No formal US approach to question Prince Andrew on Epstein investigation, British Prime Minister says

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US officials have not officially communicated with the British government to allow him to speak to Prince Andrew about his contacts with the late financier Jeffrey Epstein, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Friday.US prosecutors want to question the prince about his contacts with Epstein, who was awaiting trial for child trafficking when he died by suicide last August in a federal prison in New York.

However, they said that Andrew, the second son of Queen Elizabeth, repeatedly evaded their interview requests and reiterated their desire to speak to him on Thursday after arresting British socialist Ghislaine Maxwell, former girlfriend of Epstein. and long-time associate.

Andrew’s lawyers, who met Epstein through his friendship with Maxwell, say he has offered help three times this year.

When asked what the answer would be if US officials asked for official access to Prince Andrew, whose official title is the Duke of York, Johnson said, “No such approach has been taken. It is the affair of the royal family ”.

He continued: “Everyone’s sympathies are very close to the victims of Jeffrey Epstein, but you would not expect me to comment on matters concerning the royal family. ”

WATCH | Jeffrey Epstein’s friend Ghislaine Maxwell, arrested, facing multiple charges:

CBC Steven D’Souza details the arrest of Ghislaine Maxwell, accused of procuring young girls for Jeffrey Epstein. 4:29

“The law must be enforced and the law must be respected,” Johnson said on LBC radio.

In June, Geoffrey Berman, then US attorney for Manhattan, said that Andrew had “sought to falsely present himself to the public as willing and willing to cooperate” in their investigation.

Meanwhile, a US law enforcement official confirmed to Reuters that US authorities investigating Epstein had sent the British government a formal request, known as a MLA submission. , requesting access to the prince.

After Maxwell was arrested and charged on Thursday with luring underage girls so that Epstein sexually abused, US acting prosecutor Audrey Strauss said, “We are pleased to welcome Prince Andrew to speak with us. ”

Andrew’s legal team accused the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) of seeking publicity rather than help, dismissing charges that it had offered “zero cooperation”.

“Duke’s team remains puzzled since we have contacted the DOJ twice in the past month, and to date we have had no response,” said a source close to the team. ‘Andrew in response to Strauss’ remarks.

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