NEW YORK: A US prosecutor overseeing the Jeffrey Epstein sex trafficking investigation said on Monday that Britain’s Prince Andrew has been uncooperative in the inquiry so far. Speaking at a news conference outside Epstein’s New York mansion, US Attorney Geoffrey Berman, the top federal prosecutor in Manhattan, said prosecutors and the FBI had contacted Prince Andrew’s lawyers and asked to interview him.
“To date, Prince Andrew has provided zero cooperation,” Berman said. The Associated Press has asked Buckingham Palace for comment. Andrew announced last year that he was withdrawing from his royal duties amid renewed attention of his friendship with Epstein, and a woman’s claim that she had several sexual encounters with the prince, starting when she was 17.
Virginia Roberts Giuffre says that after meeting her in Florida in 2000, Epstein flew her around the world and pressured her into having sex with numerous older men, including Andrew, two senior US politicians, a noted academic, wealthy financiers and the attorney Alan Dershowitz, who is now part of President Donald Trump’s impeachment defence team.
All of those men have denied the allegations. Giuffre has said she had sex with Andrew three times at Epstein’s request, including once in London in 2001 at the home of Epstein’s girlfriend, Ghislaine Maxwell.
Andrew and Maxwell have both denied any knowledge that Epstein was sexually abusing teenage girls. In a TV interview last fall, Andrew insisted he was out having pizza with his children on the night Giuffre says they were together in London.
US Attorney General William Barr has vowed to aggressively investigate and bring charges against anyone who may have helped Epstein, who killed himself in his jail cell last summer while he was awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges.
Andrew has said publicly suggested he would willingly cooperate with an investigation. Berman made his remarks about the case during a joint appearance with members of Safe Horizon, a nonprofit victim services agency, to discuss a new New York law that made it easier for people to sue over childhood sexual abuse.
He wouldn’t discuss the Epstein investigation in detail, but reiterated that the case didn’t end with his death. “Jeffrey Epstein couldn’t have done what he did without the assistance of others, and I can assure you that the investigation is moving forward,” he said.
Two guards who were supposed to be monitoring Epstein the night he was found dead have been charged with falsifying the jail’s log books to indicate they were performing checks on prisoners, when they were actually sleeping or browsing the internet. AP