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18.22 27 Jan 2020


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A US attorney has said that Britain's Prince Andrew has provided "zero co-operation" with the Jeffrey Epstein sex trafficking investigation.

Geoffrey Berman, a federal prosecutor based in New York, said his team, as well as the FBI, had contacted the prince's lawyers and asked to interview him.

Mr Berman said at a news conference outside Epstein's New York mansion: "To date, Prince Andrew has provided zero cooperation."

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It comes after Prince Andrew announced last November that he was withdrawing from royal duties amid renewed attention of his friendship with Epstein, who was a convicted paedophile.

This followed an interview on the BBC's Newsnight programme during which he said he does not regret his friendship with Epstein, who died in prison earlier this year.

The interview also discussed allegations by Virginia Roberts Giuffre, who claims she had several sexual encounters with the prince when she was 17.

The royal denied the allegations from Ms Roberts-Giuffre who said she met him at a nightclub in London before they slept together in 2001.

The Duke of York said on the day on which the claims are alleged to have occurred, he had taken his daughter Princess Beatrice to Pizza Express at 4pm or 5pm in the afternoon.

Ms Roberts-Giuffre has claimed they went on to have sex on two other occasions which he denies.

Prince Andrew and Epstein's girlfriend, Ghislaine Maxwell, have denied any knowledge that Epstein was sexually abusing teenage girls.

Epstein had already served time in prison in 2008 for prostituting underage girls.

Prince Andrew stayed at his house two years later, telling Newsnight it had been "a convenient place to stay" and thought it was "the honourable and right thing to do" after visiting him to end their friendship.

During the interview, the royal suggested he would willingly co-operate with an investigation.

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.

Reporting by IRN

Main image: File photo of Britain's Prince Andrew. Credit: AP Photo/Sang Tan, File.

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