‘Zero cooperation’: Prince Andrew refuses to comply with Jeffrey Epstein sex abuse investigation, US officials say

Queen’s third child previously offered to help ‘if required’

Alex Woodward
,Andrew Buncombe
Monday 27 January 2020 13:06 GMT
US prosecutor Geoffrey Berman: Andrew uncooperative in Epstein investigation

Federal investigators have accused Prince Andrew of providing “zero cooperation” with their investigation into Jeffrey Epstein and his co-conspirators about his alleged history of sexually abusing young girls.

In developments that reverberated from New York to Buckingham Palace and beyond, US Attorney Geoffrey Berman stood outside of the late Epstein’s New York apartment, to say both FBI and federal prosecutors were seeking the prince’s help. So far there had been “zero cooperation”, he told reporters.

“The original charges against Jeffrey Epstein contained a conspiracy charge, and we alleged that there were conspirators involved, and Jeffrey Epstein couldn’t have done what he did without the assistance of others, and I can assure you that our investigation is moving forward,” Mr Berman said.

Nicholas Biase at the US Attorney’s Office in New York confirmed to The Independent that Prince Andrew had not offered any cooperation, and the office was working in close coordination with the FBI to get him to speak with authorities. He could not comment about the timelines of their correspondence and when they last spoke with his representatives. Previously, the prince said he would cooperate “if required”.

The prince has repeatedly denied accusations levelled at him, most powerfully by Virginia Giuffre, who has claimed she was trafficked by the disgraced late US financier, and forced to have sex with his friends, including the British prince when she was 17 years old. She said the assaults took place in London, New York and Epstein’s private island in the US Virgin Islands.

In an interview with the BBC’s Panorama programme in December, she urged the British people to support her.

“He knows what happened. I know what happened, and there’s only one of us telling the truth, and I know that’s me,” she said.

“I implore the citizens in the UK to stand up beside me, to help me fight this fight, to not accept this as being OK. This is not some sordid sex story. This is a story of being trafficked, this is a story of abuse and this is a story of your guys’ royalty.”

In a now notorious interview with the BBC in November, the 59-year-old royal, who has since stood away from his duties with the royal family, Prince Andrew denied ever meeting Ms Roberts Giuffre, as she is also known, despite being photographed with her. He also claimed that due to a “peculiar medical condition” he was physically unable to sweat “at the time”, in response to her claim that he had been “profusely sweating”.

Prince Andrew: I stayed at convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein's house because I am 'too honorable'

He did admit to spending time at Epstein’s homes, where he said he never witnessed any suspicious behaviour or saw anything unusual about the young women in the properties.

“I thought they were all staff,” he said.

Reports dating back several months suggested the authorities wanted to speak to the the Queen’s third son. In his BBC interview, he said was prepared to give testimony under oath “if push came to shove and the legal advice was to do so”.

Later, announcing his decision to stand away from his royal duties for “the foreseeable future”, he added: “Of course, I am willing to help any appropriate law enforcement agency with their investigations, if required.”

The prince was one of many celebrities and high-profile figures to have at one of time or other associated with Epstein, including Bill Clinton, Kevin Spacey, Robert Maxwell and even Donald Trump.

Most broke off contact with him after he pleaded guilty to a charge of sex with a minor in 2008 and sentenced to 13 months in jail.

But Prince Andrew maintained the friendship, even staying at his house in New York after his released from jail in 2010, something he has since said was an error.

In the summer of 2019, Epstein, 66, was arrested and charged with trafficking dozens of girls and young women, charges he denied. He took his own life while awaiting trial.​

A Buckingham Palace spokesperson said: “This issue is being dealt with by The Duke of York’s legal team. Buckingham Palace will not be commenting further on this particular matter.”

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