Prince Andrew is caught up in a war of words with the U.S. authorities regarding the ongoing investigations of the deceased American financier and sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.
This was after New York federal prosecutors formally requested the Duke of York (through the British government) to give his testimony as part of their criminal investigation to the late billionaire's history of sexual abuse. The request was made under the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty.
US Authorities Has No Plans To Extradite the Duke of York
However, the U.S. Attorney General clarified that Prince Andrew will not be extradited to America, as the U.S. Department of Justice only wants to formally speak with him to "provide some evidence" in their Jeffrey Epstein investigations.
"I don't think it's a question of handing him over," Attorney General William Barr told Fox News. "I think it's just a question of having him provide some evidence. But beyond that, I'm not going to comment."
When asked if the royal could possibly be extradited, Barr insisted, "No."
Prince Andrew, Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh's second son, has been heavily criticized for his connection with the late financier. He was also accused of having sex with then 17-year-old Virginia Roberts Giuffre, who was used as a sex slave by the billionaire.
Prince Andrew Slams U.S. Authorities
Following the move by the federal prosecutors, the Duke of York clapped back at the DOJ as he broke his silence regarding the ongoing case.
Through his legal representatives Blackfords, the royal released a lengthy statement, claiming that Prince Andrew offered his help on "at least three occasions" this year.
Prince Andrew's camp accused U.S. authorities of "seeking publicity" and treating him "by a lower standard than might reasonably be expected for any other citizen."
"The Duke of York has on at least three occasions this year offered his assistance as a witness to the DOJ. Unfortunately, the DOJ has reacted to the first two offers by breaching their own confidentiality rules and claiming that the Duke has offered zero co-operation. In doing so, they are perhaps seeking publicity rather than accepting the assistance proffered," the statement read.
Furthermore, the statement also pointed out that the Queen's second son has never been a "target" of U.S. authorities' criminal investigation and has shown his voluntary cooperation on the Epstein case.
"Any pursuit of an application for mutual legal assistance would be disappointing since the Duke of York is not a target of the DOJ investigation and has recently repeated his willingness to provide a witness statement," the statement furthered.
Despite the royal's response, Manhattan U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman lambasted Prince Andrew and accused him of "falsely portraying himself" to the public. He also emphasized that the Duke of York is still refusing to cooperate as he completely shut his door with the ongoing probe.
"Contrary to Prince Andrew's very public offer to cooperate with our investigation into Epstein's co-conspirators, an offer that was conveyed via a press release, Prince Andrew has now completely shut the door on voluntary cooperation," Berman mentioned in a press release.