Jeremy Clarkson Could Face 3 Years in Prison over Argentina Fiasco
Every season, the hosts of Top Gear would take part in a unique road trip in different locations for the show’s Christmas special. And every time, there would be some aspect of the journey that was geared towards offending the locals. When they traveled to the American South, they covered their cars in progressive and liberal slogans. When they rode motorcycles across Vietnam, any cast member whose bike broke down would have to ride a backup bike adorned in stars and stripes. And then there’s the Argentina fiasco. For their road trip in Argentina and Chile, Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May took three sports cars across all kinds of terrain, but it was Clarkson’s license plate that caused them the most trouble. The plate read H982 FLK, which was an obvious reference to the Falklands War of 1982. This enraged the locals, and in the end, the presenters and their crew had to flee Argentina or face a riotous mob. RELATED: Top Gear Gets Attacked in Argentina But the trouble might not be over for hosts Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond, or James May. Knowing that the riot was coming, Clarkson switched plates to something less controversial, and an Argentinian prosecutor is trying to have the presenter brought up on falsification charges. According to the UK's Telegraph, worst case scenario is the host and even show personnel could face up to three years in prison. The case was originally shot down by an Argentinian judge, but the prosecutors have appealed, and the probe has been reopened. This could mean any of the three presenters being asked to travel to Argentina to provide testimony in the case. The prosecutors claim the change in plates violates article 289 of the Argentinian penal code, which carries a prison sentence of between six months and three years. RELATED: Jeremy Clarkson's 11 Best Top Gear Moments
The Top Gear hosts and show runners maintain that the plate was an “unfortunate coincidence.” Given the show’s history of stirring up trouble, this seems a little hard to believe, but it also seems hard to believe that even the infamous Jeremy Clarkson would deliberately poke fun at an international conflict in which 649 Argentinians and 255 Britons lost their lives.
The UK does have an extradition treaty with Argentina, however courts in the UK have blocked recent extradition requests over human rights concerns. In all likelihood, Clarkson would not be extradited. It certainly has been a trying year for the 55-year-old, who was kicked off Top Gear when he attacked one of the show’s producers. He, Hammond, and May are now working on a new show for Amazon Prime.
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Image Credit: BBC