If Turkish prosecutors have their way, former royal Sarah Ferguson could spend the next 22 years of her life in jail, and that has the jet setting Duchess of York reportedly putting her travel plans on hold for fear she could be extradited.
Turkish prosecutors this week announced that Ferguson, 52, is wanted on charges she allegedly violated the privacy of orphans and illegally obtained footage when she made an undercover documentary called “Duchess and Daughters: Their Secret Mission” in the country in 2008. It is unclear why it has taken three years to bring charges.
Ferguson’s friend, reporter Chris Rogers, is also wanted in Turkey.
“We just really felt that the world really needed to know what was going on inside Turkish institutions, and the only way we could do that would be to trespass and secretly film,” Rogers told the BBC.
The documentary showed deplorable conditions inside of Turkey’s Saray orphanage, which houses hundreds of disabled orphans. Ferguson’s cameras captured children dressed in rags, tied to bed posts, and living in unsanitary conditions.
The United Kingdom has declined to extradite Ferguson, however it’s possible another country could if she chooses to travel, Bruce Zagaris, an international law expert, told ABC News.
“It will be risky for her to travel outside of the UK,” Zagaris said. “Especially in those countries that have an extradition treaty, and that’s most of the world.”
A statement released by Ferguson’s spokesperson said she is fully cooperating with UK and Turkish authorities.
The duchess said she is “happy with courage to stand by the film”, the BBC reported.