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Yes Prince Andrew is eager… to avoid us, say prosecutors

Hands-on approach: Prince Andrew with Virginia Roberts and (right) Ghislaine Maxwell PICTURE: NETFLIX

THE Duke of York has been accused of attempting to ‘falsely portray himself as eager and willing to co-operate’ with US authorities investigating convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein.

It comes after his legal team issued a public statement insisting he had made three offers to assist as a witness in the probe into his former associate.

But the US Attorney for the southern district of New York said requests to schedule an interview had been repeatedly declined. And America’s Department of Justice has now submitted a mutual legal assistance request to the Home Office to question the Queen’s 60-year-old son as a witness.

Leading the Epstein probe: Geoffrey Berman

Geoffrey Berman, who is leading the inquiry, said: ‘Prince Andrew yet again sought to falsely portray himself to the public as eager and willing to co-operate… even though he has not given an interview to federal authorities, has repeatedly declined our request to schedule such an interview and nearly four months ago informed us unequivocally that he would not come in for such an interview.’

Epstein was found dead in his prison cell while awaiting trial on sex trafficking offences. One of his alleged victims, Virginia Giuffre, now 36, claims the prince had sex with her on three occasions, including when she was 17 and still a minor under Florida law. Andrew categorically denies he had any form of sexual contact or relationship with Ms Giuffre, formerly known as Virginia Roberts. On one occasion, when Ms Giuffre claims they had sex at socialite Ghislaine Maxwell’s London house, the duke said he was at home after taking daughter Beatrice to Pizza Express in Woking, Surrey.

Meanwhile, the Charity Commission has ruled that the duke’s Prince Andrew Charitable Trust was in breach of rules over payments of £355,000 to a former trustee.

SKY NEWS issued an apology after playing a clip of Prince Andrew while reporting on the paedophile suspected of murdering Madeleine McCann. The ‘technical hitch’ happened as presenter Dermot Murnaghan talked about the latest developments in the hunt for Madeleine, who disappeared while on holiday with her family in 2007. Murnaghan looked visibly horrified.