Boris Becker’s diplomatic immunity claim in bankruptcy battle contested
The German thrice Wimbledon champion claims immunity after taking up a role with the Central African Republic (CAR), but the nation’s deputy foreign minister has ruled out that privilege.Updated: Jun 19, 2018 18:02 IST
Former tennis champion Boris Becker has found little support after claiming diplomatic immunity from bankruptcy proceedings by taking up a role with the Central African Republic (CAR) as a sports envoy.
The deputy foreign minister of the former French colony, one of the world’s poorest and unstable countries, offered little support for the three-time Wimbledon champion.
“No diplomat can avail himself of his immunity in the face of his own turpitude,” Chancel Sokode told Reuters. “He cannot brandish his immunity in this case to shirk his responsibilities.”
Becker, 50, was declared bankrupt by a British court in 2017 in connection to a debt to private bankers Arbuthnot Latham & Co. He has recently been pursued for “further assets”, according to a statement by his lawyers.
The German former world No 1 player lodged a claim at the High Court in London to halt the case because his appointment as Attache to the European Union on sporting, cultural and humanitarian affairs entitled him to immunity under the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic relations, the statement said.
Becker said the proceedings against him were “unjustified and unjust”.
“I have now asserted diplomatic immunity ... in order to bring this farce to an end, so that I can start to rebuild my life,” he said in a statement.
“I am immensely proud of my appointment at the Sports and Culture Attache for the Central African Republic.”
Central African Republic has suffered a string of bloody political crises since former president Francois Bozize seized power in a 2003 military coup.
Becker has appointed human rights lawyer Ben Emmerson to handle his claim. Emmerson has previously represented Wikileaks founder Julian Assange as he contested his extradition to Sweden, and the wife of ex-KGB agent Alexander Litvinenko, who was murdered in London in 2006.
First Published: Jun 19, 2018 18:02 IST