Prince Andrew 'willing to help any appropriate law enforcement agency... if required'
London - Prince Andrew on Wednesday night signalled he would speak to FBI detectives investigating billionaire paedophile Jeffrey Epstein.
In his statement announcing he was stepping aside from public duties, the prince said he was "willing to help any appropriate law enforcement agency... if required".
Andrew’s offer to co-operate with the authorities was welcomed by lawyers representing Epstein’s victims, but they questioned why he would only do so "if required". The legal teams called on Andrew and his bodyguards to give "in-depth interviews" to the FBI revealing everything they knew about Epstein.
The prince was criticised for saying during his disastrous BBC Newsnight interview on Saturday night that he would testify under oath "if push came to shove". Lisa Bloom, who represents five victims of Epstein, last night described the prince’s latest comments as ‘a good first step’ but called on him to volunteer information.
"Prince Andrew should fully co-operate in all legal investigations, which means that he should sit down for in-depth interviews with the FBI and lawyers for the women, and require his staff to do so as well," she said.
‘He should turn over all documents, such as calendars, journals, emails, texts and flight logs. The public stands with Epstein’s victims and companies and organisations are distancing themselves from Prince Andrew.
A statement by His Royal Highness The Duke of York KG. pic.twitter.com/solPHzEzzp— The Duke of York (@TheDukeOfYork) November 20, 2019
"The victims and I appreciate this meaningful public support."
She added: "If he truly does regret his time with Jeffrey Epstein, now is the time to make it right by being fully accountable to the many victims demanding justice."
Gloria Allred, who also represents several Epstein victims, called on Andrew to volunteer himself for questioning in New York. "I am glad that he is willing to speak to law enforcement, although I am not sure what he means by “if required”,’ she said. "Is he insisting that he be served with a subpoena to testify or is he willing to speak to law enforcement without being legally required to do so?
"My clients who are victims of Jeffrey Epstein have spoken to law enforcement without being “required” to do so. I urge Prince Andrew to contact the investigators for the US Attorneys’ Office for the Southern District of New York and volunteer to be interviewed by them."
Earlier this week, French prosecutors renewed their appeal for both witnesses and victims to co-operate, with an investigative source calling on Prince Andrew to appear for questioning.
The Duke of York was said to be a regular guest at Epstein’s residence in the French capital. The source said: "He [Andrew] has yet to discuss details of his visits in public. It is very important that all those who had relations with Epstein in Paris speak to prosecutors and judicial police, and Prince Andrew is one of them. He clearly has a lot to say. We need to get to the truth."
In 2015, Scotland Yard rejected calls for a full investigation into Epstein’s activities in the UK.Daily Mail