13 Jan 2012

Turkish court plans to prosecute Duchess of York

2:47 pm on 13 January 2012

A court in Turkey has said it plans to prosecute the Duchess of York for secretly filming orphans in the country for a British television documentary.

The Duchess, Sarah Ferguson, visited the orphanage near Ankara while making a film for an ITV programme in 2008.

The court plans to accuse her of going against the law in acquiring footage and violating privacy of five children.

Prince Andrew's former wife wore a disguise to enter the institution and filmed scenes of children tied to their beds and left in cots all day.

At the time, the Turkish government accused her of being involved in a smear campaign against Turkey when it was trying to get membership of the European Union.

But the Duchess, who also filmed orphanages in Romania for the programme, said she was apolitical, had gone purely as a mother and stood by the film.

The BBC says a royal source has also pointed out that the Turkish authorities tried and failed to bring action in the UK, and that the British government was not involved in the case.