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Prince Andrew provided ‘zero co-operation’ in Epstein probe, US says

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Via Financial Times

The US prosecutor investigating the co-conspirators of the late financier and sex offender Jeffrey Epstein said Prince Andrew, the British royal, had not provided any help despite being asked for an interview.

Geoffrey Berman, the Manhattan US attorney who indicted Epstein last year on charges that he sex-trafficked underage girls, told journalists that his office and the Federal Bureau of Investigation had contacted lawyers for the prince, who is the second son of Queen Elizabeth and eighth in line to the British throne. The prince was a friend of Epstein, who died in jail last year while awaiting trial.

Virginia Roberts Giuffre, one of the women who has said she was abused by Epstein, has alleged that Prince Andrew also sexually abused her. The prince has strenuously denied the claims.

“To date, Prince Andrew has provided zero co-operation,” said Mr Berman, speaking outside Epstein’s former New York mansion on Monday.

After a disastrous BBC television interview in which the prince attempted to explain away his friendship with Epstein and denied allegations he had sex with one of Epstein’s victims, he indicated in November that he would help law enforcement with their investigations into the financier.

“Of course, I am willing to help any appropriate law enforcement agency with their investigations, if required,” Prince Andrew said in a statement at the time.

Mr Berman on Monday noted Prince Andrew’s public offer of co-operation and said his office was continuing to investigate Epstein’s crimes.

“Jeffrey Epstein couldn’t have done what he did without the assistance of others,” said Mr Berman. “I can assure you that our investigation is moving forward.”

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A spokesman for the US attorney declined to provide further details on the request, including when it was made to Prince Andrew’s lawyers and whether the royal was being treated as a witness. He reiterated that “Prince Andrew has not assisted so far.”

Epstein was arrested last July and charged with sex trafficking of underage girls. The case was brought after a series of media reports renewed controversy over a 2008 plea deal covering similar conduct that allowed the money manager to avoid federal indictment.

His death in a Manhattan jail cell in August, ruled a suicide by the New York medical examiner, cut short the case against Epstein, but prosecutors have vowed to continue to investigate any associates who helped him.

The ongoing probe has threatened to draw in the powerful and high-profile friends Epstein cultivated for years, including Prince Andrew and Ghislaine Maxwell, the British socialite who was a close companion of Epstein’s. She has denied any wrongdoing.

On Monday, Mr Berman declined to comment on whether Ms Maxwell was assisting the investigation.

This month, the attorney-general for the US Virgin Islands, where Epstein owned two islands, said the deceased registered sex offender had continued to traffic young girls as recently as 2018.

Denise George said in a lawsuit against Epstein’s estate that he had abused girls as young as 11 and 12 years old at his residence in the Virgin Islands.

A spokesman for the royal family had no comment.

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