Met under pressure to quiz Andrew after friend Maxwell's conviction

Met Police under pressure to quiz Prince Andrew after friend Ghislaine Maxwell’s conviction – as it’s claimed Duke continued to socialise with her for years despite ‘cutting ties’ with her paedophile billionaire boyfriend

  • The force should look into all alleged offences committed in Britain, experts said
  • They said Maxwell’s conviction meant police could not dodge launching a probe
  • But Met police ‘liaises with other law enforcement agencies who lead the probe’
  • It comes amid claims Andrew socialised with Maxwell after Epstein was rumbled

The Metropolitan Police must probe any links Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell had with the UK even if that includes Prince Andrew, legal experts have claimed.

The force should look into all alleged offences committed in Britain ‘without fear or favour’, former officers and prosecutors said.

They claimed Maxwell’s conviction meant cops could no longer dodge launching an investigation into allegations centred in the country.

But the Met has so far maintained it continues ‘to liaise with other law enforcement agencies who lead the investigation into matters related to Jeffrey Epstein’.

It comes amid claims Prince Andrew still socialised with Maxwell long after Epstein was known to the police for being a paedophile.

The Duke was even reportedly guest of honour for her birthday party at Dorchester Hotel in London as late as December 2012.

The force should look into all alleged offences committed in Britain ‘without fear or favour’, former officers and prosecutors said. Pictured: Commissioner Cressida Dick

Former Chief Crown Prosecutor for the north west of England Nazir Afzal (pictured), ex-police detective constable Maggie Oliver and retired Met detective sergeant Steve Morris are calling for the Met to launch a probe

It comes amid claims Prince Andrew (pictured with Maxwell and Virginia Roberts in 2001) still socialised with Maxwell long after Epstein was known to the police for being a paedophile

Former Chief Crown Prosecutor for the north west of England Nazir Afzal, ex-police detective constable Maggie Oliver and retired Met detective sergeant Steve Morris are calling for the Met to launch a probe.

Mr Afzal, who spearheaded the Rochdale child grooming case in 2012, told the Express: ‘The Met has previously said there is not enough evidence but that is because it has not been investigated.

‘It must now properly investigate and see where it takes them and if that involves interviewing His Royal Highness then it must do that, as what it is meant to do is investigate without fear or favour.’

Ms Oliver said: ‘My fear is with these decisions based on people in high places that there is a reluctance by the authorities to dig deep for fear of upsetting the apple cart.’

And Mr Morris added the Duke of York should at least be interviewer under caution over any links he had to the former couple.

One of the claims centred on the UK is that Virginia Roberts was trafficked to the country to have sex with Prince Andrew in 2001, which he denies.

He reportedly sat opposite her at her 51st birthday party at the China Tang restaurant in the Dorchester (file photo) two years after he went to New York to cut ties with Epstein

Meanwhile it was claimed the Royal continued to socialise with Maxwell for years after the depravity of her then boyfriend Epstein emerged.

He reportedly sat opposite her at her 51st birthday party at the China Tang restaurant in the Dorchester two years after he went to New York to cut ties with Epstein.

A source told the Sunday Times: ‘The guest list was top notch. There were many very interesting people there who clearly liked her [Maxwell].’ Epstein was not there.

Andrew first met him via Maxwell in 1999 and he invited them to stay at Balmoral later that year.

They were invited to Windsor Castle in 2000 for his 40th birthday party as well as three others.

US police first probed Epstein’s abuses in Florida in 2005 and he was jailed for 13 months after a plea deal in 2008.

Prince Andrew was pictured with the paedophile again in New York in December 2010.

He told Newsnight in 2020 that he had only been there to tell the financier he was severing ties.

Virginia Giuffre – the woman who claims she was forced to sleep with Prince Andrew when she was 17 – could be set to give a victim impact statement to a New York judge for the sentencing of Ghislaine Maxwell. She is pictured with her lawyer, David Boies 

The prince was seen in public yesterday for the first time since his friend, British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell, was convicted of multiple counts of child sex trafficking for her boyfriend Epstein, driving himself to Windsor Castle. Pictured: Prince Andrew and Maxwell in 2000 at Ascot

Q&A 

What is Andrew accused of?

The formal allegations are battery and intentional infliction of emotional distress. Bringing the New York case under her married name of Giuffre, Virginia Roberts alleges she was forced to have sex with Prince Andrew when she was 17 and a ‘sex slave’ to his friend, paedophile Jeffrey Epstein. Unlike the Ghislaine Maxwell trial in Manhattan this is a civil case. Miss Roberts is seeking damages, probably totalling millions of pounds. Andrew cannot be jailed.

