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CAR Minister Says Tennis Star's Passport Is a 'Clumsy Fake'

And that Boris Becker isn't an official diplomat, though Becker disagrees
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 20, 2018 10:05 AM CDT
CAR President Faustin-Archange Touadera, left, shakes hands with retired German tennis star Boris Becker in Brussels, Belgium.   (Irle Moser Rechtsanwalte PartG via AP Images, FILE)

(Newser) – Boris Becker's claim of diplomatic immunity in an ongoing bankruptcy case just went from odd to bewildering. Though the former tennis champ claims his April appointment as a Central African Republic attache to the European Union means he's immune from bankruptcy hearings in the UK, the CAR appears to be balking. Becker's claimed post of attache for sports, culture, and humanitarian affairs "does not exist" in CAR records, meaning he's not an official diplomat, says Foreign Ministry chief of staff Cherubin Moroubama. What's more, the diplomatic passport issued to Becker in March, listing his post as "financial charge de mission," is phony, with a serial number matching one of several stolen under a transitional government in 2014, Moroubama says, per the BBC and Guardian.

CAR Foreign Minister Charles Armel Doubane calls the passport a "clumsy fake," per ABC Australia. "To be recognized as a diplomat, it would require not just [the] president's nomination but also my signature as foreign minister," he adds, per the Guardian. That leaves plenty of questions for CAR's ambassador to the EU, Daniel Emery Dede, who reportedly signed Becker's passport, and for the CAR embassy in Belgium, which confirmed the issuance of it and featured a photo of Becker on its website, per the BBC. Becker, who met with CAR President Faustin-Archange Touadera in Brussels in April, is maintaining his diplomatic status amid the confusion, reports Deutsche Welle, which has a certificate a lawyer says confirms Becker's position as attache for finance, as well as for sports, culture, and humanitarian affairs. (Read more diplomatic immunity stories.)

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