Boris Becker′s diplomatic passport is ′fake′ says Central African Republic | News | DW | 19.06.2018
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Boris Becker's diplomatic passport is 'fake' says Central African Republic

The Central African Republic says the diplomatic passport Boris Becker holds "is a fake." But a copy of the passport obtained by DW seems to counter some claims by CAR.

The Central African Republic's (CAR) foreign minister said on Tuesday that the signature on Boris Becker's passport, a copy of which was obtained by DW, was not his and "the number belongs to a series that was stolen," Charles Armel Doubane told Reuters news agency.

In an earlier interview with DW, Doubane had said that Becker was not an official diplomat of his country, a claim which contradicts the testimony provided to DW by CAR ambassador to the European Union, Daniel Emery Dede. He had confirmed that Becker had diplomatic status, owing to a diplomatic passport from the CAR. 

Becker himself confirmed in a video published on Tuesday by Top Magazin Frankfurt that, "...it is a fact that today I am a diplomat of Central Africa." Citing the exchange, Welt reported that Becker's post as "attache for the procurement of funds for sports, cultural and humanitarian affairs" has nothing to do with an ongoing bankruptcy proceedings against him in Britain.

Read more: Boris Becker: 'Germany is in a tennis boom'

Two documents signed by Doubane: Becker's passport on the left and an official CAR document on the right

Two documents signed by Doubane: Becker's passport on the left and an official CAR document on the right

One word against the other

Doubane denies ever having issued the document, telling DW:

  • "I have never provided Boris Becker with a diplomatic passport."
  • "I can assure you, Becker is not a member of my diplomatic personnel."
  • "If there is no official document proving that he is a diplomat, why should he claim diplomatic immunity?"

Doubane said that a nomination must be made by President Faustin Archange Touadera, with the Foreign Minister's signature, to become a diplomat of the CAR. "The president has never requested my signature to sign such a document for Boris Becker," Doubane asserted. Becker claimed he personally received the document from the Ambassador of the Central African Republic in April. "There's nothing more you can say," Becker told Top Magazin Frankfurt.

"Does Mr Becker have the qualities required of a CAR diplomat? And secondly, does he have the papers to prove he is a CAR diplomat. If he does, he should show those papers," Doubane said. "And if Mr Becker is caught up in legal proceedings, do we have the right to protect him because of his supposed dipomatic immunity? The answers to the questions are: no, no and no!"

Job in Brussels: Doubane confirmed that Becker had met with the president of the CAR and that the tennis star does serve as a sports liaison between Brussels and CAR, but that does not grant him official diplomatic status.

"We do not wish that Boris Becker's unofficial position with our country will be associated with financial problems," Doubane said.

Becker's legal history: The former tennis star declared bankruptcy in June 2017 for an alleged debt he owed to a private British bank. A year later, creditors are still in pursuit of the tennis star for "further assets." On June 14, Becker introduced the claim of diplomatic immunity to a High Court in London. Three days later, CAR ambassador to the EU Daniel Emery Dede supported Becker's claims to DW.

Former United Nations special rapporteur Ben Emmerson, whose former high profile clients include WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, is handling Becker's case.

Read more: Opinion: Mr. Becker, Boris and us

In response to DW's report: Doubane said that CAR's EU ambassador Daniel Emery Dede never consulted him on the matter of Becker's diplomatic status. Therefore his statements to DW were made without his consent. Doubane added that the ambassador will now meet with president Touadera to sort the matter.

kw, jcg, rt/aw (AP, AFP, dpa)

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