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Duchess of York faces jail in Turkey over TV programme

13 JANUARY 2012

Three years after a mission to Turkey to raise awareness of harsh conditions faced by children in local orphanages, a court in the country is planning to prosecute the Duchess of York over her documentary.

The chief prosecutor announced charges against Sarah, 52, for going "against the law in acquiring footage and violating the privacy" of five children.

Dressed in a black wig and head scarf, Prince Andrew's former wife accompanied an undercover ITV team, who were filming a children's home.

 

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She was accompanied by her younger daughter Princess Eugenie.

Duchess and Daughters: Their Secret Mission appeared to show youngsters tied to their beds all day without being fed.

If found guilty, the mother of two could face from seven and a half to 22 years in prison.

It's not known why it took the court so long to announce charges since the investigation into the programme dates back to 2009 when the Home Office confirmed it had received a request for "legal mutual assistance".

Her spokesman James Henderson said the Duchess had "fully co-operated" with the Turkish and British authorities at all times.

"British ministers refused to accede to the further request for legal assistance from Turkey so from a UK perspective we have been told by the Home Office the case is closed.

He added that Turkish officials had not informed her of the charge.

"The Duchess is not aware of this – the Turkish authorities have not contacted her.

"It's important to stress that the Duchess was on a humanitarian trip and it was ITV who made the programme, not her.

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