Prosecutors in New York ask to talk to Prince Andrew in Epstein investigation

Prosecutors in New York ask to talk to Prince Andrew in Epstein investigation
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Federal prosecutors in New York have moved to formally request Prince Andrew's cooperation with a sexual abuse investigation into Jeffrey Epstein after the British royal declined an interview with authorities earlier this year.

NBC News reported Monday that Justice Department attorneys want to invoke the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty with the U.K. in a rare step to summon a British official in a U.S. legal matter.

Prosecutors declined to comment when contacted by NBC.

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Prince Andrew, a longtime friend of Epstein, has been accused by one woman of sexual abuse when she was 17.

Epstein, a disgraced financier who died in federal custody last year, was under investigation at the time of his death for allegedly operating a trafficking ring for underage girls, and had previously been forced to register as a sex offender.

U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman told reporters in March that his office was "considering its options" in response to Prince Andrew's refusal to voluntarily cooperate with the Epstein investigation despite public comments to the contrary.

Berman said that Andrew, second son of Queen Elizabeth, had "completely shut the door" on voluntary testimony in the investigation.

"He publicly offered, indeed in a press release, offered to cooperate with law enforcement investigating the crimes committed by Jeffrey Epstein and his co-conspirators," Berman said.

"Contrary to Prince Andrew's very public offer to cooperate with our investigation into Epstein’s co-conspirators, an offer that was conveyed via press release, Prince Andrew has now completely shut the door on voluntary cooperation," he added at the time.