August 26, 2019
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European Union

Ex-Belgian king could pay 5,000 euro daily fine for refusing paternity test

Brussels, Feb 7 (efe-epa).- The former King of Belgium could face a fine of 5,000-euros ($5,665) a day should he continue 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 retired monarch's illegitimate daughter, Belgian media reported Friday.

Delphine Boël had long claimed that she was Albert II, King of the Belgian's daughter through a relationship he had with her mother.

In Nov., after a five-year legal battle, a court agreed with her, giving Albert three months to provide a DNA sample to settle the question of paternity.

A previous test had confirmed that Jacques Boël, her mother's husband, was not the biological father.

On Nov. 5 the Court of Appeal in Brussels ordered a DNA test from the former king and gave him a 90-day window to comply.

The court ruled that DNA samples belonging to Albert and the aristocrat, Baroness Sybille de Selys Longchamps, Boël's biological mother and known former lover of the king, would have to be analyzed and compared.

Albert's lawyers appealed the ruling to the Court of Cassation, Belgium's main court of last resort.

Boël 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 Thursday, Valentine's Day, during which the defense has said it is to require the former king to be fined 5,000 euros for every day he continues to fail to undergo the paternity test.

Boël's lawyers have wanted to avoid reaching the Court of Cassation without the monarch agreeing to take the test.

Boël'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 Boël's paternity claim became a high-profile media story, that his marriage with Paola had gone through some difficult moments, but he has never recognized Boël as his daughter.

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