If federal prosecutors have their way, they and the FBI will be asking Britain’s Prince Andrew some questions about convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.
Epstein, who was awaiting trial on sex-trafficking charges involving underage girls, was found hanged in his Manhattan cell in August. Although the New York City medical examiner’s office ruled it was a suicide, many doubts have been raised about the finding.
Prince Andrew, who was an associate of Epstein’s, has been named by Virginia Roberts Giuffre, one of Epstein’s alleged sex-trafficking victims, as a man with whom she had sex beginning at the age of 17. The prince has denied the accusation, but he withdrew from his royal duties in November.
In a news conference Monday outside Epstein’s New York mansion, Geoffrey Berman, U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, said the interview with Andrew would be part of prosecutors’ efforts to unearth potential co-conspirators of Epstein’s alleged trafficking ring.
“The Southern District of New York and the FBI have contacted Prince Andrew’s attorneys and requested to interview Prince Andrew, and to date, Prince Andrew has provided zero cooperation,” Berman said, according to ABC News.
“He publicly offered, indeed in a press release, to cooperate with law enforcement investigating the crimes committed by Jeffrey Epstein and his co-conspirators,” Berman said.
In a November statement, the prince, said, “I am willing to help any appropriate law enforcement agency with their investigations.”
— Sam McAlister (@SamMcAlister1) January 27, 2020
But since then, Berman said, nothing has happened.
“It’s fair for people to know whether Prince Andrew has followed through with that public commitment,” Berman said, according to CNN.
David Boies, an attorney for Giuffre, called upon Andrew to be interviewed.
“Prince Andrew’s continued refusal to cooperate with authorities after freely acknowledging that he would be prepared to answer inquiries raises even more questions about the role he played in the international sex trafficking ring Jeffrey Epstein and others operated,” he said. “Prince Andrew should take most seriously the deeply held belief in this country that no one is above the law.”
Let the cooperating with law enforcement, and with the victims’ lawyers, begin, Prince Andrew.https://t.co/G1fsttodwb
— Lisa Bloom (@LisaBloom) November 21, 2019
During a BBC interview, the prince was asked how he could spend so much time with Epstein and be unaware of Epstein’s sex-trafficking operation.
“I live in an institution at Buckingham Palace which has members of staff walking around all the time, and I don’t wish to appear grand but there were a lot of people who were walking around Jeffrey Epstein’s house. As far as I was aware, they were staff,” the prince said.
“At no stage during the limited time I spent with him did I see, witness or suspect any behavior of the sort that subsequently led to his arrest and conviction,” the prince said in a statement last summer, according to The New York Times.
Epstein pleaded guilty in 2008 to soliciting a minor for the purposes of prostitution.
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