The parents of a five-year-old British boy who fled to Spain after spiriting the youngster out of a Southampton hospital were due to testify in Madrid’s High Court on Monday morning.
Spanish police located the family on Saturday at a hotel in the Andalusian village of Vélez-Málaga, after Interpol issued a European arrest warrant against the parents of Ashya King, a boy with a brain tumor who requires medical assistance to survive.
The police arrested the parents, Brett King, 51, and his wife Naghemeh, 45, and the five-year-old was sent to a specialized cancer unit at the children’s hospital in Málaga, the Hospital Materno Infantil. Hospital sources said that Ashya is in stable condition and that his life is not in danger.
The police showed up after the desk clerk recognized the Kings
After fleeing to Spain, the family showed up at a small establishment named Hostal Esperanza (Spanish for "hope") on Saturday evening with six children and no reservation, according to a worker there. They were offered two family rooms, and remained there until 8pm, when the police showed up after the desk clerk recognized the Kings and raised the alarm.
Before that, one of Ashya’s older brothers had uploaded a video on YouTube explaining their reasons for taking him out of the hospital in Britain. The father said they wanted to find better treatment for him elsewhere; he claimed that his British treatment was too harsh and that Ashya was being “pelted with radiation.” He also complained that the doctors did not let them question the procedure or suggest alternatives, and even threatened to bar both himself and the mother from seeing their son.
The Kings, who are Jehovah’s witnesses, asked for an opportunity to choose the right treatment for their son’s condition, and said that they are not kidnappers, merely parents trying to do what’s best for their son. The couple decided to take Ashya out of Southampton hospital without the doctors’ consent.
Interpol had told Spanish police that they had 12 hours to find the boy before the battery on his feeding unit died out, but the King family video shows the father explaining that they have enough batteries and equipment to last several days.