5 May 2012

Duchess of York on trial in absentia

5:40 am on 5 May 2012

The Queen's former daughter-in-law, Sarah Ferguson, went on trial in absentia in Turkey on Friday on charges related to a film made in 2008 about conditions in a Turkish orphanage.

The Duchess of York is accused of violating the privacy of the children whose plight she filmed.

She could be sentenced to more than 20 years in prison, but has made it clear she will not return to Turkey to face the court.

The BBC reports the duchess has previously apologised for any offence, stands by the documentary's conclusion that ill-treatment was taking place.

Posing as an aid worker, she accompanied a television crew into a state orphanage in Ankara. The documentary - which also included footage of children filmed in Romania - was broadcast on ITV1 in Britain in November 2008.

The trial could last several months.