UK & World News

  • 31 August 2014, 18:13

UK Police In Spain To Question Ashya's Parents

The parents of Ashya King, who was taken out of hospital against medical advice, face being extradited to the UK after being arrested in Spain.

Officers in the Malaga area pulled over the family's car at 9pm UK time on Saturday and found the five-year-old and his parents inside after a tip-off from a staff member at the hotel where they were staying.

Sky News sources say British police have arrived in the area to question Ashya's parents - Brett King, 51, and Naghemeh King, 45.

The boy from Portsmouth, who underwent "extensive surgery" during an operation on his brain tumour seven days ago at Southampton General Hospital, was taken to a hospital in the local area.

He was in a stable condition, and there is no prospect of him being transferred to another hospital, say Sky sources.

Assistant Chief Constable Chris Shead, of Hampshire Constabulary, said his parents were in custody after being arrested on a European arrest warrant.

In response to criticism about the force's actions, he said: "Faced with the situation that we were, we had medical experts telling us Ashya was in grave danger... if he didn't get the care that he needed there was a potential threat to his life.

"So I make no apologies for being as proactive in this investigation as we have been."

He said it was too soon to say when Ashya would come back to the UK, but said Southampton General Hospital was liaising with doctors taking care of him in Spain.

Mr Shead said proceedings to extradite Mr and Mrs King to the UK are expected to start on Monday.

The couple are due to appear in court on Monday morning, according to reports in Spain.

The arrests came as footage emerged on YouTube of Ashya's father, a Jehovah's Witness, insisting they had taken him from hospital to seek a cancer treatment not available on the NHS.

"We were much disturbed today to find that his face is all over the internet and newspapers and we've been labelled as kidnappers, putting his life at risk, neglect," he said.

"As you can see, there's nothing wrong with him. He's very happy actually, since we took him out of hospital."

He said he had spoken to specialists after Ashya's surgery and had requested proton beam treatment, which was not available on the NHS.

A spokesman for University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust said: "Our priority has always been Ashya's welfare and we are delighted that he has been found.

"We are now working closely with colleagues in Malaga to ensure he receives the essential medical support he needs.

"We are aware of the comments made online by his father.

"Throughout Ashya's admission we have had conversations about the treatment options available to him, and we had offered the family access to a second opinion as well as assistance with organising treatment abroad."

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