for American justice, Prince Andrew pretends to want to cooperate

Geoffrey Berman, left, in charge of the investigation of Jeffrey Epstein, arrives at the Federal Court in Manhattan on July 8, 2019.

Is Prince Andrew ready to cooperate with American justice in the Epstein case? His lawyers said on Monday June 8 that he had proposed "At least three times" to testify in this sexual assault case that plagues the British monarchy, but Manhattan federal prosecutor Geoffrey Berman accused him of pretending.

The second son of Queen Elisabeth II, 60, has been asked for months to explain what he knew about the activities of his wealthy American friend, found hanged in his cell in August 2019, after being accused of having sexually exploited underage girls.

Read also Jeffrey Epstein allegedly assaulted minors until 2019

His defense released a lengthy update on Monday after information was published by the tabloid. The sun and American media, according to which the American justice seized the British authorities to compel him to testify.

Suspicions around the prince

"The Duke of York offered at least three times his assistance as a witness to the department (American) of Justice ", said his lawyers. " Unfortunately, (this last) reacted to our first two proposals by violating their own confidentiality rules " claiming that he did not cooperate, they lamented, accusing the department of "May want to seek advertising rather than accept the assistance offered".

But the investigating Manhattan federal prosecutor said in a tweet that Prince Andrew was running "Falsely to the public as eager to cooperate in the investigation (…) " when he had "Several times refused to stall an interview with the American authorities" and that he had informed them "Clearly it has been almost four months since he would go to such an interview".

These exchanges can only fuel suspicion surrounding Prince Andrew in this resounding affair that has poisoned the British crown for ten months. The United States Minister of Justice (attorney general), William Barr, however, said on Monday that there was no question of extraditing the Queen's son to the United States. "I think it’s just a question of him providing information, but I’m not going to comment further.", he said on conservative Fox News.

Descent into hell

The prince's descent into hell began in August 2019 with the publication in the United States of court documents. A woman, Virginia Roberts, claims to have had sexual intercourse with the Duke of York on three occasions to which Epstein allegedly coerced him when she was 17 years old. Prince Andrew has always denied these allegations.

Read also Epstein case: accuser of prince Andrew denounces "ridiculous excuses"

The publication of a photo, showing Virginia Roberts at that time entwined by the prince, did the rest, as well as another photo showing the latter walking in New York with the financier even when Epstein had already was convicted and imprisoned in connection with a prostitution case in 2008.

To defend himself, Prince Andrew granted a long interview in BBC to the BBC in November 2019, which turned into a fiasco because he showed no regrets and seemed to lack empathy for the victims. Released little by little by the companies and associations with which he worked, he ended up announcing, still in November 2019, his withdrawal from public life and he is now discreet.

The World with AFP


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