The USA has reportedly demanded that Prince Andrew be handed over to American police to be questioned about his links to the paedophile Jeffrey Epstein. America’s Department of Justice has formally told the Government that the Duke of York is now part of a criminal investigation, according to The Sun. The Duke, 60, has strongly denied any wrongdoing but has not faced questions from US prosecutors. Now, the US appears to have bypassed Buckingham Palace by filing a ‘mutual legal assistance’ request to the Home Office last month, the newspaper claimed. Such requests are only used in criminal cases under a legal treaty with the UK.
That could force the Royal to appear as a witness in a UK court within months – either voluntarily, or by being summoned from the US Justice Department. A source told The Sun: ‘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.’ Virginia Giuffre, who claims she was trafficked by Epstein, said in an interview with BBC Panorama that she was left ‘horrified and ashamed’ after an alleged sexual encounter with Andrew in London in 2001. Prince Andrew categorically denies he had any form of sexual contact or relationship with Ms Giuffre.