Sarah Ferguson tried in absentia in Turkey
Saturday 05 May 2012
A Turkish court has begun a trial against Britain's Duchess of York for allegedly taking part in the secret filming of two orphanages in Turkey, the state-run news agency said.
Sarah Ferguson faces charges of going "against the law in acquiring footage and violating privacy" of five children at one of the orphanages, the Anadolu Agency said. If convicted, she could receive a maximum sentence of 22 1/2 years in prison.
The trial began yesterday, and Ferguson did not attend the opening session, the agency said.
Ferguson, the former wife of Britain's Prince Andrew, allegedly made an undercover trip to Turkey in 2008 during which she secretly visited the two state-run orphanages along with two British TV journalists.
The footage of the five children was filmed at the Saray Rehabilitation and Care Center orphanage near Ankara and shown on the British ITV program "Duchess and Daughters: Their Secret Mission." The secretly filmed images appeared to show the children tied to their beds or left in cribs.
The government has accused the duchess of smearing Turkey's image.
The news agency quoted her lawyer, Cansu Sahin, as saying the duchess is seeking an out-of-court settlement.
Canan Yildiz, a lawyer representing the five children and Turkey's Family and Social Policies Ministry, said her clients have been "harmed" and would like to join the public prosecution against Ferguson and the two British journalists who have been also indicted in the case and could be tried separately.
The court agreed to hear testimony from the five children who were filmed, but Yildiz said some of them are mentally retarded and others are handicapped, and that it would have been better if their testimony was taken at the orphanage.
Anadolu did not say when the next hearing at the Ferguson trial will be held, and the lawyers in the case could not be reached for comment today.
- 1 Scottish independence: Ireland since 1919 is a lesson for Scotland in what a Yes vote means
- 2 Watch a man race the Circle line and win
- 3 A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
- 4 Grandmas keep accidentally tagging themselves as Grandmaster Flash on Facebook
Islamic State: Pope is 'being targeted by Isis', Iraqi ambassador to the Holy See warns
Jennifer Lawrence and Kate Upton nude pictures exhibition cancelled after artist concedes photos were 'stolen property'
Scotland independence: A nation divided against itself: Brown says SNP are liars. Darling joins in. Salmond fights back
John Travolta addresses former pilot's gay romance allegations publicly for the first time
Richard III: Two years after his body was found scientists discover how he died
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
The political class is doing what Hitler couldn’t – destroying Britain
Scottish independence: Nationalist leader Jim Sillars threatens pro-union companies with 'day of reckoning' after independence
Scottish independence: Yes campaign feels the heat as Alex Salmond's NHS claims come under furious attack
Portuguese academic says British are 'filthy, violent and drunk'
£23m Birmingham cycle scheme is attacked by Tory councillor for not catering to the elderly
£40000 - £45000 per annum: Ashdown Group: HR Manager / Training Manager (L&D /...
£35000 - £50000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Senior QA Engineer (Agil...
£26000 - £28000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Digital Marketing Executive (SEO, PP...
£40000 - £50000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our retail client ...