The United States Justice Department has demanded the UK hand over the Duke of York for questioning regarding his relationship with American paedophile Jeffrey Epstein.
The Sun has exclusively revealed that the Department of Justice (DOJ) has formally requested the Home Office hand over The Queen’s son for questioning. The DOJ has become frustrated with his lack of cooperation with investigations into Epstein; he has refused to speak to attorneys in New York regarding Epstein’s sex trafficking ring.
The DOJ filed a mutual legal assistance (MLA) request last month, which are only allowed to be used in criminal cases in accordance with a 1994 legal treaty between the US and UK.
Reportedly, no decision has yet been made by British officials.
If the UK approves the request, there are two options on the table. One would see the Duke of York asked to voluntarily be interviewed and give a signed statement while not under oath. The second option would require the Duke to provide statements – verbal or written – under oath at London’s City of Westminster Magistrates’ Court.
Refusal by Prince Andrew could result in the royal being summoned to appear before DOJ prosecutors for questioning. All of these sessions would be held privately with no press or public present.
A source called the request a “diplomatic nightmare” when talking to the Sun, also saying it is “huge statement of intent from the US and it moves Andrew into the realms of a criminal investigation.”
They went on to add: “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 UK government in a very difficult position – and the Duke of York even even more so.”
A source close to Prince Andrew said: “Legal discussions with the Department of Justice are subject to strict confidentiality rules, as set out in their own guidelines. We have chosen to abide by both the letter and the spirit of these rules”.
“We have made no comment about anything related to the Department of Justice during the course of this year. We believe in playing straight bat.”
Prince Andrew has always strongly denied any wrongdoing and has never been charged with any crime.