The Mail on Sunday
Andrew hires top lawyer who fought to save Pinochet from being extradited
( Pity he’s teetotal )
PRINCE ANDREW has hired a leading extradition lawyer who previously fought to keep Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet from facing justice.
Clare Montgomery QC challenged the General’s extradition from the UK to Spain to face multiple torture charges – a process that was eventually dropped as his health failed.
Now the Duke of York has been getting legal advice from the barrister as the FBI investigates his friendship with serial paedophile Jeffrey Epstein. They – as well as US prosecutors and lawyers for Epstein’s victims – want to speak to the Prince as part of investigations into the shamed billionaire financier’s sex-trafficking ring.
In January, Geoffrey Berman, US Attorney for the southern district of
Team includes international arrest warrants expert
New York, accused Andrew of ‘zero co-operation’ with the inquiry.
The Duke was said to be ‘angry and bewildered’ by the claims, insisting that he had not been approached to speak about the case.
His high-powered legal team also includes criminal defence solicitor Gary Bloxsome, who has defended British troops against war- crime allegations, and who is an expert in international arrest warrants.
Until now, the identity of the Duke’s lawyers has been secret.
Last week, David Boies, the lawyer for Virginia Roberts – who claims she was coerced by Epstein into having sex with Andrew on three occasions, the first in London when she was 17 – told The Mail on Sunday that even he did not know who was representing Andrew. The Duke vehemently denies having had any form of sexual contact with Ms Roberts.
Ms Montgomery, is a senior barrister at Matrix Chambers, co-founded by Cherie Blair, and is believed to command fees of about £1,000 an hour.
She shot to fame in 1999 when she represented Pinochet in front of the Law Lords when he faced multiple allegations of human rights abuses. Attempts to extradite him were dropped after he was ruled unfit to stand trial.
Ms Montgomery also advised billionaire Thaksin Shinawatra after he was ousted as prime minister of Thailand in a coup. In 2016, the legal industry bible Chambers & Partners described Ms Montgomery as ‘the most formidable member of the bar’. She is also described on the Legal 550 website as ‘terrifyingly bright’ and ‘still the biggest brain in the criminal legal community’.
Mr Bloxsome and Ms Montgomery last night declined to comment.
HE HAS been teetotal since he was a teenager so I’m not quite sure what Prince Andrew would have made of one friend’s gift to help his 60th birthday celebrations go with a swing – a four-gallon bottle of wine.
As the menu for his recent bash reveals, Andrew was given caviar and a melchior – the equivalent of 24 bottles of wine, or four gallons.
The donation was made by Soheil Dadfar, an Iranian- born friend of Ilham Aliyev, the president of Azerbaijan, an autocratic regime accused by Amnesty International of human rights violations.
The allegations include the arrest and torture of gay and lesbian people, and banning free speech.
So unusual was Soheil’s contribution that he even received a message of thanks on the bottom of the menu.
Although Andrew has been keeping a low profile since his ‘ car- crash’ Newsnight interview over his links with paedophile billionaire Jeffrey Epstein, the menu shows that he is still determined to live like a king.
In addition to the melchior, guests at the party, held at Royal Lodge, the Duke’s home within the grounds of Windsor Great Park, were served a selection of fine French vintages to accompany each course.
They were treated to a starter of twice-baked cheese souffle with a £ 28.50 Pouilly-Fuisse; fish pie and tenderstem broccoli washed down with a 2016 Nuits-St-Georges priced at £55 for the main course; and a selection of desserts including sticky toffee pudding and treacle tart, served with a £28 Chateau Villefranche sauternes. The 50 or so guests at the party last month included Formula 1 tycoon Bernie Ecclestone, racing heir Guy Sangster and Liu Xiaoming, the Chinese ambassador to Britain. Soheil is married to Aida Mahmudova, 38, an artist and the niece of M eh rib an Aliyeva, the First Lady of Azerbaijan. The couple live in London.