‘Very Likely’ UK Govt Will De­cide if Prince An­drew Must An­swer Ques­tions Over Jef­frey Ep­stein

Fiji Sun - - WORLD NEWS -

Alead­ing ex­tra­di­tion lawyer has told Sky News it is “very likely” the UK govern­ment and the Home Office will play some part in de­cid­ing if and when Prince An­drew talks to au­thor­i­ties in the US about Jef­frey Ep­stein.

At the mo­ment the Duke of York won’t and can’t be ex­tra­dited be­cause au­thor­i­ties in the US only want to talk to him as a wit­ness re­gard­ing con­victed sex of­fender Jef­frey Ep­stein. But last month it was re­ported that pros­e­cu­tors had sub­mit­ted a mu­tual le­gal as­sis­tance re­quest (MLA) ask­ing the Home Office for their as­sis­tance to speak to Prince An­drew.

Karen Tod­ner, who dealt with at­tempts to ex­tra­dite com­puter hacker Gary McKinnon and al­leged hacker Lauri Love to the US, told Sky News an MLA makes it vir­tu­ally im­pos­si­ble for the UK govern­ment and Home Office to avoid the on­go­ing bat­tle with Prince An­drew and they will in­evitably be in­volved.

Home office guide­lines say the depart­ment will not con­firm or deny the ex­is­tance of an MLA.

She said: “From my un­der­stand­ing the Amer­i­cans are not happy about Prince An­drew giv­ing a pre­pared state­ment, that’s not what they want from him, they want to have the op­por­tu­nity to ask him ques­tions and for him to be un­der oath when he does that.”

She added: “Prince An­drew doesn’t have diplo­matic im­mu­nity so if the process has started it will follow through. There are various rea­sons that the UK au­thor­i­ties would have to look at to show that the mu­tual le­gal as­sis­tance re­quest was valid, that it was asked for the right rea­sons, but I can’t see any is­sues with that at the mo­ment.”

Prince An­drew.

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