‘US requests UK assistance to obtain Prince Andrew testimony in Epstein probe’
US authorities have formally requested Prince Andrew answer questions as a witness in a criminal probe into sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, according to reports.
The Department of Justice has submitted a mutual legal assistance (MLA) request to the Home Office as federal prosecutors investigate disgraced financier Epstein’s offending, the Sun newspaper and US broadcasters reported.
It comes just weeks after a Netflix documentary on Epstein was released featuring Virginia Giuffre, also known as Virginia Roberts, who has alleged she had sex with Andrew in 2001 after being trafficked to the UK by the American.
Giuffre has urged Andrew to speak to authorities but a US lawyer said in March that Andrew had “completely shut the door” on co-operating with investigators over the probe.
Andrew categorically denies he had any form of sexual contact or relationship with Giuffre.
Andrew stepped away from royal duties following his disastrous Newsnight interview in November about his relationship with Epstein, who apparently killed himself in his jail cell while awaiting trial for sex trafficking.
Four days after last year’s Newsnight interview, Andrew said in a statement he was “willing to help any appropriate law enforcement agency with their investigations, if required”.
But Geoffrey Berman, who is leading the Epstein inquiry, told reporters in March: “Contrary to Prince Andrew’s very public offer to co-operate with our investigation into Epstein’s co-conspirators, an offer that was conveyed via press release, Prince Andrew has now completely shut the door on voluntary co-operation and our office is considering its options.”
Giuffre alleges that Andrew had sex with her on three separate occasions, including when she was 17, still a minor under US law.
Giuffre also said in an interview with BBC Panorama that she was left “horrified and ashamed” after an alleged sexual encounter with Andrew in London in 2001.
MLA requests by other states are used to obtain assistance in an investigation or prosecution of criminal offences, generally when cooperation cannot be obtained by law enforcement agencies.
According to Home Office guidance, it is “usual policy” that the existence of a request is neither confirmed or denied.
We know everyone is suffering under the Tories - but the Canary is a vital weapon in our fight back, and we need your support
The Canary Workers’ Co-op knows life is hard. The Tories are waging a class war against us we’re all having to fight. But like trade unions and community organising, truly independent working-class media is a vital weapon in our armoury.
The Canary doesn’t have the budget of the corporate media. In fact, our income is over 1,000 times less than the Guardian’s. What we do have is a radical agenda that disrupts power and amplifies marginalised communities. But we can only do this with our readers’ support.
So please, help us continue to spread messages of resistance and hope. Even the smallest donation would mean the world to us.
Leave a ReplyYou must be logged in to leave a comment.Join the conversation
Please read our comment moderation policy here.