United Kingdom

Virginia Roberts says Prince Andrew is not above the law US attorney statement about cooperation

Britain's Prince Andrew has not returned federal prosecutors' interview requests despite offering to cooperate with their ongoing investigation of pedophile Jeffrey Epstein

Virginia Roberts has launched a fresh attack on Prince Andrew after it was revealed he is refusing to cooperate with the US probe into Jeffrey Epstein's estate, warning him he is 'not above the law'. 

After his car crash Newsnight interview in November, the Duke of York claimed he would cooperate with US justice officials and their investigation into Epstein's sex trafficking ring if required. 

But speaking outside the convicted paedophile's New York mansion yesterday, attorney Geoffrey Barman revealed they have contacted the prince, 59, but received 'zero' response. 

A lawyer for Virginia Roberts Guiffre, who claims she had sex with Andrew three times, said: 'Prince Andrew's continued refusal to cooperate with the authorities after freely acknowledging that he would be prepared to answer enquiries raises even more questions about the role he played in the international sex trafficking ring Jeffrey Epstein and others operated.

'Prince Andrew should take most seriously the deeply held belief in this country that no one is above the law.'

Speaking to reporters outside Epstein's Manhattan mansion on Monday, US Attorney for the Southern District of New York Geoffrey Berman said: 'To date, Prince Andrew has provided zero cooperation.'  

Berman made his latest remarks about the Epstein case during a joint appearance with members of Safe Horizon, a nonprofit victim services agency, to discuss a new New York law that makes it easier for people to sue over childhood sexual abuse.

The attorney wouldn't discuss the investigation in detail, but did confirm that prosecutors are looking at possible 'conspirators' who worked with Epstein.  

'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,' Berman said. 

The attorney declined to comment when asked if Ghislaine Maxwell, Epstein's accused madam, is cooperating with investigators.  

Speaking to reporters outside Epstein's Manhattan mansion on Monday, US Attorney for the Southern District of New York Geoffrey Berman said that prosecutors have contacted Prince Andrew's attorneys but have not received a response

A lawyer for Virginia Roberts (pictured), who claims she had sex with Andrew three times, said: 'Prince Andrew should take most seriously the deeply held belief in this country that no one is above the law.'

Virginia Roberts, who claims that Prince Andrew had sex with her after Epstein trafficked her to London, is pictured with the Duke of York in 2001 

Berman declined comment when asked if Ghislaine Maxwell, Epstein's accused madam, is cooperating with investigators. Epstein and Maxwell are pictured in 2005

Before responding to a reporter's question about Andrew's involvement in the investigation, Berman acknowledged that his office typically doesn't comment on whether a particular individual is cooperating. 

'However, in Prince Andrew's case, he publicly offered, indeed in a press release, offered to cooperate with law enforcement investigating the crimes committed by Jeffrey Epstein and his co-conspirators,' Berman said.  

Buckingham Palace is not commenting on the matter. 

But following his interview with Emily Maitlis on the BBC last year, Andrew said in a statement: 'Of course, I am willing to help any appropriate law enforcement agency with their investigations, if required.' 

A source told DailyMail.com: 'This issue is being dealt with by the Duke of York's legal team.'  

Andrew has categorically denied having any knowledge that Epstein was sexually abusing teenage girls. 

The prince announced that he was withdrawing from his royal duties late last year amid renewed attention over his friendship with Epstein, and Giuffre's claim that she had several sexual encounters with the prince, starting when she was just 17.

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 defense 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, Maxwell.

Andrew has maintained that he does not recall ever meeting Giuffre - even though there is a photograph apparently showing him with his arm around the then-17-year-old on the night she says she first slept with him. 

Prince Andrew is pictured with Epstein in Central Park in New York in February 2011

In the November TV interview with the BBC, Andrew insisted he did not spend time with Giuffre at Tramp Nightclub in London on March 10, 2001, after which she claims the pair first had sex.

The duke denied he slept with her on three separate occasions, saying the encounter in 2001 did not happen as he had taken his daughter Princess Beatrice to Pizza Express in Woking for a party, and they spent the rest of the day together. 

Giuffre has previously described their alleged time together in London in vivid detail, claiming that Andrew had been 'sweating' as they danced together in the London nightclub.  

Andrew disputed that detail, saying he has a 'peculiar medical condition which is that I don't sweat or I didn't sweat at the time'.

He also said that her story didn't make sense because he didn't know where the bar in Tramp Nightclub is. 

'I don't drink, I don't think I've ever bought a drink in Tramps whenever I was there,' he said.   

Questioned about the photo of him and Giuffre together, which friends of the Duke have said could have been faked, Andrew said that public displays of affection are 'not something he would do' but refused to reveal whether he thought the image was doctored.

He said: 'Oh it's definitely me, I mean that's a picture of me. I don't believe it's a picture of me in London because when I go out in London I wear a suit and a tie. 

'That's what I would describe as my travelling clothes if I'm going to go overseas. There's plenty of photographs of me dressed in that sort of kit but not there.' 

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.

The case brought renewed scrutiny to Epstein's many high-profile associates, including Andrew, who says he met the financier in 1999. 

The pair maintained their friendship even after Epstein served 13 months in a Florida county jail after pleading guilty to charges of soliciting prostitution in 2008. 

Andrew came under fire in 2010 after it was revealed that he stayed at Epstein's Manhattan home following his release from jail.     

Asked during the November interview whether he regretted continuing his friendship with Epstein, Andrew said: 'Do I regret the fact that he has quite obviously conducted himself in a manner unbecoming? Yes.' 

The BBC interviewer replied: 'Unbecoming? He was a sex offender.'

Andrew then apologized, saying: 'I'm being polite, I mean in the sense that he was a sex offender. 

'But no, was I right in having him as a friend? At the time, bearing in mind this was some years before he was accused of being a sex offender. 

'I don't there was anything wrong then, the problem was the fact that once he had been convicted I stayed with him and that's the bit that, as it were, I kick myself for on a daily basis because it was not something that was becoming of a member of the royal family and we try and uphold the highest standards and practices and I let the side down, simple as that.' 

Andrew was also friends with Maxwell, the British socialite accused in several civil lawsuits of recruiting girls and young women for Epstein to sexually abuse.

Last week, a former police protection officer for Andrew came forward to claim that Maxwell would visit the prince at Buckingham Palace up to four times a day and that the pair would enjoy picnics together on the grounds of the estate in London. 

In a November TV interview, Andrew maintained that he does not recall meeting Giuffre 

Met Police officer Paul Page, who worked for the Royals from 1998 to 2004, told The Mirror he first became aware of who Maxwell was in 2001 when the privy purse - the office that handles the Queen's private income - called to inform him that a guest was coming to see Andrew but that the name was not to be entered into the book. 

'She turned up in a chauffeur-driven Range Rover and we let her in. Half an hour after that me and my colleague walked through the garden to go back to the police lodge and he was having a picnic with her by the summer house, opposite the Queen's ­bedroom window,' Page said.

'One of my colleagues saw her come in and out the Palace four times in one day.' 

Andrew claimed in the BBC interview that he last saw Maxwell in the early spring of last year, months before he was arrested on sex trafficking charges.  

Maxwell has denied any wrongdoing related to Epstein but is believed to be one of the key figures in the US government's probe. 

Two guards who were supposed to be monitoring Epstein the night he was found dead have already 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.  

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