Duke of York’s interview comments ‘could one day be used against him’
Solicitor Anna Rothwell said she would never advise her clients to speak publicly about allegations if they were under investigation.
Comments made by the Duke of York about the allegations he has faced could one day be used against him in court, a solicitor has warned.
Anna Rothwell, from the criminal law firm Corker Binning, said she would “never advise” her clients to speak publicly about their allegations if they were under investigation.
She said Prince Andrew’s attempt to try to publicly defend his reputation on BBC Newsnight in the wake of Jeffrey Epstein sex scandal was “pretty disastrous”.
“I think talking full stop in circumstances where you are under investigation is unwise,” Ms Rothwell told the PA news agency.
“He didn’t have a full answer for quite a number of aspects he was questioned about.
“Anything he has said, if he were to be prosecuted, could be used to cross-examine him.
“The less you say, the better, and that is often why you advise people to answer ‘no comment’ at the police station.”
In September, the Sunday Times reported the FBI had expanded its investigation to identify alleged human trafficking victims of Epstein.
Citing unidentified sources from the US Department of Justice, the newspaper said the FBI was looking to “several” potential victims in the hope they can provide more details about Andrew and his involvement in the case.
Ms Rothwell said the duke’s position as a royal would not entitle him to “any form of immunity” and he was “vulnerable to extradition”.
She said any attempts by the US to seek extradition would “likely cause a diplomatic incident”.
Andrew said in his televised interview on Saturday he had no regrets about his friendship with convicted paedophile Epstein, who was found dead in his prison cell earlier this year while facing sex trafficking charges.
He also faced questions about Virginia Giuffre, formerly known as Virginia Roberts, who is one of 16 women who claim they were abused by disgraced financier Epstein.
Mrs Giuffre has alleged in court documents she “was forced to have sexual relations with this prince when she was a minor”.
She said they had sex in London and New York and she alleged that later, when she was aged 18, they had sex again on a private Caribbean island owned by Epstein where an orgy took place.
Her allegations were struck from US civil court records in 2015 after a judge said they were “immaterial and impertinent”.
The duke denied sleeping with Mrs Giuffre on three separate occasions when quizzed by Newsnight presenter Emily Maitlis.
Asked if he regretted the “whole friendship with Epstein”, Andrew said: “Now, still not, and the reason being is that the people that I met and the opportunities that I was given to learn either by him or because of him were actually very useful.”
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