Boris Becker Claims Diplomatic Immunity in Bankruptcy Case
Former tennis champion Boris Becker is claiming diplomatic immunity against an attempt to sue him.
The three-time Wimbledon winner claims his appointment as a diplomat by the Central African Republic (CAR) affords him protection from any legal claims.
Mr Becker was declared bankrupt in 2017 over money owed to private bank Arbuthnot Latham. He is now being pursued for “further assets”.
The conflict-ridden CAR is one of the world’s poorest countries.
It made Mr Becker a sport and culture attache to the EU in April 2018.
Diplomatic honours for me ! I have been appointed by the Central African Republic ?? as its Attache’ for Sports/Humanitarian/Cultural Affairs in the European Union ??
— Boris Becker (@TheBorisBecker) April 27, 2018
Mr Becker’s defence has been lodged in the High Court.
His legal team said: “This means he cannot be subject to legal process in the courts of any country for so long as he remains a recognised diplomatic agent.”
The former tennis champion said the proceedings were “unjustified and unjust” and being declared bankrupt “inflicted a whole heap of damage on me”.
He said he was asserting diplomatic immunity to “bring this farce to an end” and stop “the gravy train for the suits”.
He added: “I am immensely proud of my appointment [by] the Central African Republic…sport is incredibly important in Africa and is fast becoming a universal language.”
Mr Becker was declared bankrupt after Arbuthnot Latham claimed he owed them a large sum for more than two years.
At the time, he said: “This order relates to one disputed loan which I was due to repay in full in one month’s time.”
But the registrar said Mr Becker gave the impression of “a man with his head in the sand”.
He has appointed Ben Emmerson QC, who has previously represented Julian Assange and Marina Litvinenko, the widow of Alexander Litvinenko.
Mr Becker became the first German to win Wimbledon when he did so at the age of 17 in 1985.
He won it again in 1986 and 1989 among the 64 ATP Tour titles he claimed during a 15-year career.
After his retirement he became a pundit for the BBC.