Irate Turkey has a cell waiting for Fergie

By Jerome Taylor

Sarah Ferguson. Photo / Supplied
Sarah Ferguson. Photo / Supplied

The Duchess of York, Sarah Ferguson, is facing charges of breaching Turkey's strict press laws - an offence which carries a possible jail sentence of up to 22 years.

A court in Ankara has filed charges against the Duchess over an undercover documentary she took part in exposing cruelty in the country's orphanages.

According to the indictment, Ferguson is accused in absentia of "violating the privacy" of five children because her documentary team used undercover filming to capture evidence of abuse.

But the Duchess is unlikely to go to jail.

Although Britain does have an extradition treaty with Turkey, prosecutors complained that they were rebuffed on grounds of "national security" when they asked Britain for help in questioning the former wife of Prince Andrew.

In 2008, the Duchess teamed up with investigative reporter Chris Rogers after seeing his documentaries on child cruelty in Romanian orphanages.

She agreed to travel undercover to Turkey and Romania with Rogers, producer Tom Jones and her daughter, Eugenie.

The resulting documentary - Duchess and Daughters: Their Secret Mission - was screened on ITV1 and provoked a furious response from the Turkish authorities who accused her of a "smear campaign" against them.

For the documentary the Duchess wore a dark wig and green headscarf to slip into an orphanage in Ankara.

Secret cameras filmed teenagers tied to chairs and children with sores rocking back and forth in their chairs.

Independent

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