June 9, 2020 / 2:13 AM / a month ago

U.S. prosecutors say Britain's Prince Andrew not cooperating in Epstein probe

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. prosecutors have accused Britain’s Prince Andrew of failing to cooperate with multiple requests they made to interview him about his contacts with the late financier Jeffrey Epstein, who died last August in a New York City federal prison.

In a statement on Monday, the Manhattan-based federal prosecutor, U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman, said: “Today, Prince Andrew yet again sought to falsely portray himself to the public as eager and willing to cooperate with an ongoing federal criminal investigation into sex trafficking and related offences committed by Jeffrey Epstein and his associates, even though the Prince has not given an interview to federal authorities, has repeatedly declined our request to schedule such an interview, and nearly four months ago informed us unequivocally – through the very same counsel who issued today’s release – that he would not come in for such an interview.”

Andrew has publicly stated he will cooperate with any “appropriate law enforcement agency”. U.S. Attorney General William Barr said on Monday there were no plans to extradite Andrew. In a statement earlier on Monday, Andrew’s lawyers said the prince had offered his help to the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) three times this year.

Berman’s office issued his statement in the wake of a report by Britain’s Sun newspaper, confirmed to Reuters by a U.S. law enforcement official, that U.S. authorities investigating Epstein’s life and death had sent the British government a formal request, known as a mutual legal assistance treaty (MLAT) submission, asking for access to the prince.

U.S. investigators want to interview Andrew, Queen Elizabeth’s second son, about his friendship with Epstein - who was awaiting charges of trafficking minors - as part of their inquiry into possible co-conspirators.

Reporting by Mark Hosenball in Washington and Michael Holden in London; Editing by Howard Goller

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