Prince Andrew Vows to 'Fight Back' as He Refuses to Answer Jeffrey Epstein Questions
Duke of York is still refusing to help Justice Department child trafficking investigation
Britain's Prince Andrew has vowed that he will "fight back" rather than help the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) with their investigations into his deceased friend Jeffrey Epstein's child sex trafficking operation, according to reports.
Andrew, the Duke of York, will launch an extraordinary public push back Monday after US prosecutors made a formal request for him to be questioned over the Epstein case.
In a dramatic twist on Sunday night, it emerged that the DOJ has filed a "mutual legal assistance" (MLA) request with the UK Home Office, calling for an intervention.
Typically, such requests are only used in criminal cases under a legal treaty with the UK.
The prince has always, rather unconvincingly, denied any wrongdoing over his relationship with convicted pedophile Epstein, and refused to cooperate with investigators.
This latest request from US officials, however, means he could be forced to appear as a witness in the case in a UK court within months, whether he likes it or not.
US officials have previously claimed that Andrew has refused to co-operate with their requests to be questioned over Epstein and their investigation into his sex trafficking network.
Submitting an MLA is an audacious move to try to force him to answer questions.
However, the prince is expected to make his own dramatic move Monday by hitting back forcefully at claims he has failed to engage with the American investigation.
It is understood his team will publish a full account of their dealings with the Department of Justice.
The Daily Mail has reportedly been told that the duke’s legal team is "at the end of its tether" and has "tried to play a straight bat" with US officials, only to be greeted by leaks and innuendo.
A source reportedly told The Sun: "It’s a huge statement of intent from the US and it moves Andrew into the realms of a criminal investigation.
"It’s also frankly a diplomatic nightmare."
A source close to the Duke’s legal team reportedly told Metro.co.uk on Sunday evening: "Legal discussions with the DOJ are subject to strict confidentiality rules, as set out in their own guidelines.
"We have chosen to abide by both the letter and the spirit of these rules, which is why we have made no comment about anything related to the DOJ during the course of this year.
"We believe in playing straight bat."
Virginia Roberts, now Giuffre, who claims she was trafficked by Epstein, said in an interview with BBC Panorama that she was left "horrified and ashamed" after she was allegedly raped by Andrew in London when she was a teenager in 2001.
Prince Andrew categorically denies he had any form of sexual contact or relationship with Ms. Giuffre.
Late last month it emerged that he was permanently retiring from royal duties following the Epstein scandal.
Andrew has previously suggested he is "more than happy to talk to the FBI" and rebuffed claims he has not co-operated with the inquiry in America.
He has also defended a car-crash interview with the BBC’s Emily Maitlis in November when he claimed he did not sweat and faced accusations of a lack of empathy with Epstein’s victims.