A Turkish court has charged Sarah Ferguson, the former wife of the Duke of York, of “going against the law and violating the privacy” of children resident in orphanages in Turkey when she went undercover to gather information on the conditions in those orphanages for a documentary to be broadcast on ITV.  The program, Duchess and Daughters: Their Secret Mission, was broadcast in 2008, and caused a headache for Turkey because the country is applying for admission for the European Union. Should the Duchess be convicted, she could be sentenced to more than 22 years in prison. The court has asked the British government for assistance in extraditing her, but sources in the British government said the request is unlikely to be granted, because her activities were not illegal under British law.

Remaining unexplained is why the Turkish court has waited three years to bring charges. The Duchess also visited Romanian orphanages for the program. She has said that her reasons for assisting in the making of the documentary were humanitarian. She has apologized for any embarrassment the program may have caused the Turkish government.

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