UK

Prince Andrew ‘uncooperative’ over Epstein inquiry, US prosecutor says

Prince Andrew in January 2020 Image copyright EPA

The Duke of York has provided “zero cooperation” over the Jeffrey Epstein sex trafficking inquiry, the prosecutor overseeing the investigation has said.

His lawyers have been contacted by prosecutors and the FBI, which wants to interview him, according to US Attorney Geoffrey Berman.

Prince Andrew has said he did not see or suspect any suspicious behaviour when visiting Epstein’s homes.

Buckingham Palace said it would not be commenting further.

It said the issue was being dealt with by the prince’s legal team.

Convicted US sex offender Epstein took his own life in a jail cell in August, aged 66, while awaiting trial on sex trafficking and conspiracy charges.

Speaking at a news conference outside Epstein’s New York mansion, Mr Berman said: “To date, Prince Andrew has provided zero cooperation.”

The prince announced in November that he was stepping back from royal duties for the “foreseeable future” because the Epstein scandal had become a “major disruption” to the Royal Family.

At the time, he said he was “willing to help any appropriate law enforcement agency”.

The lawyer for Epstein’s victims has since said he plans to serve subpoenas for the prince to be questioned under oath.

Image copyright News Syndication
Image caption Prince Andrew has said he regrets meeting Epstein for a final time in 2010

Andrew’s announcement about his royal role followed criticism for his BBC Newsnight interview.

He was accused of lacking empathy for Epstein’s victims and failing to show regret over his friendship with the disgraced financier.

In the interview, he said he would consider giving evidence under oath “if push came to shove and the legal advice was to do so”.

Virginia Giuffre, who claims Epstein trafficked her, has said in a BBC Panorama interview that she was “horrified and ashamed” by an alleged sexual encounter with Prince Andrew in 2001.

Then called Virginia Roberts, she was 17 when she says she went to Tramp nightclub in London with the prince, Epstein, and Epstein’s then-girlfriend Ghislaine Maxwell.

She claims that in the car returning from the club, Ms Maxwell told her she had to “do for Andrew what I do for Jeffrey” and that a sexual incident followed.

Prince Andrew emphatically denies any form of sexual contact or relationship with Virginia Giuffre and says any claim to the contrary is false and without foundation. He said he has no recollection of ever meeting her.

Prince Andrew accompanied the Queen to church near Sandringham earlier this month.

It was the Queen’s first public appearance after the Duke and Duchess of Sussex were revealed to have given up their HRH titles – and the first time the prince had been seen with his mother since the week after his Newsnight interview.

‘Moving forward’

Prosecutor Mr Berman was speaking at an event to promote a new law that makes it easier for victims to sue over childhood abuse.

Before being asked about Prince Andrew, he spoke about the progress of the investigation and said it was looking at possible “conspirators” who had worked alongside Epstein procuring girls for the financier’s sexual gratification.

“Jeffrey Epstein couldn’t have done what he did without the assistance of others, and I can assure you that the investigation is moving forward,” he said.

Source: bbc.co.uk

Tagged

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *