Turkish court charges Sarah Ferguson on orphanages

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ANKARA, TURKEY (AP) - A Turkish court on Thursday filed charges against Britain’s Duchess of York for secretly filming orphanages in the country.

The court accused Ferguson in absentia of going “against the law in acquiring footage and violating privacy” of five children. She faces a maximum term of 22 1/2 years in prison if convicted. No trial date has been set.

Ferguson, the former wife of Britain’s Prince Andrew, made an undercover trip to Turkey in 2008 to examine orphanages for a British television program. Secretly filmed images that were broadcast appeared to show children tied to their beds or left in cribs at an orphanage near the capital, Ankara.

It was not clear why it took more than three years to file charges against Ferguson.

Britain’s Home Office declined to say whether any requests have been made to extradite Ferguson, saying its general policy was not to comment on individual cases. The Foreign Office said it expected “high legal and judicial standards to be observed,” though it added that it would be “premature and inappropriate to speculate on possible outcomes at this stage.”

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