested by the parents.
“The Trust considers there is no benefit to Ashya of proton radiotherapy over standard radiotherapy. This view is supported by a national independent expert body,” a statement by the hospital says.
“Despite this, the Trust agreed with the family to refer Ashya for proton radiotherapy, as the family had indicated that they could fund it privately.
“On 28 August 2014, during unsupervised leave on the Trust's grounds, Ashya's family chose to remove him without informing or seeking the consent of medical staff.”
Ashya is now set to travel to the Czech Republic for the proton beam treatment his parents wanted him to get.
The boy’s medical records have been sent to the Proton Therapy Centre (PTC) in Prague, though he will reportedly have to travel back to the UK for two cycles of chemotherapy before undergoing the proton treatment on mainland Europe.
In a short press conference this morning in Seville, Mr King said: “Hopefully now we can see our son, we can be together and show love to him, because without that there is no purpose to life.
“We just want to help my son get through this bad time, because he hasn't got too many months to live. And we were locked away in a cell and no one can do anything.”
Ashya's brother Naveed has posted a number of videos to his YouTube channel explaining the situation and has also provided a number of links to help the family, including an IndieGoGo fundraising page which has so far garnered £22,000 in donations to go towards the child's treatment.