Prince Andrew's lawyers hit out at United States authorities over Jeffrey Epstein investigation

Britain's Prince Andrew

Enlarge Image Prince Andrew AP

U.S. federal investigators have been trying to speak to Andrew for months about the disgraced billionaire, 66, who killed himself in his NY prison cell while awaiting trial for sex-trafficking charges.

USA prosecutors said in January that the Duke of York had offered "zero cooperation" with their investigation into Epstein - but it turns out Andrew has been trying to help all along, if his lawyers are to be believed.

In March, U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman said that the Duke of York had "completely shut the door on voluntary cooperation", contrary to his previous public statement, The Independent reported.

A spokesman for the US Attorney's office for the Southern District of New York, Nick Biase, said: "I can not publicly comment on communications with foreign governments on investigative matters, including confirming or denying the very existence of such communications".

The lawyers said the DOJ had only requested Andrew's help on January 2 this year and had stated that he had never been a target of their investigation and they merely wanted his cooperation.

In a Fox News interview, US Attorney General William Barr said that UK's Prince Andrew will not be extradited to the US for questioning in regards to the Jeffrey Epstein case.

"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".

The Sun reports that no decision has been made by the British and Prince Andrew is likely unaware of the development, as MLA requests are made in secret.

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Shortly after that disastrous interview, Andrew announced he would "step back from public duties" to deal with the controversy.

In January, Geoffrey S. Berman, the USA attorney in Manhattan, called out the prince for his alleged lack of cooperation.

The team also pointed out that Epstein was being investigated for 16 years, and that no mention of speaking to Prince Andrew was made until 2020.

Andrew has been accused of having sex with a then-17-year-old Virginia Roberts Giuffre, who was trafficked by Epstein as a teenager and allegedly directed to have sex with Prince Andrew. He also claimed he had "no recollection of ever meeting" his accuser, despite the fact that he was pictured in a photograph with her.

Following a Newsnight interview Andrew said in a statement he was "willing to help any appropriate law enforcement agency with their investigations, if required".

Andrew's legal team said they spoke to authorities in the United States in January, shortly after the first requests were made for the duke's help.

The interview request comes as part of an investigation into accused child sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein.

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