Jake Dima, DCNF
The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has requested an interview with UK’s Prince Andrew related to an investigation of Jeffrey Epstein’s alleged sex crimes, claiming he’s been unresponsive, ABC News reported Monday.
However, attorneys for Andrew, who has denied any wrongdoing in his association with Epstein, said in a Monday statement that he has offered an interview multiple times.
Citing two officials familiar with the matter, ABC News reported Monday that the DOJ has used the 2010 Mutual Legal Assistance treaty to seek interview with Andrew. The treaty is seldom used, but similar to a subpoena, according to NBC News.
Andrew demonstrated zero cooperation since the investigation began, according to U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Geoffrey Berman.
“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 told reporters on January 27, ABC reported.
Andrew’s attorneys at Blackords LLP said in a statement Monday that he has offered to provide testimony on “at least three occasions.”
“The Duke of York has on at least three occasions this year offered his assistance as a witness to the DOJ,” said the statement from Blackfords.
“Unfortunately, the DOJ has reacted to the first two offers by breaching their own confidentiality rules and claiming that the Duke has offered zero cooperation. In doing so, they are perhaps seeking publicity rather than accepting the assistance proffered,” the statement said.
The prince has denied all sexual assault allegations against him that suggest ties to Epstein, ABC reported.
“This is a difficult time for everyone involved and I am at a loss to be able to understand or explain Mr Epstein’s lifestyle,” he said in August, according to The Guardian. “I deplore the exploitation of any human being and would not condone, participate in, or encourage any such behaviour.”
Andrew has been regarded only as a witness, not a participant, in Epstein’s crimes, according to ABC, but one person has come forward accusing him of sexually abusing her.
Virginia Guiffre, who alleged that Epstein started sexually abusing her when she was 15 years old, claimed she was molested by Prince Andrew at the direction of Ghislaine Maxwell, a friend of the businessman, in a 2014 court filing. This allegation was deemed “immaterial” a year later, The Guardian reported in 2019.
Epstein, who was found dead New York prison days after he was denied bail in August, had been charged with sex crimes against dozens of girls, some of whom were as young as 14. The disgraced financier allegedly engaged in these acts even after “minor victims expressly told him their age,” prosecutors said, according to Time Magazine.
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