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Middle east

FRANCE 24 presses charges over Syrian ambassador 'impersonation'

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2011-06-10

Following an interview on Tuesday evening with a person purporting to be Syria’s ambassador in Paris, FRANCE 24 on Thursday filed charges for "identity theft and impersonation".

Days after FRANCE 24 broadcast an interview with a person claiming to be Lamia Chakkour, Syrian ambassador to Paris, FRANCE 24 filed a complaint to the Paris Public Prosecutor on Thursday for "identity theft and impersonation”.

On Tuesday, the Paris-based network invited Syrian Ambassador to France Lamia Chakkour to participate in its “Debate” show, which was about the situation in Syria.

This invitation was made via the Syrian embassy in Paris, which, when contacted by telephone and e-mail, provided a telephone number said to be the ambassador’s number.

This number was used during the show, when the declaration of the ambassador’s resignation was made.

But in subsequent media interviews, Chakkour denied having resigned and alleged that she had been “impersonated”. Despite repeated attempts by FRANCE 24 to reach Chakkour for an explanation, the Syrian ambassador declined to speak to FRANCE 24.

FRANCE 24 has commissioned voice comparison analyses, which concluded that the voice on Tuesday night interview was different from the voice which later issued the denial broadcast on the French channel, BFM TV.

The network has no doubt that Chakkour and the Syrian embassy, who were swift to report the manipulation of which they, like FRANCE 24, appear to have been the victims, will lend their total support to the complaint and cooperate fully in the ensuing investigations.

Click here for FRANCE 24's statement on the investigation.

Date created : 2011-06-09

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