Fergie's trial in Turkey begins

May 5, 2012 at 12:29 PM
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ANKARA, Turkey, May 5 (UPI) -- A Turkish court heard opening remarks in the trial against Britain's Sarah Ferguson, who is accused of violating the privacy of orphans in a TV documentary.

The Ankara 2nd Criminal Court will rule in absentia on the legality of the 2008 undercover documentary in which the duchess of York donned a black wig and a headscarf to blend in with the population, Today's Zaman reported. Ferguson was part of an ITV1 television crew that reported on conditions in Turkey's state-run orphanages.

The Family and Social Policy Ministry's lawyers argued Friday the documentary damaged the reputation of Turkey through its portrayal of neglect in orphanages and homes for disabled children.

Britain has declined a request to extradite Ferguson to Turkey because, the Home Office said, her actions were not considered a crime in the United Kingdom.

Fergie faces a maximum prison sentence of more than 22 years in prison if she is convicted, Today's Zaman reported.

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