herald

Monday 23 October 2017

Ashya's parents may sue hospital

The parents of brain cancer patient Ashya King are planning legal action against Southampton General Hospital, it emerged today as Britain's Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg joined mounting calls for the family to be reunited.

Brett and Naghmeh King's lawyer revealed the "desperate" couple are considering "demands" against the hospital from which they took their five-year-old son last Thursday.

It came as Mr Clegg said he believes it is "not appropriate" to "throw the full force of the law" at the Kings, while it also emerged that one of Ashya's brothers has seen him in hospital in Malaga.

The couple, who were arrested in Spain after Ashya was taken from a UK hospital without doctors' consent, have spent another night away from him.

A judge in Madrid has ruled that they must be held for up to 72 hours while the court considers whether to grant a British extradition request.

Juan Isidro Fernandez Diaz, the couple's lawyer in Spain, said they are "so sad", adding: "They are going to prepare legal demands against the hospital in Southampton. Legal action will be against the hospital."

Mr Diaz told BBC's Radio 5 Live that the couple "wanted the very best for their child".

"They never thought that they committed any crime in the UK," he said.

"The child is in perfect condition. All the doctors said [there was] no problem with the child to travel from England to Spain because the father knows [how] to give treatment to the child.

"We are saying the boy is not in danger. The big brother is with the boy and he is in perfect condition."

Mr Clegg's intervention came amid growing calls for the couple's release from detention, with an online petition attracting more than 80,000 signatures.

hnews@herald.ie

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