U.S. authorities haven’t made an official approach to the United Kingdom authorities for permission to converse to Prince Andrew about his contacts with the late disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein, Prime Minister Boris Johnson stated on Friday.
U.S. prosecutors need to question the Prince over his contacts with Epstein, who was awaiting trial on costs of trafficking minors when he died by suicide final August in a New York City federal jail.
However, they’ve stated that Andrew, Queen Elizabeth’s second son, has repeatedly evaded their requests for an interview and reiterated their need to converse to him on Thursday after they arrested British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell, Epstein’s former girlfriend and longtime affiliate.
Lawyers for Andrew, who met Epstein by way of his friendship with Maxwell, say he has supplied his assist thrice this yr.
Asked what the response can be if U.S. officers sought formal entry to Prince Andrew, whose official title is the Duke of York, Johnson stated: “No such approach has been made. It’s a matter for the Royal Family.”
He went on: “Everybody’s sympathies are very a lot with the victims of Jeffrey Epstein, however you would not anticipate me to touch upon issues affecting the Royal Family.”
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“The legislation should be carried out and the legislation should be noticed,” Johnson informed LBC radio.
In June, then-U.S. Attorney for Manhattan Geoffrey Berman stated Andrew had “sought to falsely painting himself to the general public as keen and prepared to co-operate” with their inquiry.
At the identical time, a U.S. legislation enforcement official confirmed to Reuters that U.S. authorities investigating Epstein had despatched the U.K. authorities a proper request, generally known as a mutual authorized help treaty (MLAT) submission, asking for entry to the prince.
After Maxwell was arrested and charged on Thursday with luring underage ladies for Epstein to sexually abuse, performing Manhattan U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss stated: “We would welcome Prince Andrew coming in to speak with us.”
Andrew’s authorized workforce has accused the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) of in search of publicity moderately than his assist, rejecting accusations he had supplied “zero co-operation.”
“The Duke’s workforce stays bewildered on condition that we now have twice communicated with the DOJ within the final month, and to-date, we now have had no response,” a supply shut to Andrew’s workforce stated in response to Strauss’s remarks.