The parents of a child suffering from a severe brain tumor signaled Monday they would defy efforts to force them to return to Britain, days after their family fled to seek a novel kind of radiation treatment for the 5-year-old boy.
A Spanish judge ordered Brett and Naghemeh King held for 72 hours while documents are translated and doctors are consulted. After that, the judge could extend their time in detention or release them.
The family had fled to Spain in hopes of selling a property to obtain enough cash for a new treatment in the Czech Republic or the United States they hope will help their child. Police pursued them and issued an arrest warrant on suspicion of neglect after Southampton General Hospital realized their patient – 5-year-old Ashya King -was gone, without their consent.
British authorities have made no apology for the warrant and travelled to Spain to question the couple. Assistant Chief Constable Chris Shead, of Hampshire Constabulary, has said he would rather be criticized for “being proactive” than “potentially having to explain why a child has lost his life.”