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Duchess of York faces Turkey trial
A court in Ankara has begun a trial against the Duchess of York for allegedly taking part in the secret filming of orphanages in the country, Turkey's state-run news agency said.
The Anadolu Agency said the former Sarah Ferguson, who is being tried in absentia, faces charges of going "against the law in acquiring footage and violating privacy" of five children.
If convicted, she could receive a maximum sentence of 22 years and six months in prison. The trial began on Friday.
The Duchess allegedly made an undercover trip to Turkey in 2008 during which two state-run orphanages outside Ankara were secretly filmed for the ITV program Duchess and Daughters: Their Secret Mission.
Anadolu quoted her lawyer Cansu Sahin as saying she is seeking an out-of-court settlement.
The footage of the five children was filmed at the Saray Rehabilitation and Care Centre orphanage near Ankara. The secretly filmed images appeared to show the children tied to their beds or left in cribs.
The government has accused the duchess of smearing Turkey's image.
Canan Yildiz, a lawyer representing the five children and Turkey's Family and Social Policies Ministry, said her clients have been "harmed" and would like to join the public prosecution against the Duchess and the two British journalists who have been also charged and could be tried separately.
The court agreed to hear testimony from the five children who were filmed, but Yildiz said some of them are mentally handicapped and others are physically handicapped, and that it would have been better if their testimony was taken at the orphanage.
Anadolu did not say when the next hearing at the trial will be held.