Royal loophole: How ‘Charles precedent could save Andrew from US extradition’

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Royal loophole: How ‘Charles precedent could save Andrew from US extradition’

Andrew’s friendship with convicted sex offender Epstein has been a topic of contention ever since the US financier was arrested last year. The Quee

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Andrew’s friendship with convicted sex offender Epstein has been a topic of contention ever since the US financier was arrested last year. The Queen’s second son was forced to withdraw from his public duties as a royal late last year after his “car-crash” BBC Newsnight interview where he stated he did not regret his friendship with Epstein. Before his death last August, Epstein was being investigated for running an international sex trafficking ring.

Andrew himself has been accused of having sex with Virginia Roberts Giuffre, although Buckingham Palace has said her claims were “false and without foundation”.

Ms Giuffre alleges she was trafficked when she was a teen by Epstein, who she claims subsequently told her she had to have sex with Andrew on three different occasions between 2001 and 2002.

The BBC recently confirmed that US authorities submitted a “mutual legal assistance” request to the Home Office although this has not been confirmed by the US Department of Justice or the UK Home Office.

Under the terms of a MLA, if Andrew does not respond of his own accord, he could be called to a UK court and questioned.

Prince Andrew and Prince Charles

Prince Andrew and Prince Charles (Image: GETTY)

Prince Andrew news: The royal has been linked to disgraced financier and convicted sex offender Epstein for years

Prince Andrew news: The royal has been linked to disgraced financier and convicted sex offender Epstein for years (Image: Getty)

According to Nigel Cawthorne’s new biography, ‘Prince Andrew: Epstein and the Palace’, released last month, Charles may have been at the heart of an incident that paved the way for Andrew to avoid extradition, if the US authorities were to request it.

Calls for Andrew to be extradited have primarily come from Harry Dunn’s family.

Mr Dunn was killed when a car driven by a US diplomat’s wife, Anne Sacoolas, collided with his motorbike. Harry’s father now wants the US to conduct an extradition exchange with Andrew and Ms Sacoolas.

Yet, the US attorney general, William Barr did admit last month to Fox News: “I don’t think it’s a question of handing [Andrew] over.

“I think it’s just a question of having to provide some evidence.”

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Charles during his 1977 US tour - he set a precedent for avoiding US extradition

Charles during his 1977 US tour – he set a precedent for avoiding US extradition (Image: Getty)

Still, Mr Cawthorne explained in his biography that Andrew could only try to plead against potential extradition if he had immunity from prosecution as a government official, or as a member of the Queen’s household.

He said: “It is accepted that it is the one get-me-out-of-a-US-jail card before one gets shunted into the American legal system.”

The biographer said the foundations for using such a “get-out-of-jail card” were laid by Charles.

The US authorities have requested Andrew’s assistance as a witness and there is no suggestion that he or Charles has committed any criminal offence.

Mr Cawthorne wrote: “The Prince of Wales was sued in 1977 after a ten-minute address he gave at the opening of the University of Cleveland’s law faculty new building.”

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Andrew (L) was allegedly close with Epstein (R) for years

Andrew (L) was allegedly close with Epstein (R) for years (Image: Getty)

Donald Trump could extend immunity to Andrew - pictured with Melania Trump, Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell

Donald Trump could extend immunity to Andrew – pictured with Melania Trump, Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell (Image: Getty)

Law student Jack Kilroy then approached the royal after his speech and asked: “Prince Charles, when is the British Government going to stop torturing political prisoners in Ireland?”

Mr Kilroy apparently had an IRA button pinned to his lapel “in solidarity with the three hundred or so protesters outside”.

Yet, Mr Cawthrone explained: “Kilroy was bundled off within seconds by federal agents while Charles pointedly quizzed the assembled dignitaries, ‘Are there any more Irish here?’”

The biographer continued: “Declining to sign a waiver, [Mr Kilroy] instead sued Charles for having deprived him of his freedom of speech.

“Before it could go any further, however, the US State Department intervened and extended legal immunity to Charles.

“The prince had set a frequently cited precedent that would now be the best chance of avoiding extradition [should it be requested] for his younger brother.”

Andrew has denied all allegations against him - pictured with Epstein

Andrew has denied all allegations against him – pictured with Epstein (Image: Getty)

So, according to Mr Cawthorne, intervention from the US Government could help Andrew because of the precedent Charles set.

Mr Cawthorne added that “Donald Trump was not like most presidents” and had connections with Epstein himself, and therefore could extend legal immunity to Andrew.

Yet, in December 2019 President Trump was asked if he knew Andrew.

He replied: “I don’t know him, no.”

The pair had actually had lunch six months before at Buckingham Palace and were photographed together with Epstein back in 2000.

Yet, with this response it is unlikely Mr Trump would be favourable towards Andrew.

Prince Andrew and Prince Charles

Prince Andrew and Prince Charles (Image: Getty)

The US has recently criticised the royal for not cooperating in the investigation against Epstein at all.

The royal’s lawyers responded: “As the public record indicates, the [US] Department of Justice has been actively investigating Mr Epstein and other targets for more than 16 years, yet the first time they requested the Duke’s help was on 2nd January 2020.”

Andrew denied that he failed to cooperate, and his legal team said he had “on at least three occasions this year offered his assistance as a witness to the Department of Justice”.

Their statement continued: “Unfortunately, the DOJ has reacted to the first two offers by breaching their own confidentiality rules and claiming that the duke has offered zero cooperation.

“In doing so, they are perhaps seeking publicity rather than accepting the assistance proffered.”

Attorney General Mr Barr immediately rebutted the statement’s claims as “false”.

‘Prince Andrew: Epstein and the Palace’ was written by Nigel Cawthorne in 2020 and has been published by Gibson Square. It is available here.



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