And finally…game, set and dispatch - Becker defies creditors with diplomatic backhand
Former tennis champion Boris Becker is aiming to avoid a bank suing him by taking up a diplomatic post with a poverty-stricken country in Africa.
The three-time Wimbledon winner claims his appointment as sport and culture attaché for the Central African Republic (CAR) affords him protection from any legal claims through diplomatic immunity.
Mr Becker was declared bankrupt last year over money owed to private bank Arbuthnot Latham.
The bank claimed Mr Becker had owed them a large sum for more than two years.
But Mr Becker disputed this, claiming: “This order relates to one disputed loan which I was due to repay in full in one month’s time.”
Following his declaration of bankruptcy, he is now being pursued by the bank for “further assets”.
The CAR made Mr Becker a sport and culture attache to the EU in April 2018.
The conflict-ridden state is one of the world’s poorest countries.
Mr Becker’s defence citing diplomatic immunity has now 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 brought by the bank 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 the Central African Republic…sport is incredibly important in Africa and is fast becoming a universal language.”