Britain

Prince Andrew could be handed a subpoena to face Epstein questions

The Duke of York has been seen in public for the first time since his dramatic decision to step back from royal duties.

Prince Andrew, whose announcement followed a widely-criticised TV interview over his relationship with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, was photographed leaving his house in Windsor, the Royal Lodge, this morning.

The prince, who was accused of "utterly lacking in compassion" for the victims of the late billionaire, said his association with disgraced financier has "become a major disruption to my family's work".

Prince Andrew: 'It's important he cooperates'

He said he "deeply sympathises" with Epstein's victims and is "willing to help any appropriate law enforcement agency with their investigations, if required".

Lawyer Lisa Bloom, representing some of Epstein's alleged victims, on Thursday raised the possibility of questioning Andrew under oath.

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She told BBC Breakfast: "It's not going to be easy to subpoena someone like Prince Andrew, he's obviously not walking down the street where a process server can just hand him a piece of paper, it's a lot more complicated.

"If he refused to come, we may have a diplomatic situation between (the UK) and (the US). I hope it doesn't come to that.

More from Prince Andrew

"I take him at his word that he says he is going to co-operate, and I hope that's what's going to happen."

Prince Andrew is not under investigation and has denied any wrongdoing.

Ms Bloom welcomed his departure from public life, and added: "It's about justice and accountability for the victims. So it's important that he says he's going to cooperate with law enforcement.

"He should also answer questions from all of the accusers' attorneys, especially the attorney for Virginia Roberts Giuffre, who has very significant claims against him.

"He should turn over any and all evidence.

"He has e-mails, texts, calendars, all the normal stuff that you turn over when you're in litigation.

"And he should have his staffers and security personnel also talk to law enforcement, because they could help us determine where he was when he was there and what they saw. So all of that is extremely important so we can get to the bottom of what happened."

She also tweeted: "He and his staff must cooperate with all investigations, show up for civil depositions and trials, and produce all documents.

"We are just getting started."

Prince Andrew and a 17-year-old Virginia Roberts at Ghislaine Maxwell's house in London in March 2001. Pic: Rex/Shutterstock
Image: A picture appearing to show the prince with a 17-year-old Virginia Roberts Giuffre in 2001

Epstein, who was found hanged in prison earlier this year, was awaiting trial accused of trafficking girls as young as 14 for sex and had previously served time in prison in 2008 for prostituting underage girls.

In his interview with Newsnight, the prince said he thought visiting Epstein in 2010 to end their friendship was "the honourable thing to do".

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