Sunday 22 April 2018

Lawyers seek to drop arrest warrant against Ashya's parents

Bret King with his ill son Ashya. Mr King and his wife are in custody.
Bret King with his ill son Ashya. Mr King and his wife are in custody.

Prosecutors are seeking to withdraw the arrest warrant for the parents of brain tumour patient Ashya King, who was taken from hospital in Southampton without doctors' consent, a British High Court judge has been told.

Lawyers representing the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) and Portsmouth City Council told Mr Justice Baker of the plan at the start of a hearing in the Family Division of the High Court in London.


Mr Justice Baker said the council had asked a judge to make Ashya a ward of court last week and to give directions about his medical treatment.


He said he would be given updates on the situation at Tuesday's hearing.


Brett and Naghmeh King are being held in Spain after taking their five-year-old son from Southampton General Hospital last week.


The developments in court came as the head of the police force which applied for the European Arrest warrant, sparking the hunt for the parents, said the current situation was "not right".


Andy Marsh, chief constable of Hampshire Police, said: "It is my view as Chief Constable that the situation today is not right. Irrespective of what has happened it is our view that Ashya needs both medical treatment and for his parents to be at his side.


"Our intent was to secure his safety not to deny him family support at this particularly challenging time in his life."


In court Lucinda Davis for Portsmouth Council said the hospital in Spain where Ashya was being treated could transfer him back to hospital in England. It also said the hospital could provide chemotherapy in Spain.


She said the issue was whether Ashya should receive proton beam treatment.


Ms Davis said the council wanted what was best for Ashya and wanted the High Court to consider the options.


But she said Ashya's parents would need to feature in any court hearing and could not do so when they were under arrest.


Vikram Sachdeva, for Southampton hospital, said the hospital was proposing a course of chemotherapy, but not proton beam treatment. He said that could not be provided in England - although it is the favoured option of Ashya's parents

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