The US has reportedly bypassed Buckingham Palace and demanded Britain hand over Prince Andrew for questioning regarding convicted paedophile Jeffery Epstein.
According to The Sun, the US Department of Justice has filed a ‘mutual legal assistance’ (MLA) request, which means Prince Andrew could face court in the UK, forcing him to give evidence with the UK government assisting.
The request was reportedly filed last month and could mean Prince Andrew will have to give evidence under oath.
A source told The Sun the MLA could push Prince Andrew towards a criminal investigation and called the request “frankly a diplomatic nightmare”.
Previously, Andrew had said he was “willing to help” with any investigations, however US officials said the prince was not cooperating.
Just earlier this year, US Attorney Geoffrey Berman said prosecutors and the FBI had contacted Andrew’s lawyers and asked to interview him.
“To date, Prince Andrew has provided zero cooperation,” said Berman in January and previously the US Attorney General vowed to aggressively investigate and bring charges against anyone who may have helped Epstein.
The Queen’s son stepped away from public duties in 2019, following an interview where he attempted to “set the record straight”.
Prince Andrew faced allegations from Virginia Giuffre, who says he had sex with her when she was underage and she had been trafficked by Epstein.
While Ms Giuffre gave a detailed account of her time with Prince Andrew, he denied the allegations, saying the night in question he was at a pizza restaurant with his children.
“I was with the children and I'd taken [my daughter] Beatrice to a Pizza Express in Woking for a party at, I suppose, sort of 4pm or 5pm in the afternoon,” he told the BBC last year.
Prince Andrew also questioned the legitimacy of a photo of he and Ms Roberts-Giuffre taken in 2001.
“Nobody can prove whether or not that photograph has been doctored but I don't recollect that photograph ever being taken," he said.
Ms Giuffre says that after meeting Epstein in Florida in 2000, the millionaire flew her around the world and pressured her into having sex with numerous older men.
The list of men includes Andrew, two senior US politicians, a noted academic, wealthy financiers and attorney Alan Dershowitz, who worked on President Donald Trump’s impeachment defence team.
Ms Giuffre has said she had sex with Andrew three times, including once in London in 2001 at the home of Epstein’s girlfriend, Ghislaine Maxwell.
Andrew, who met Epstein in the late 1990s and Ms Maxwell have both denied any knowledge that Epstein was sexually abusing teenage girls.
The New York City Medical Examiner’s Office determined Epstein died by suicide last year in prison.
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