British boy with tumour receiving care in hospital, parents face extradition
Harold Heckle, The Associated Press
Published Sunday, August 31, 2014 8:28AM EDT
Last Updated Sunday, August 31, 2014 9:43AM EDT
MADRID, Spain -- A critically-ill 5-year-old boy driven to Spain by his parents against doctors' advice is receiving medical treatment for a brain tumour in a Spanish hospital as his parents await extradition to Britain, police said Sunday.
Officers received a phone call late Saturday from a hotel east of Malaga advising that a vehicle fitting the description circulated by police was on its premises.
Both parents were arrested and the boy, Ashya King, was taken to a hospital, a Spanish police spokesman said.
The boy's situation will depend on medical advice, the spokesman said on condition of anonymity because he is not allowed to be cited by name in the media.
Spanish National Police had published several tweets on its official account giving details of the King family and asking the public to call an emergency number with any information.
"The Kings are currently being held in custody and police have 72 hours to question them before handing them over to a judge, who will begin extradition proceedings," said Chris Shead, of Britain's Hampshire Constabulary.
Shead said the parents were arrested on suspicion of neglect. They were receiving advice from Britain's consular services in Spain and would likely also face questioning by British police who were due to arrive in Malaga on Sunday, he added.
An international search began Thursday for the boy, who has a severe brain tumour, after his parents removed him from a hospital in the southern English city of Southampton in the county of Hampshire.
A European arrest warrant was issued by Interpol, at the request of British police, for the boy's parents, Brett and Naghemeh, both Jehovah's Witnesses. There has been no indication that the parents raised any religious issue about the boy's treatment.
The family had been seen travelling from Britain to France aboard a car ferry and Spanish police had been alerted.
Spanish state television broadcaster TVE said on its website that the minors among the couple's five other children were being looked after by their adult brothers.