Where are we at?

The case was filed in August and is still at the early stages. On Tuesday, the judge will rule on a new Andrew application to dismiss it. If it continues there will be the taking of depositions – formal statement given under oath.

Who could be deposed?

Miss Roberts’ lawyer David Boies has said he will seek to depose the duke and possibly his ex-wife Sarah Ferguson, among others. Andrew’s side will depose his accuser and her associates, and perhaps her lawyers.

And then?

Judge Lewis Kaplan has set a tentative trial date for September, with the case to be decided by a jury made up of a dozen members of the public.

Will Andrew testify?

He can refuse to give a deposition but it could result in a default judgment against him. If he attends the trial, he can decline to give evidence in person, or ‘take the fifth’, refusing to answer questions in order to avoid incriminating himself.

What evidence will be heard?

Miss Roberts will tell her account and bring witnesses she says back up her claims. It is thought she will use flight logs from Epstein’s private jets showing her being flown to locations she claims to have had sex with the duke. Evidence from Maxwell’s trial could also play a part, including testimony from the victim known only as Carolyn, who says she was pulled into Epstein’s sphere by Roberts herself.

What about the FBI wanting to speak to Andrew?

That is separate from this case. The FBI have been looking to speak to Andrew as a possible witness for at least the last two years as they continue to investigate Epstein’s global sex ring. A request filed with the Home Office under the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty is currently gathering dust and has not been actioned.

Last week the Duke was asked to produce key documents in support of his alibi he did not have sex with his American accuser – including confirmation he did not sweat.

Virginia Giuffre’s legal team requested a wealth of information from Andrew’s lawyers as they probe his BBC Newsnight interview when he said he was visiting a Pizza Express on the day of the claimed sexual encounter.

Ms Giuffre is suing the Queen’s son for allegedly sexually assaulting her when she was a teenager and claims she was trafficked by disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein to have sex with the duke, and was pictured with the royal and his friend Ghislaine Maxwell during the period the alleged intercourse took place.

Andrew has denied all the allegations.

Her lawyers have also requested travel documents detailing Andrew’s movements on Epstein’s planes and to his various homes, the duke’s visit to Pizza Express in Woking and London’s Tramp nightclub where Ms Giuffre alleges she danced with a heavily sweating Andrew before they had sex.

Maxwell, 60, was convicted in America on Wednesday of helping to entice vulnerable teenagers to the properties of Epstein, her former boyfriend, for him to sexually abuse between 1994 and 2004.

She was labelled ‘dangerous’ by the prosecution and faces the rest of her life in jail, and her friendship with Andrew has seen renewed scrutiny of Ms Giuffre’s civil claim for damages against the duke.

Andrew’s legal team have rejected the requests for the documents citing various reasons, including the information is protected from disclosure by rights of privacy under the US constitution and Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

His lawyers also state in papers filed to a New York court, the documents requested are already publicly available or the requests are ‘unduly burdensome, oppressive… duplicative and over broad’.

Andrew’s much anticipated appearance on BBC’s Newsnight in November 2019 was an attempt to defend his reputation in the wake of the Epstein sex scandal, but he opened himself up to further accusations with critics saying he failed to show remorse for the financier’s victims.

The duke denied he slept with Ms Giuffre on three separate occasions when questioned by Newsnight presenter Emily Maitlis, saying one encounter did not happen as he had taken his daughter Princess Beatrice to Pizza Express in Woking for a party and they spent the rest of the day together.

The same sexual encounter, which the American said began with the royal sweating heavily as they danced at Tramp nightclub, was factually wrong, the duke said, as he had a medical condition at the time which meant he did not sweat.

Ms Giuffre has alleged in the past she had sex with Andrew in London and New York when she was aged 17, a minor under US law, and again aged 18 on a private Caribbean island owned by Epstein where an orgy took place.

In response to the decision not to provide information, Ms Giuffre’s legal team said in court documents: ‘If Prince Andrew truly has no documents concerning his communications with Maxwell or Epstein, his travel to Florida, New York, or various locations in London, his alleged medical inability to sweat, or anything that would support the alibis he gave during his BBC interview, then continuing with discovery will not be burdensome to him at all.’

Maxwell’s brother Ian Maxwell told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme his sibling’s trial was not fair and he thinks her appeal against the verdict will succeed.

Pressed on whether the women who testified against his sister were lying, he replied: ‘Of course, the prosecution didn’t put into evidence the prior interviews they had with these accusers, which showed a completely different case.

‘Memory is faulty, and so, in my view, the trial that has occurred was not a fair trial from Ghislaine’s perspective. And that is why she’s going to appeal, and I think she’ll be successful.’

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