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'Zero cooperation' from Prince Andrew over Epstein: US prosecutor

Tuesday January 28 2020

In this file photo taken on September 7, 2019 Britain's Prince Andrew, Duke of York, attends a ceremony commemorating the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Bruges in Bruges. PHOTO | AFP

In this file photo taken on September 7, 2019 Britain's Prince Andrew, Duke of York, attends a ceremony commemorating the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Bruges in Bruges. PHOTO | AFP 

AFP
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Prince Andrew has provided "zero cooperation" regarding late sex offender Jeffrey Epstein and has yet to respond to a FBI request for an interview, a US prosecutor said Monday.

Andrew denies claims he had sex with a 17-year-old girl procured by Epstein and said in November he was "willing to help any appropriate law enforcement agency with their investigations, if required."

But New York attorney Geoffrey Berman, who is leading an investigation into possible co-conspirators of Epstein's, said his office and the FBI had not heard from Andrew despite his offer to cooperate.

ZERO COOPERATION

"To date, Prince Andrew has provided zero cooperation," Berman told reporters during a news conference outside Epstein's former New York home where Andrew has admitted staying at in the past.

Buckingham Palace did not immediately respond to request for comment when contacted by AFP.

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Queen Elizabeth II's second son, 59, was forced to step back from royal duties after he faced outrage over an interview with the BBC late last year in which he defended his friendship with disgraced US financier Epstein.

Epstein, 66 committed suicide in a New York jail last summer while awaiting trial on sex-trafficking charges.

He was a multi-millionaire hedge fund manager who befriended countless celebrities over the years, including US President Donald Trump.

CONSPIRACY THEORIES

Epstein was charged with one count of sex trafficking of minors and another of conspiracy to commit sex trafficking of minors.

He denied the charges but was facing up to 45 years in jail if found guilty. His death also deprived countless alleged victims of justice.

Dozens of women who say they were abused by Epstein have sued his estate and prosecutors have pledged to pursue any accomplices.

"Jeffrey Epstein couldn't have done what he did without the assistance of others and I can assure you that our investigation is moving forward," Berman said Monday.

Epstein's death fuelled several conspiracy theories, mostly speculating that he was murdered to stop him revealing compromising information about some of his wealthy acquaintances.

Epstein was convicted in Florida in 2008 of paying young girls for massages but served just 13 months in jail under a secret plea deal struck with the then state prosecutor.

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