In Depth

Ashya King 'cured of cancer' by treatment denied on the NHS

Five-year old is now cancer-free after receiving proton beam therapy in the Czech Republic, say his parents


Ashya King: demands grow for parents to be freed

2 September

Nick Clegg has joined cross-party calls for Ashya King to be reunited with his family.

Ashya, who has stage four brain cancer, was removed from a Southampton hospital by his parents so that he could get treatment abroad that was not available on the NHS.

The five-year-old is currently under police guard at a children's hospital in Malaga. His parents, Brett and Naghemeh King, were arrested under a European detention order for alleged child neglect and are currently in police custody awaiting a judge's decision on their bail application.

"A little boy is on his own in a hospital, doesn't speak Spanish, is cut off from his parents and his siblings and I would like to see him together with his family as soon as possible," Clegg told the BBC.

The Crown Prosecution Service has said it has received further evidence and the case is currently under "immediate review".

David Cameron said he believes the Kings were simply trying to "do the very best for" their son Ashya but said that it was "understandable that the relevant authorities [would] take an interest in the case."

Hampshire police have continued to defend their actions saying "a European Arrest Warrant is not issued on the whim of Hampshire Constabulary. It's issued having been looked at by the Crown Prosecution Service and a district judge."

"Separating a very sick child from loving parents is traumatic and appears to be heavy handed," Dominic Grieve, the former attorney general, told the Daily Telegraph. "It can only be justified if it enables that child to access immediate and necessary treatment."

Over 117,000 people have signed a petition calling for a Ashya to be reunited with his parents.

Ashya King: police criticised over 'ridiculous chase'

1 September

The family of Ashya King have criticised police over the arrest of his parents, calling it an "absolute disgrace".

Brett and Naghemeh King were arrested in Spain following an international manhunt after they removed their son Ashya from Southampton General Hospital against doctors orders on Friday.

Police feared that the five-year old, who has a brain tumour and just months left to live, was in "grave danger" and launched an international investigation to locate him and his parents.

Ashya has now been taken to a children's hospital in Malaga and his parents are due in court today, where extradition proceeding are set to begin.

Why did his parents take him away?

Brett and Naghemeh King said the hospital refused to offer an expensive treatment called proton beam therapy on the NHS so they decided to travel to Europe to seek cheaper treatment.

They planned to sell their apartment in Costa del Sol to release funds for Ashya to receive the treatment in the Czech Republic.

What is his family saying?

Brett King posted a YouTube video before his arrest calling on the police to abandon their "ridiculous chase". According to The Guardian the family were angry that the police had portrayed them as "kidnappers" and turned them into refugees.

Ashya's older brother has also posted a video online defending his parents' actions, claiming that Ashya was never in danger as the family had all the medical supplies he may have needed.

His grandmother Patricia King called the police's actions "absolutely disgusting", the Daily Telegraph reports, and has demanded that Brett and Naghemeh be released and reunited with their sick child in hospital.

What are the police saying?

Despite criticism of their handling of the case, Hampshire police have refused to apologise for the way they conducted their search and investigation, claiming they believed the young boy was in "grave danger".

"I make no apology for being as proactive as possible in trying to find him," said Assistant Chief Constable Chris Shead. "I'd much rather be standing here facing criticism over being proactive than do nothing and explain why a child has lost his life."

What is the hospital saying?

A spokesperson for the hospital said they were "delighted" Ashya had been found. They insisted Ashya's parents had been given all the information available regarding his treatment options.

"We had offered the family access to a second opinion, as well as assistance with organising treatment abroad."

What happens next?

Ashya, who remains in a Spanish hospital, is said to be stable, but he has been unable to see his parents since they were arrested. No charges have been brought against the Kings but they are being held under a European detention order for alleged cruelty to a person under the age of 16.

They are due in court today, where a judge is expected to consider grounds for their extradition to the UK. The Crown Prosecution Service will now decide whether to prosecute the parents.

An online petition has received thousands of signatures calling for the Kings to be released and nearly £7,000 has been raised for Ashya's treatment.


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