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Central Africa says Boris Becker's diplomatic passport is 'fake'

By AFP
media Boris Becker has claimed diplomatic immunity from bankruptcy proceedings in Britain on the basis that he is an ambassador for the Central African Republic AFP/File

The Central African Republic (CAR) said on Tuesday that a diplomatic passport that tennis star Boris Becker claims entitles him to immunity in bankruptcy proceedings in Britain "is a fake."

"The diplomatic passport that he has is a fake," foreign ministry chief of staff Cherubin Moroubama told AFP.

The document's serial number corresponded to one of a batch of "new passports that were stolen in 2014," he said.

In addition, the passport -- a copy of which has been seen by AFP, and bears the date of March 19, 2018 -- does not carry the signature or the stamp of the foreign minister, Charles Armel Doubane, Moroubama said.

On Friday, lawyers for Germany's three-time Wimbledon champion lodged a claim in the High Court in Britain saying that he had been appointed a sports attache for the CAR to the European Union (EU) in April.

This, they argued, granted him immunity under the 1961 Vienna Diplomatic Convention on Diplomatic Relations from bankruptcy proceedings over failure to pay a long-standing debt.

"Becker's job profile does not exist" in the CAR's records, Moroubama said.

Furthermore, the passport says that Becker's diplomatic function is "financial charge de mission," a role that "has nothing to do with sporting questions," he noted.

In April, the 50-year-old former tennis star had tweeted a picture of himself shaking hands with CAR President Faustin-Archange Touadera at a meeting in Brussels.

Becker shook up the tennis world at Wimbledon in 1985 when, as an unseeded player, he became the then youngest-ever male Grand Slam champion at the age of 17, defending the trophy the following year.

The German went on to enjoy a glittering career and amassed more than $25 million (21.65 million euros) in prize money.

 
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