US 'puts pressure on UK to hand over Prince Andrew for questioning'
US ‘puts pressure on Britain to hand over Prince Andrew for questioning over Jeffrey Epstein sex abuse claims’
- US reaffirmed the ‘close relationship’ with UK when it comes to ‘legal assistance’
- Prosecutors in US view Andrew as a ‘person of interest’ in Jeffrey Epstein inquiry
- The US says investigators have so far been unable to speak to the Duke of York
The US has put pressure on Britain in a bid to force Prince Andrew to co-operate with investigators over sex abuse claims, it has been reported.
Investigators probing the case of Ghislaine Maxwell and other associates of dead billionaire paedophile Jeffrey Epstein are said to want to speak to the Duke of York about his friendship with the paedophile financier.
Officials from President Biden’s government reaffirmed the US and UK’s ‘close relationship’ when it comes to offering ‘legal assistance’ in criminal matters amid growing frustration over Prince Andrew’s refusal to engage with investigators
A US government official told the Sun: ‘The US and the UK have a close, productive and resilient law enforcement and mutual legal assistance relationship.
The US has put pressure on Britain in a bid to force Prince Andrew (pictured with Virginia Roberts and Ghislaine Maxwell) to co-operate with investigators over sex abuse claims
‘We remain in close contact on many active cases on a daily basis and will continue to seek assistance in criminal matters as we provide similar assistance in return.’
Prosecutors last year sent the British government a formal request, known as a mutual legal assistance treaty (MLAT) submission, asking for access to the prince so they could talk to him.
Pictured: Jeffrey Epstein
The MLAT is a procedure used in criminal investigations to gather material from foreign countries which cannot readily be obtained on a cooperative basis but it is understood the Duke of York has yet to co-operate.
Andrew remains a person of interest to prosecutors in the office of the US Attorney for the Southern District of New York – but they do not expect to be able to interview him in the foreseeable future, if ever, it has been reported.
As a person of interest, the Queen’s son is viewed at least as a potential witness – and questioning him would form part of the investigation into possible co-conspirators.
Prosecutors earlier this month said Andrew, 61, had ‘sought to falsely portray himself to the public as eager and willing to cooperate’ but had given no interview to federal authorities and had repeatedly declined requests to talk with investigators.
It comes as Virginia Giuffre, who has said she was abused by Epstein, filed a civil complaint against Andrew in Manhattan federal court.
Ms Giuffre, who used to be known as Virginia Roberts, alleges Epstein forced her to have unwanted sexual intercourse with Andrew at the London home of British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell – Epstein’s alleged Madame.
Ms Giuffre is now suing Andrew in a New York court for alleged ‘rape in the first degree’, sexual battery and sexual abuse, claiming she thought she’d be murdered by Epstein if she didn’t sleep with Andrew.
The Duke of York has strongly denied the allegations.
Earlier this month, the UK’s most senior police officer Dame Cressida Dick revealed she had told Met detectives to review the claims against the prince, warning: ‘No one is above the law.’
Ghislaine Maxwell has pleaded not guilty to charges that she procured teenage girls for Epstein to sexually abuse between 1994 and 2004. She is expected to go on trial in November.
Epstein died in his jail cell in 2019 after being charged with sex trafficking.
Representatives of the Prince declined to comment, but have previously denied any wrongdoing of failure to assist.
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