2 Sep 2014

Ashya King’s parents released from prison

The parents of brain tumour boy Ashya King have been released from Soto del Real prison near Madrid.

Brett and Naghmeh King said they were “relieved” and “tired” as they left prison and prepared to be reunited “as soon as possible” with their five-year-old son.

Mr King told reporters: “We are very grateful to Spain for the support we have received. We will go to see my son as soon as possible, we have been dying to see his face for so long.”

Earlier, judge in Spain ruled that Brett and Naghmeh King would return to court tomorrow while the court considers whether to grant a British extradition request.

However, Portsmouth city council, the authority which began legal action after Ashya King was removed from hospital without his doctors’ consent, urged the Crown Prosecution Service “to urgently review the case”.

According to Reuters, Spain’s state prosecutor also recommended that the couple be released on bail and reunited with their son, who is being treated in a hospital in Malaga.

Mr and Mrs King, who were arrested in Spain after the five-year-old was taken, had told the judge in Madrid they did not want to return to the UK. Family members as well as MPs have criticised the way the case has been handled.

The family took Ashya from Southampton general hospital last Thursday and travelled to France with him and his six siblings before heading to the Costa del Sol in southern Spain. The couple’s lawyer in Spain said in an interview with BBC’s Radio 5 Live programme that they are preparing legal action against the hospital.

Ashya King with his mother

‘Resolve this distressing situation’

Donna Jones, the leader of Portsmouth city council, urged the CPS to “remove any extradition proceedings, so the family can be reunited with their five-year-old son”.

In a statement, she said: “The council made a temporary wardship application to the high court last Friday at the request of Southampton hospital. This resulted in a court order that directed Ashya should be taken to the nearest appropriate hospital. I am clear the council was correct in its actions.

“As Ashya is now receiving medical care, I believe the priority should be to reunite him with his family and resolve this distressing situation and I will be doing what I can to ensure that happens.” A hearing took place at the high court in London at 2.30pm on Tuesday to review the wardship.


More than 150,000 people have signed an online petition demanding Ashya is reunited with his parents. The petition, created by family friend Ethan Dallas, said it was not criticising any authorities but was “purely about reuniting the family and ensuring Ashya receives the treatment of his parents preference”.

Mr Dallas, 16, delivered the petition to Downing Street, appealing to the prime minister to personally request that Mr and Mrs King be released immediately from custody.

Nick Clegg told BBC Breakfast that he believes it is “not appropriate” to “throw the full force of the law” at the parents of the five-year-old brain cancer patient.

The deputy prime minister said his “heart goes out” to Brett and Naghmeh King after they spent another night away from their son.

“My heart goes out – and I’m sure every mum or dad will have the same response, which is, as far as I can make out, this is a family in a state of real anguish who have taken this exceptional step of moving their sick child to another country because they think that’s what is best for their child.”

The brother of Ashya King, who spoke to Channel 4 News yesterday, thanked David Cameron and Mr Clegg for speaking out over this situation in a video posted on YouTube.

‘Situation is not right’

British police changed their position today after the force had defended their decision to request a European arrest warrant.

Hampshire Police chief constable Andy Marsh today said Ashya King “needs both medical treatment and for his parents to at his side”. He said: “The situation today is not right.”

A spokesperson for University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust said it was willing to support the family’s transfer to Prague for proton beam radiotherapy, after the centre confirmed it was able to treat Ashya, although it did not “recommend” it.