The parents of five-year-old British cancer sufferer Ashya King were released from a Spanish prison late on Tuesday after UK prosecutors withdrew the European arrest warrant issued against them for taking him out of hospital and fleeing to Spain.
Brett and Naghemeh King walked out of Soto del Real penitentiary in the Madrid region around 11pm, after the British Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) decided to drop all charges against them.
The Kings had been in custody since Monday following an international police hunt that led to their arrest at a hotel in Vélez-Málaga in southern Spain.
A High Court judge had been due to call in the Kings at 11am on Wednesday and decide whether to extradite them to Britain as the UK authorities had requested. The High Court Prosecutor’s Office was planning to ask for their release, but this became unnecessary when the CPS communicated its new decision.
Brett King said that he wants to see his son as soon as possible, and thanked “Spain and England” for their help
Upon his release, Brett King told reporters that he wants to see his son as soon as possible, and thanked “Spain and England” for their help. The Kings were due to travel to Málaga, where Ashya, who is ill with a brain tumor, has been receiving treatment at a children’s hospital since his parents’ arrest on Sunday.
The British authorities issued a warrant for the Kings after they took Ashya from Southampton Hospital without their doctors’ consent and fled the country. The parents said they were trying to sell a property in Málaga to raise the money to pay for proton beam therapy for their son in the Czech Republic. This treatment is allegedly less aggressive than ordinary cancer therapy.