DOJ demands UK make Prince Andrew available for questioning over links to convicted pedophile Epstein

DOJ demands UK make Prince Andrew available for questioning over links to convicted pedophile Epstein
(Getty Images)

The United States of America has officially demanded that the Duke of York be handed over to them from the UK to be questioned over his friendship to pedophile Jeffrey Epstein. The Department of Justice has formally told the UK that Prince Andrew is involved in a criminal probe. The 60-year-old has refused to be questioned by New York prosecutors who are looking into the sickening crimes of Jeffrey Epstein.

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He also denies doing anything wrong. Till now, Andrew was accused by one of Epstein's victims, Virginia Roberts Giuffre, of sleeping with her when she was underage between 2001 and 2002. According to The Sun, the US Department of Justice has raised the stakes. It filed a "mutual legal assistance" (MLA) request to the Home Office. MLA requests are typically used in criminal cases under a legal treaty with the UK. It means that Andrew who has so far "categorically denied" any involvement or wrongdoing could be forced to appear in a UK court as a witness. The move puts pressure on Andrew to provide some evidence.

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The US Department of Justice has formally told the UK that Prince Andrew is involved in a criminal probe (Getty Images) 

It also puts pressure on the UK government to assist. An insider shared it was unlikely that the Duke of York would be aware of the MLA request at this current stage as countries legally obliged to keep it private. "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. The DoJ does not make a request of this nature lightly, especially one involving a senior member of the British royal family," the source said. 

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"It puts the UK government in a very difficult position - and the Duke of York even more so," the insider added. The request was formally lodged by the DoJ around last month under the terms of a 1994 MLA treaty. There are two ways that US prosecutors can choose to approach this, first would be only for witnesses to crimes which would mean that Andrew will be asked to voluntarily attend an interview and be given a signed statement. 

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However, sources say American investigators who are reportedly very angry about how Andrew has cooperated so far could choose to take a more demanding approach. This could result in Andrew having to attend London’s City of Westminster Magistrates’ Court to provide some written evidence on oath. Unlike his mother, the Queen, Andrew does not have sovereign immunity from prosecution. 

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We had earlier reported that Prince Andrew has been permitted to keep his $379,965 (£300,000-a-year) bodyguards thanks to Queen Elizabeth's intervention. It was reported that Andrew's security team was supposed to be let go last Monday, June 1, when the Queen allegedly told her aides to forgo the decision. 

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 The disgraced Duke of York was made to step back from performing royal duties over his association and friendship with pedophile Jeffrey Epstein. According to sources, the Queen who had stripped Andrew of his royal title, "can't see a way back" for her son, The Sunday Times revealed.

It had been reported that Prince Andrew had been hoping to make a comeback to royal life but sources have described his presence as "toxic".

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