- The Washington Times - Monday, June 8, 2020

U.S. prosecutors are demanding the United Kingdom hand over Prince Andrew to address questions about his ties to deceased billionaire sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, according to a report published Monday.

The U.S. Department of Justice has sidestepped Buckingham Palace and, instead, filed a “mutual legal assistance” request with the United Kingdom in a bid to force Prince Andrew to testify, The Sun, a London paper, reported.

A mutual legal assistance agreement is a rare step countries use when evidence needs to be gathered in a criminal investigation that transcends international borders.

Although his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, has sovereign immunity from prosecution, Prince Andrew does not.

If the British government grants the request, Prince Andrew would have to face questions under oath from FBI investigators and federal prosecutors.

“It’s a huge statement of intent from the U.S. and it moves Andrew into the realms of a criminal investigation. It’s also frankly a diplomatic nightmare,” a source told The Sun.

“The DOJ does not make a request of this nature lightly, especially one involving a senior member of the British royal family. It puts the U.K. government in a very difficult position — and the Duke of York even more so,” the source told the paper.

Prince Andrew has rebuffed previous attempts by U.S. authorities demanding that he provide answers about his relationship with Epstein.

Epstein killed himself in his Manhattan jail cell last year while he awaited trial on federal sex trafficking charges.

Virginia Roberts Giuffre, a victim of Epstein, has repeatedly claimed she was trafficked to Prince Andrew for sex when she was underage.

Prince Andrew has denied her claims. He tried to address the Epstein issue in a disastrous BBC interview. The interview was widely panned and resulted in his removal from royal duties.

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