The US has demanded that Prince Andrew be handed over to American police to be questioned about his links to the paedophile Jeffrey Epstein, according to reports.
America’s Department of Justice (DOJ) has formally told the Government that the Duke of York is now part of a criminal investigation. The Duke, 60, has strongly denied any wrongdoing but has not faced questions from US prosecutors.
Now, the US appears to have bypassed Buckingham Palace by filing a ‘mutual legal assistance’ request to the Home Office last month, The Sun claimed. Such requests are only used in criminal cases under a legal treaty with the UK.
That could force the Royal to appear as a witness in a UK court within months – either voluntarily, or by being summoned from the US’s DOJ. A source told The Sun: “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.”
A source close to the Duke’s legal team told Metro.co.uk this evening: ‘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.’
Virginia Giuffre, who claims she was trafficked by Epstein, said in an interview with BBC Panorama that she was left ‘horrified and ashamed’ after an alleged sexual encounter with Andrew in London in 2001. Prince Andrew categorically denies he had any form of sexual contact or relationship with Ms Giuffre.