France TV network: Duped by phony Syria interview

AP News
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Posted: Jun 09, 2011 12:24 PM
France TV network: Duped by phony Syria interview

A French TV network has conceded it was duped when it aired a phony interview with a woman claiming she was the Syrian ambassador and has filed a legal complaint with prosecutors.

France 24 said Thursday it "did not doubt" that Syrian Ambassador Lamia Shakkour was a "victim" of the hoax and expressed hope she would cooperate with an investigation.

The station aired a telephone interview Tuesday with a woman claiming she was Shakkour _ who announced she was quitting over a government crackdown on protesters in Syria.

Shakkour later appeared on France's BFM TV and accused France 24 of "impersonating the Syrian ambassador." She denied she had quit.

The network's statement said the phony interview was conducted on a telephone number provided by the Syrian Embassy in Paris.