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Ex-Belgian King may face 5,000 euro daily fine over paternity test

IANS

 

BRUSSELS

The former King of Belgium could face a fine of 5,000 euros ($5,665) a day if he continues to refuse a paternity test after an artist and member of the country’s nobility won a court’s backing when she claimed to be the ex- monarch’s illegitimate daughter, the media reported on Friday.

Delphine Boel had long claimed that she was former Belgian King Albert II’s daughter through a relationship he had with her mother, Belgian aristocrat Baroness Sybille de Selys Longchamps.

In November, after a five-year legal battle, a court agreed with Delphine Boel, giving Albert three months to provide a DNA sample to settle the question of paternity. A previous test had confirmed that Jacques Boel, her mother’s husband, was not the biological father, EFE news reported.

On November 5, the Court of Appeal in Brussels asked the former king for a DNA test and gave him a 90-day window to comply.

The court ruled that DNA samples belonging to Albert and Selys Longchamps, known former lover of the king, would have to be analysed and compared. Albert’s lawyers appealed the ruling to the Court of Cassation, Belgium’s main court of last resort.

Boel’s paternity lawsuit against Albert could not go forward until 2013, when the 84-year-old monarch abdicated.

A new hearing is now set to take place on February 14, in which the defence said it would demand the former king be fined 5,000 euros for every day he continues to fail to undergo the paternity test.

Boel’s lawyers wanted to avoid reaching the Court of Cassation without the monarch agreeing to take the test.

Boel’s existence first surfaced in 1999 following the publication of an unauthorized biography of Queen Paola of Belgium, an Italian aristocrat and former wife of Albert II.

Selys Longchamps added to the speculation when she published photos of her daughter with the monarch and revealed that she did indeed have an affair with the former king which nearly led to his divorce from Paola on two occasions, once in 1969 and another in 1976.

Albert admitted in an interview on the RTL Belgian television channel aired in June 2014, a few months before Boel’s paternity claim became a high-profile media story, that his marriage with Paola had gone through some difficult moments, but he never recognized Boel as his daughter.

 

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