Prince Andrew won’t be extradited to America for questioning over his links to Jeffrey Epstein, the US attorney general has said.
William Barr told Fox News the Duke of York’s involvement in the case against the convicted paedophile “isn’t a question of handing him over” but a matter of “having him provide some evidence”.
Asked if there were plans to extradite Prince Andrew, 60, to the United States, he replied: “No.”
US federal investigators have been trying to speak to Andrew for months about the disgraced billionaire, 66, who killed himself in his New York prison cell while awaiting trial for sex-trafficking charges.
On Monday, the duke’s legal team hit out after prosecutors made a formal request to interview him, with his lawyers claiming he has previously offered to assist them with the case on three occasions.
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But Geoffrey S Berman, attorney for the southern district of New York, later dismissed his claims, saying the prince has “repeatedly declined requests to schedule an interview”.
He said Andrew had sought to “falsely portray himself to the public as eager and willing to cooperate”, because the prince told his team “unequivocally” four months ago that he would not travel to the US to be interviewed.
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Mr Berman added: “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.”
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In March, Mr Berman said Andrew had “completely shut the door” on voluntary cooperation and that investigators were “considering its options” with regards to legal action against him.
Both Andrew and Epstein‘s former girlfriend, Ghislaine Maxwell, have previously denied any knowledge that Epstein was sexually abusing teenage girls.
Prosecutors accused the politically-connected financier of preying on dozens of underage girls in New York and Florida in the early 2000s.
One woman, Virginia Roberts Giuffre, claims Andrew had sex with her when she was still a minor, a claim he emphatically denies.
Last December, in the aftermath of a TV interview he did about his friendship with Epstein, the duke stepped back from royal duties.