Epstein probe gets 'zero cooperation' from Prince Andrew: U.S.
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[January 28, 2020]
By Mark Hosenball
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Britain's Prince
Andrew has provided "zero cooperation" to U.S. authorities probing sex
trafficking allegedly carried out by deceased financier Jeffrey Epstein
and co-conspirators, a prosecutor said on Monday.
The FBI and U.S. federal prosecutors contacted Prince Andrew's lawyers
and requested an interview with the prince, who socialized with Epstein,
Manhattan-based U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman said at a news conference
in front of Epstein's mansion.
As of Monday, "Prince Andrew has provided zero cooperation," Berman said
at the event hosted by Safe Horizon, a group pressing for more legal
protection for abuse victims.
He did not say when U.S. authorities had requested an interview with
Buckingham Palace declined to comment.
Andrew said in November he would be willing to help "any appropriate law
enforcement agency with their investigations, if required."
The Federal Bureau of Investigation's probe is focusing on British
socialite Ghislaine Maxwell, a longtime associate of Epstein, and others
who facilitated the wealthy financier's alleged trafficking of underage
girls, law enforcement sources told Reuters in December.
Maxwell has not been accused of criminal wrongdoing.
Epstein had socialized with Andrew and other high-profile figures
including U.S. President Donald Trump and former president Bill Clinton,
according to court filings.
Epsteinís suicide in August, at age 66, came a little over a month after
he was arrested and charged with trafficking dozens of underage girls as
young as 14 from at least 2002 to 2005. Prosecutors said he recruited
girls to give him massages, which became sexual in nature. Epstein had
pleaded not guilty.
In 2008, Epstein pleaded guilty to a Florida state charge of soliciting
prostitution. He completed a 13-month jail sentence that was widely
criticized as too lenient.
Andrew has described his association with Epstein as "ill-judged" and in
November the prince stepped down from public duties as the allegations
became a distraction for the royal family.
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Britain's Prince Andrew leaves St. Mary the Virgin church in
Hillington, near royal Sandringham estate, in Norfolk, Britain
January 19, 2020. REUTERS/Chris Radburn
Andrew, Queen Elizabeth's second son, has denied an allegation in a
civil lawsuit from Virginia Giuffre, who claims she had sex with the
prince when she was 17 in an encounter arranged through Epstein.
Giuffre's lawsuit said Maxwell recruited her into Epstein's circle
and Epstein forced her to have sex with him and friends including
Despite Epstein's death, investigations continue into potential
In December, sources told Reuters, law enforcement did not plan at
that time to interview Andrew, although the investigation was said
to be at an early stage.
The FBI has been following up on leads received from women who
contacted a hotline the agency set up at its New York field office
in the wake of Epstein's arrest in July, the sources said in
This month, the attorney general of the U.S. Virgin Islands sued
Epstein's estate claiming he raped and trafficked dozens of young
women and girls on a private island he owned in the territory.
The complaint filed by Virgin Islands Attorney General Denise George
significantly broadened the scope of the financier's alleged
misconduct, saying it spanned from 2001 to 2018 and targeted girls
who appeared to be as young as 11 or 12.
The Virgin Islands is seeking civil penalties plus some assets from
Epstein's estimated $577.7 million estate, including the forfeiture
of his two private islands, Little St. James and Great St. James.
(Reporting by Timothy Ahmann and Mark Hosenball in Washington and
Kylie MacLellan and Janet Lawrence in London; writing by Tom Hals;
editing by Jonathan Oatis, Bill Berkrot and David Gregorio)
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