King Albert II paternity case: Lawyer downplays latest court ruling
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King Albert II paternity case: Lawyer downplays latest court ruling

The lawyer for King Albert II, Alain Berenboom, on Friday downplayed a decision by Belgium’s Court of Cassation to reject a bid by the former monarch to appear before it in the latest phase of the Delphine Boël paternity case.

Reacting to Friday’s decision by the Court of Cassation, Berenboom refused to see it as a defeat, stressing that his client was involved in this first phase of the proceedings against his wish, even though the law did not require it.

The Court decided that, at this stage of the proceedings, King Albert II was not party to the action to contest the paternity and, therefore, his point of view could not yet be heard.

His arguments will be considered in the second part of the procedure, which will now be opened at the Brussels Appeal Court to determine any possible paternity of the King.

Delphine Boël, a 51-year-old Belgian woman, has been claiming for years that the king, and not her purported parent Jacques Boël, is her biological father.

Boël took to the courts to seek recognition as Albert’s daughter and a judge subsequently ruled that the king should take a DNA test. Albert appealed against the decision in the Court of Cassation but, in May, he provided genetic material for the DNA test.

“No one knows the result of this DNA test, not even the King,” Berenboom stressed. “At the appeal court, the issue of whether or not to produce the results of the DNA test will be raised. That will be the subject of legal debates.”

The key issue will be to know whether or not the King can be considered the legal father of Delphine Boël. “Delphine Boël no longer has a legal father,” Berenboom explained. “The issue is whether the King will become her legal father or not.”

Asked about the state of mind of the former sovereign, the attorney made a comparison with Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius.

“When I see him, I feel he’s a philosophical king,” he said. “I’m under the impression that he is extremely calm. He reminds me a bit of Emperor Marcus Aurelius. I think the king has that same philosophy.”

Oscar Schneider
The Brussels Times