There's been a new development in the Jeffrey Epstein sex trafficking case involving Prince Andrew, as the Ministry of Justice formally request the royal (who stepped down from his duties in the wake of the scandal) cooperates with their investigation into his 'former friend'.
An anonymous source said of the move, “It’s a huge statement of intent from the US and it moves Andrew into the realms of a criminal investigation. It’s also frankly a diplomatic nightmare."
Epstein, a billionaire paedophile, was found dead in a prison cell last year after hearing he faced charges of sex trafficking and conspiracy to traffic minors for sex. He had already been sentenced in 2008 for soliciting underage girls for prostitution.
This is hopefully a big step forward in the case as it's reported by The Sun that up until now, Prince Andrew (younger brother of Prince Charles and father of Beatrice and Eugenie) has refused to answer questions from the New York prosecutors. The Duke of York has denied any wrongdoing and ever meeting victim Virginia Giuffre, a key whistle-blower in the case who alleges that she slept with the royal while underage, despite there being a photograph of them together.
There is also photographic evidence of Prince Andrew leaving Epstein's mansion in 2010 (two years after he was convicted of crimes relating to soliciting and procuring a minor for prostitution) and walking around a nearby park with him.
"I have no recollection of ever meeting this lady, none whatsoever," he told interviewer Emily Maitlis during an explosive Newsnight interview last November. Prince Andrew also claimed the reason he was pictured with Epstein in 2010 was because they met to discuss their friendship ending.
Royal corresponder Rebecca English said the new requests for questioning are a "major development", adding that there had been no comment on them from Prince Andrew's legal team so far.
This is a major development in the Prince Andrew/Epstein case - no comment from his legal team yet. https://t.co/edXCMpgi6y— Rebecca English (@RE_DailyMail) June 7, 2020
English added in subsequent tweets, "Legal discussions with the DOJ are subject to strict confidentiality rules, as set out in their own guidelines... We have chosen to abide by both the letter and the spirit of these rules, which is why we have made no comment about anything related to the DOJ during the course of this year. We believe in playing straight bat.
"For those wondering, Andrew has had his own legal and PR teams since stepping back as a senior working royal and Buckingham Palace largely no longer comment or deal with enquiries on his behalf."
Prince Andrew could be required to appear in court over the case when it does go to trial.
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