Lawyers today warned that Prince Andrew is ‘not immune to prosecution’ and could be extradited to America over his links with Jeffrey Epstein and allegations he had sex with 17-year-old Virginia Roberts.
Anna Rothwell, from leading criminal law firm Corker Binning, said the FBI were known to be investigating Epstein so those connected to him were ‘vulnerable to extradition’.
She said the fact he was a royal would not protect him from legal action, the chance of which had increased after his disastrous BBC interview which ‘starkly exposed the closeness of his relationship’ with the convicted paeodophile.
Anna Rothwell, from leading criminal law firm Corker Binning, said the FBI were known to be investigating Epstein so those connected to him were ‘vulnerable to extradition’. Andrew is seen during his interview on Saturday
Specialist extradition barrister Ben Keithwe, who was also speaking to The Times, agreed and said the interview had given US authorities ‘ammunition’.
Mr Keith, from London chambers Five St Andrews Hill, added: ‘Extradition to the US is difficult to resist, especially since the allegations did not take place in the UK.’
The Duke of York is facing growing calls to give a formal statement to American authorities examining the Epstein sex scandal after his much criticised appearance on BBC’s Newsnight programme.
He used the interview to again deny allegations he had sex with Ms Roberts and explain his friendship with Epstein.
But he was widely condemned, with commentators questioning his responses and condemning his unsympathetic tone and seeming lack of remorse over the friendship with Epstein.
Newsnight presenter Emily Maitlis, who interviewed the duke, has revealed the Queen gave her approval for the interview.
Andrew has denied having sex with 17-year-old Virginia Roberts, who he is pictured with
US lawyer Spencer Kulvin, who represents a woman who claims she was a victim of Epstein, told Radio 4’s Today programme Andrew should come forward to help the on-going investigation into the disgraced American financier.
Mr Kulvin said: ‘As a lawyer I was rather shocked that he would go on camera like this because anything he says can be utilised in a cross examination of him later, should he choose to come forward, and actually, in an official capacity, allow himself to be interviewed by the US authorities – which I believe he should do.
‘I don’t think there’s any way that a man who’s been to all three of Mr Epstein’s homes could avoid seeing what was going on in those homes, with people going in and out and young girls being shuttled in and out of those homes.’
Conflicting newspaper reports, based on sources, claim Andrew told the Queen his television appearance on BBC’s Newsnight programme was a success, while another says he expressed to friends regret at not mentioning sympathy for the women trafficked for sex by Epstein.
Speaking on Good Morning Britain, Gloria Allred, a lawyer representing other alleged victims in the Epstein case, said about Andrew: ‘I don’t see how he could have not known that there were underage girls – minors. Because he did visit homes of Mr Epstein in New York, in Palm Beach, in the Virgin Islands; and I happen to know there were underage girls in all of those locations.
Andrew insisted in his interview that he had never seen anything untoward.
Prince Andrew taking a stroll through Central Park in New York following his prison term in 2011
‘So, why didn’t he ask the questions: Where are your parents, are you in school, why aren’t you in school, are you living here, are you working here, what kind of job do you have, what do you do, why are you here?’ she said.
She went on to say she did not know how the duke could not have seen the young girls because ‘there were so many of them’.
Asked what questions she would like to ask Andrew, Ms Allred said she wanted to know ‘Who helped to recruit underage girls for Mr Epstein to be sexually assaulted, who was in the chain, who assisted, who knowingly conspired with Mr Epstein to traffic – to sex traffic – these children to Mr Epstein.’
Buckingham Palace said it would not comment on the lawyers’ speculation.