UK Police May Reopen Epstein Probe After Prince Andrew Snubs US Investigators
Sex trafficking investigation dropped in 2016 but docs show it could open again
UK Metropolitan Police has revealed that it may reopen the probe into deceased pedophile Jeffrey Epstein's child sex trafficking operation following reports from US prosecutors that Britain's Prince Andrew is refusing to cooperate with their investigation.
Documents have revealed police could dramatically reopen the investigation amid a renewed focus on Epstein's associates after more victims have come forward.
"There has been a renewed focus in Mr. Epstein's friends and associates which could potentially instigate whether criminal and/or civil investigations against these individuals," the force said in a document.
The sex trafficking probe was controversially dropped in 2016 but fresh allegations and alleged victims have since emerged.
The case could now be reopened "in light of the current revelations and further victims coming forward," the Met stated.
The news comes after one of America's top federal prosecutors, Geoffrey Berman, revealed on Monday that Prince Andrew has failed to keep his promise to help with investigations into Epstein's alleged child sex trafficking ring.
Allegations made by Virginia Roberts were first examined by Scotland Yard in 2015, according to the Daily Mail.
But the Met said in November it had not pursued an investigation.
"Having closely examined the available evidence, the decision was made that this would not progress to a full investigation," a statement said.
Roberts claims she was trafficked by Epstein to London when she was 17 years old and forced to have sex with Prince Andrew, something he has always strongly denied.
It came as an "angry and bewildered" Prince Andrew rubbished the US prosecutor's claims he had refused to cooperate with the FBI's investigation into Epstein, according to friends.
US Attorney Geoffrey Berman accused the Duke of York of giving "zero co-operation" with their investigation, but a source close to Andrew claimed: "Nothing could be further from the truth."
The defiant prince was, in fact, "more than happy to talk" but "hasn’t been approached by them yet," the source insisted.
Mr. Berman stood outside Epstein’s New York mansion and accused the Queen’s son of failing to respond to requests by the FBI and US prosecutors for an interview over his friendship with the pedophile financier.
The resulting firestorm sent Buckingham Palace into a panic, with the Queen’s aides still refusing to issue any comment on the story.
Courtiers even said they would never talk about the subject and insisted it was a matter for the prince’s lawyers, who they refused to identify.
But the source close to the prince stepped forward to flatly contradict the US prosecutor’s claims that the royal had reneged on his promise two months ago to "help any appropriate law enforcement agency with their investigations" into Epstein, who killed himself last year.
Last night the insider claimed that Andrew was "committed to the legal process," saying: "The duke is more than happy to talk to the FBI but he hasn’t been approached by them yet.
"He is angry about the way this is being portrayed and bewildered as to why this was said in New York.
"It seems certain people are jumping the gun."
You saw me at your parties, you saw me in Epstein’s homes, you saw me on the plane, you saw me get my haircut, you saw me on the streets, you watched me be abused. You saw me! 🦋#Awareness #Justice #GhislaineMaxwell #JeffreyEpstein #NaomiCampbell #PrinceAndrew pic.twitter.com/5TNWvG1eAA— Virginia Giuffre (@VRSVirginia) January 16, 2020
After Mr. Berman’s shock intervention on Monday, lawyers, and women who say they were sex trafficking victims of Epstein vented their fury at Andrew.
A lawyer for Virginia Roberts, who claims she was instructed to have sex with Andrew on three occasions from the age of 17 – something he strenuously denies – said he should "take most seriously the deeply-held belief in this country that no one is above the law."
Lisa Bloom, who represents five other women, said it was "time to stop playing games" and "answer questions," while a third lawyer threatened Andrew, 59, with a subpoena if he sets foot in America again.
The prince has categorically denied having any knowledge that Epstein was sexually abusing teenage girls.
The scandal reignited last November when Andrew gave a disastrous interview to BBC Newsnight’s Emily Maitlis in which he failed to express any regret for continuing his friendship with the disgraced financier after he was jailed for child sex abuse.
The prince told Miss Maitlis he would give investigators a statement under oath "in the right circumstances."
After a public furor, in which he was forced to withdraw from royal duties, he issued a statement saying he would "of course" speak to investigators "if required."
It was reported that Andrew refuses to go back to the US until proceedings are "satisfactorily" and unequivocally concluded.
The claims that the duke had snubbed the FBI led to global media coverage this week and prompted furious responses from Epstein’s alleged victims.
Victims' attorney Bloom said: "It is time for anyone with information to come forward and answer questions.
"Prince Andrew himself is accused of sexual misconduct and he also spent a great deal of time with Jeffrey Epstein.
"The five women I represent are outraged and disappointed at Prince Andrew’s behavior.
"There are dozens of women who allege they were the victims of sexual assault by this predator Jeffrey Epstein.
"The victims want justice here and we can’t do it without people speaking to law enforcement."
Gloria Allred, another lawyer for five of Epstein’s accusers, threatened the duke with a subpoena if he ever visited the US again.
She told Radio 4’s Today show: "If he has done nothing wrong...then why won’t he talk to law enforcement?
"No response is the same as zero co-operation. This is ridiculous.
"It’s just not acceptable."
Harbottle & Lewis, the Queen’s lawyers, who have previously acted for Andrew over allegations in relation to the case, say they are no longer representing him.