The Court of Appeal of Brussels has ruled that King Albert of Belgium has to pay 5,000 euros per day as long as he refuses to submit himself to a DNA-test to determine whether Ms Delphine Boël is his daughter. The lawyers of Ms Boël had requested this after King Albert refused to take a DNA-test despite a binding court ruling.
Since 2013, King Albert is part of an ongoing lawsuit in which Ms Delphine Boël claims to be the daughter of the former monarch. After several attempts outside the Court, Delphine Boël now demands a DNA-test from King Albert as she wants him to recognise her as his daughter. The Court case has been going on for years and is a very complicated matter without precedent.
In October 2018, the Court of Appeal ruled that Delphine Boël, King Albert and Delphine’s mother Sybille de Selys Longchamps had until the 7th of February 2019 to take a DNA-test to determine the paternity of Delphine. King Albert refused to take part in such a test. The lawyers of King Albert have objected to the Court’s ruling and have taken the case to the Court of Cassation which is their last resort. The lawyers of the former Monarch then argued that as long as the Court of Cassation hasn’t shared its verdict, the King is not obligated to take the paternity test.
However, the lawyers of Ms Boël contradicted this and asked the Court of Appeal to force King Albert to pay a periodic penalty payment for every day he refuses to take a DNA-test while waiting on the verdict of the Court of Cassation.
The Court of Appeal in Brussels has now ruled in Ms Boël’s favour. King Albert will be obligated to pay 5,000 euros per day to Ms Boël for every day he refuses to take a DNA-test. Soon a new date will be set on which King Albert will, once again, be asked to participate in a DNA-test. He has the right to refuse as according to Belgian Law no one can be forced to take a DNA-test. However, if he refuses once again, King Albert will have to pay 5,000 euros per day to Ms Boël for maximum 6 months.
If King Albert takes the DNA-test, the results will not be made public until the Court of Cassation has published its verdict on the case. King Albert tries to avoid this as it is said that he hopes to stretch the case until he dies.
Delphine Boël is “relieved” according to her lawyer Marc Uyttendaele. In a statement to VRT NWS he said: “We do not need to know the results, but we do need to know that the information exists. Given the age of the protagonists and the duration of the proceedings, no one can predict whether King Albert will still live at the moment that the Court decides. So we have to keep the evidence.”
The lawyer of King Albert thinks the Court of Appeal’s ruling is “bizarre”. His lawyer had not been in touch with the King yet but did make a short statement to VRT NWS: “But he (King Albert) has never been against the principle of a DNA test. He simply said that it is not the moment, because it is of no use at this time. Until there is a judgment before the Court of Cassation, Jaques Boël remains the legal father. I find this judgment unique, bizarre.”
What is the Boël case?
Delphine was born in 1968 as the daughter of Baroness Sybille de Selys Longchamps and was officially recognised by her mother’s husband, Jonkheer Jacques Boël. At the time, her mother was having an affair with King Albert of the Belgians. King Albert was present in the life of Delphine until he reconciled with his wife, Queen Paola. Ever since then, King Albert does not want to have anything to do with her.
In 2013, Delphine summoned King Albert and two of his children, the Duke of Brabant, now King Philippe, and Princess Astrid of Belgium, the Archduchess of Austria-Este to court in hopes of obtaining DNA for testing purposes. The King enjoyed immunity at the time, but his abdication in July 2013 opened the way for a new procedure. The Court case is very complicated and has no precedent, but after many obstacles, the Court has now ruled that King Albert should take a DNA-test to determine the paternity of Delphine.
Delphine Boël has always denied that she started the court case for inheritance. Her previous legal father, Jacques Boël, is much richer than King Albert.
The full story behind the Böel case can be found here.