Turkish authorities are seeking the extradition of Sarah, Duchess of York for the secret filming of children in Turkish orphanages. The former royal and Weight Watchers spokeswoman visited the country three years ago to film a documentary exposing conditions in a state-run institution for disabled children. Turkish ministers have accused the Duchess of trying to smear the country’s reputation.
They have asked the British government for help in amassing evidence to prosecute the Duchess for breaching the children’s privacy. If found guilty, she could spend anywhere from seven to 22 years in jail. The British government is unlikely to cooperate, however, given that the charges against her are not regarded as a crime under British law.
The undercover footage, obtained in 2008 and broadcast on ITV1’s Tonight show, appears to show children tied to their beds and left for the whole day without food. One child was found crawling along a hallway in a bid to go outside.
An unearthed 2008 cable from the U.S. Embassy in Turkey suggests that then-foreign secretary David Miliband informed his Turkish counterpart that the Duchess could not “be controlled.”