Boris Becker says Central African Republic passport is not fake despite CAR officials saying it is

My diplomatic passport is REAL, insists Boris Becker: Bankrupt tennis star says he will happily travel to the Central African Republic to sort out any ‘confusion‘ after country claimed the document was fake

Boris Becker has insisted he has a diplomatic passport from the Central African Republic – despite the country‘s officials saying he doesn‘t.

The former tennis player, 50, claims his role as a European Union attache to the CAR gives him diplomatic immunity from bankruptcy proceedings against him.

But despite officials saying the passport was ‘stolen‘, Mr Becker said he ‘got it from the ambassador‘.

He told the ‘s Andrew Marr Show: ‘I have received this passport from the ambassador.

‘I have spoken to the president on many occasions. It was an official inauguration. I believe the documents they are giving me must be right.‘

Asked if he would be willing to go back to the CAR to resolve the dispute, he said: ‘I am very happy to visit Bangui, the capital, and to speak to the people personally about how we can move forward and resolve this misunderstanding and this confusion.

‘I have a real passport. It is at the embassy in Brussels the last time I checked.‘ 

The three-time Wimbledon champion has been served with a series of denials from CAR officials about the issue. 

CAR‘s foreign minister Charles Armel Doubane rejected the passport and presidential spokesman Albert Yaloke Mokpeme said the head of state never appointed Mr Becker to the post he referred to.

The presidency said: ‘We are not custodians of the physical and moral integrity of this gentleman.‘ 

Mr Becker was declared bankrupt in June 2017 by Registrar Christine Derrett, who recalled watching him play on Centre Court as she presided over the hearing. 

The former tennis star was appointed attache to the European Union on sporting, cultural and humanitarian affairs by the Central African Republic in April. 

Last Friday, lawyers for the three-time Wimbledon champion lodged a claim in London‘s High Court saying that he had been appointed a sports attaché for the CAR to the 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. 

At the time of his April ‘appointment‘, Becker tweeted a photo of himself shaking hands with CAR President Faustin Archange Touadera.

However, the CAR has denied that Becker is a fully-fledged diplomat, as any appointment by the President must be signed off by the Foreign Minister, and it says the documents provided are ‘stolen‘ and ‘fake‘. 

Officials also insisted his passport‘s serial number corresponds with a batch of ‘new ones stolen in 2014. 

‘The diplomatic passport that he has is a fake,‘ CAR Foreign Ministry chief of staff Cherubin Moroubama said this week.

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

In addition, he said, it does not carry the signature or the stamp of Foreign Minister Charles Armel Doubane.

This comes after Doubane publicly disputed Becker‘s diplomat claim, saying he had never been asked to sign a document confirming the former tennis star‘s status.

Doubane told German newspaper Die Welt that ‘Boris Becker is not an official diplomat of Central African Republic‘.

However the CAR embassy to the EU said that Becker had been ‘appointed to the diplomatic service by the president of our country‘.

It said: ‘The embassy sees no reason to comment on Mr Becker‘s private insolvency. It does not affect the sincere efforts of Boris Becker for our country.

‘England has proved repeatedly that it adheres to diplomatic practices in exemplary fashion, respecting all diplomats and their rights.

‘This will not be any different in the case of diplomat Becker.‘

According to the Vienna Convention, Becker is not bound by legal processes in the courts of any country for so long as he remains a recognised diplomatic agent. 

It means he will have to pay his debts only if the Central African Republic gives its consent to debt collectors. 

MailOnline has ed representatives for Boris Becker in the wake of the CAR Foreign Ministry‘s claims, but has yet to receive a response.

In a statement on Thursday, Mr Becker said: ‘The decision to commence bankruptcy proceedings against me was both unjustified and unjust.

‘A bunch of anonymous and unaccountable bankers and bureaucrats pushed me into a completely unnecessary declaration of bankruptcy, which has inflicted a whole heap of damage on me, both commercially and professionally, and on those close to me.

‘I have now asserted diplomatic immunity as I am in fact bound to do, in order to bring this farce to an end, so that I can start to rebuild my life.‘ 

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