U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman, from the Department of Justice for the Southern District of New York, released a statement today regarding Prince Andrew, The Duke of York, in the case of Jeffrey Epstein. The statement is in regards to the ongoing federal criminal investigation into sex trafficking and related offenses allegedly committed by Jeffrey Epstein and his associates. The statement by Berman was a response to Prince Andrew's recent comment that he is willing to cooperate with U.S. officials in the investigation, by agreeing to an interview.
Back in January, Berman commented, "To date, Prince Andrew has provided zero cooperation," and that the Prince was "stonewalling". Then in March, Berman stated "Contrary to Prince Andrew's very public offer to cooperate with our investigation into Epstein's co-conspirators, an offer that was conveyed via a press release, Prince Andrew has now completely shut the door on voluntary cooperation," he added.
Berman's said in his statement released this afternoon, "Today, Prince Andrew yet again sought to falsely portray himself to the public as eager and willing to cooperate with an ongoing federal criminal investigation into sex trafficking and related offenses committed by Jeffrey Epstein and his associates, even though the Prince has not given an interview to federal authorities, has repeatedly declined our request to schedule such an interview, and nearly four months ago informed us unequivocally – through the very same counsel who issued today’s release – that he would not come in for such an interview." He continued, "If Prince Andrew is, in fact, serious about cooperating with the ongoing federal investigation, our doors remain open, and we await word of when we should expect him".
The Sun reported today, that in a rare move last month, the DOJ made a formal request to the British Government asking to interview the Duke of York. The request was in the form of a Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty, or MLAT, which is similar to a subpoena and is an agreement between two or more countries for the purpose of gathering and exchanging information in an effort to enforce public or criminal laws.
The Duke's legal team responded to the MLAT request, "The Duke of York has on at least three occasions this year offered his assistance as a witness to the DOJ,". They added, "Unfortunately, the DOJ has reacted to the first two offers by breaching their own confidentiality rules and claiming that the Duke has offered zero co-operation. In doing so, they are perhaps seeking publicity rather than accepting the assistance proffered."
The DOJ's interview request is in regard to one of Epstein's alleged victims, Virginia Giuffre, who claims she was trafficked by Epstein and also alleges the Duke had sex with her on three separate occasions including when she was 17, still a minor under US law.
Prince Andrew with Virginia Giuffre and Ghislaine Maxwell at Andrew's London home in a photo released with court documents
The Duke denies the allegations made by Guiffre and participated in a rare interview with the BBC last fall to widespread criticism. He said in a statement around the same time as the interview, that he would cooperate with "any appropriate law enforcement agency with their investigations, if required".
Back in November of 2019, the Duke of York was relieved of his royal duties. The Guardian reported, that he was summoned to Buckingham Palace and was told by the Queen in no uncertain terms, that his role as an active, publicly funded royal was over. The Duke did issue a statement in his own name stating that his royal duties were over “for the foreseeable future”. He added, "I continue to unequivocally regret my ill-judged association with Jeffrey Epstein. His suicide has left many unanswered questions, particularly for his victims, and I deeply sympathise with everyone who has been affected and wants some form of closure". He continued, "I can only hope that, in time, they will be able to rebuild their lives."
Jeffrey Epstein died in jail of an apparent suicide in New York City on August 10, 2019, while awaiting trial.