Prince Andrew: US prosecutors seek interview with royal over Epstein link

The request, initiated by federal prosecutors within the Manhattan US Lawyer’s workplace, is a part of a mutual authorized help treaty request — a type of cooperation between international locations for help within the investigation or prosecution of felony offenses — submitted to the UK’s House Workplace, in line with the supply.

A spokesman for the US Lawyer’s workplace for the Southern District of New York, Nick Biase, stated: “I can not publicly touch upon communications with overseas governments on investigative issues, together with confirming or denying the very existence of such communications.”

In a press release Monday, Prince Andrew’s authorized workforce stated that “any pursuit of an software for mutual authorized help can be disappointing.”

They stated the Justice Division had instructed them “that the Duke shouldn’t be and has by no means been a ‘goal’ of their felony investigations into Epstein” and that Prince Andrew “has on at the very least three events this 12 months provided his help as a witness to the DOJ” including that he “just lately repeated his willingness to supply a witness assertion.”

Criticizing what they described as a breach of confidentiality on the a part of the Justice Division, they stated that in claiming Prince Andrew hasn’t been cooperative, “they’re maybe looking for publicity moderately than accepting the help proffered.”

Hours later, Geoffrey Berman, the US Lawyer for the Southern District of New York, refuted these claims, saying the prince “has repeatedly declined our request to schedule such an interview, and almost 4 months in the past knowledgeable us unequivocally — by means of the exact same counsel who issued at the moment’s launch — that he wouldn’t are available in for such an interview.”

Berman added: “If Prince Andrew is, in truth, severe about cooperating with the continued federal investigation, our doorways stay open, and we await phrase of once we ought to count on him.”

Buckingham Palace and the UK House Workplace didn’t instantly reply to requests for remark.

Although Epstein died in August 2019 whereas awaiting trial on federal fees that he sexually abused underage women and ran a sex-trafficking ring, prosecutors have continued to pursue investigations of people that they consider helped Epstein perform an alleged multi-year intercourse trafficking operation.

'Jeffrey Epstein: Filthy Rich' places the emphasis on the survivors' stories
Prince Andrew has come below public strain to clarify his relationship with Epstein and allegations by one among his accusers, Virginia Roberts Giuffre. She has alleged that she was forced into sexual encounters with the prince whereas she was underage.

In a 2015 federal courtroom submitting, Giuffre alleged Epstein compelled her to carry out intercourse acts with a number of distinguished males, together with Prince Andrew in 2001. All of them have denied the allegations.

In a November BBC interview, Prince Andrew stated he had by no means met Giuffre and instructed {that a} picture of the 2 of them might have been doctored.

“I can inform you categorically I do not keep in mind assembly her in any respect. I don’t keep in mind {a photograph} being taken and I’ve stated persistently and often that we by no means had any form of sexual contact no matter,” he stated.

He additionally stated after he appeared on BBC that he was “prepared to assist any acceptable legislation enforcement company with their investigations, if required.”

The prince stated he can be prepared to testify or give a press release below oath in regards to the case, however he would “must take all of the authorized recommendation that there was… But when push got here to shove and the authorized recommendation was to take action, then I might be obligation certain to take action.”

The FBI and federal prosecutors subsequently contacted Prince Andrew’s lawyer to interview the prince about Epstein, however Prince Andrew’s workforce supplied “zero” cooperation, in line with Berman, the US Lawyer in Manhattan, who took the uncommon step of publicly asserting his frustrations with the state of affairs.

“It is truthful for folks to know whether or not Prince Andrew has adopted by means of with that public dedication,” Berman stated at a information convention in January exterior Epstein’s Manhattan mansion.

“To this point Prince Andrew has supplied zero cooperation.”

Nearly two months later, Berman stated Prince Andrew had “fully shut the door” on voluntarily cooperating along with his investigation and stated his workplace was “considering its options.” However Prince Andrew’s authorized workforce responded Monday that “these statements have been inaccurate, and they need to not have been made.”

Requested in regards to the matter in an interview on Fox Information on Monday evening, US Lawyer Basic Invoice Barr stated prosecutors’ curiosity within the prince stems from “proof” he might present within the ongoing Epstein investigation, and doesn’t quantity to a request for his extradition.

“I do not assume it is a query of handing him over, I believe it is only a query of getting him present some proof,” Barr stated.

CNN’s Amy Woodyatt and Sebastian Shukla contributed to this report.

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