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Turkish police ask Home Office to quiz Sarah over children's welfare film

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Sarah's undercover report on the neglect of orphaned kids angered local authorities, who are seeking to extradite her
Photo: © ITV 

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The Duchess, who made the secret documentary with daughter Eugenie, is accused of breaking the country's privacy laws - an offence which carries a four and a half years jail sentence 

16 SEPTEMBER 2009

Her role as a community and children's welfare campaigner has won her admiration around the world.

But as Sarah, Duchess of York is finding out,  her tireless charity work also leaves her vulnerable to attack.

After the controversy caused by her mission to improve conditions on a rundown Manchester estate, the mother of two is once again in the firing line.

This time the criticism has come from the Turkish authorities who are furious about a documentary she made about the country's orphanages.

In it she claimed children were being neglected and maltreated.

They have accused the Duchess of breaking the state's strict privacy laws by filming undercover in an institution near Ankara, which houses 700 disabled youngsters.

According to the Sun, the Home Office has received a request for Mutual Legal Assistance – the first step in any extradition request - in relation to the Duchess.

Under extradition law, the petition would normally require British police to interview her. 

A Home Office source told the paper: "If following a (UK) police investigation, charges are laid in Turkey, the Duchess could be arrested and extradited to appear in court in Turkey."

The offence she is accused of carries a sentence of four and a half years.

But her spokesperson insisted: "The Duchess has no political motivation. This is all about the welfare of children".

Sarah, disguised in a black wig and headscarf, secretly shot footage of children left tied to their beds all day.

Her daughter Eugenie, who accompanied her, was so distressed by the scenes inside the home she broke down in tears.

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