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Prince Andrew May Be Forced to Give Evidence in Sex Assault Case, Lawyer for Epstein's Accusers Says

© AP Photo / David ParkerIn this Monday, April 13, 2015 file photo, Britain's Prince Andrew visits the AkzoNobel Decorative Paints facility in Slough, England. Prince Andrew's effort to put the Jeffrey Epstein scandal behind him may have instead done him irreparable harm. While aides are trying to put the best face on his widely criticized interview with the BBC, royal watchers are asking whether he can survive the public relations disaster and remain a working member of the royal family
In this Monday, April 13, 2015 file photo, Britain's Prince Andrew visits the AkzoNobel Decorative Paints facility in Slough, England. Prince Andrew's effort to put the Jeffrey Epstein scandal behind him may have instead done him irreparable harm. While aides are trying to put the best face on his widely criticized interview with the BBC, royal watchers are asking whether he can survive the public relations disaster and remain a working member of the royal family - Sputnik International, 1920, 14.09.2021
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Virginia Roberts Giuffre is suing Prince Andrew for having sex with her at least three times when she had been a part of Jeffrey Epstein’s “sex-trafficking operation”. A pre-trial hearing on the case kicked off in the US on Monday. The duke strongly denies the claims.
The Queen’s son may be forced to give evidence in Virginia Roberts Giuffre’s sex case filed in the US despite his apparent attempts to “dodge and hide and duck” from the accusations, according to Lisa Bloom, a lawyer who famously represented alleged victims of Jeffrey Epstein.
“We have a court system, and no one is above the law,” Bloom told BBC Radio 4's Today programme. “We have a legal cooperation agreement between the US and the UK and everybody who is sued says it’s unfair and unjust and they didn't do it, but that's not good enough.”
The lawyer said that a UK court might have to step up and enforce the cooperation agreement that would leave Prince Andrew with no other choice than to give evidence before a US judge.
The Daily Mail noted after Bloom made her comments, that the Evidence Act 1975, the Civil Procedure Rules and the Hague Convention give the High Court an authorisation for “uncooperative” residents of England and Wales to give evidence or documents to court.
“We have a system and a process and, especially when it comes to sexual assault cases, he's entitled to present all his defences,” Bloom told BBC in reference to Roberts Giuffre’s case.

What are the Accusations?

Virginia Roberts Giuffre filed a civil lawsuit in the US against the British royal in August, accusing him of battery and infliction of emotional distress, when he allegedly sexually assaulted her at the age of 17.
Roberts Giuffre claims Prince Andrew was aware that she was a part of Jeffrey Epstein’s “sex-trafficking operation” but used his “powerful” position to have sex with her three times – at Ghislaine Maxwell’s London home, Epstein’s New York mansion and the financier’s private island. The woman said she couldn’t refuse Epstein and Maxwell’s orders for fear of her life.
Prince Andrew previously denied the claims, saying that he doesn’t remember meeting the woman, but has not commented on the civil suit so far.
© AP Photo / Bebeto MatthewsIn this Aug. 27, 2019, photo, Virginia Roberts Giuffre, who says she was trafficked by sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, holds a news conference outside a Manhattan court where sexual assault claimants invited by a judge addressed a hearing following Epstein's jailhouse death in New York
In this Aug. 27, 2019, photo, Virginia Roberts Giuffre, who says she was trafficked by sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, holds a news conference outside a Manhattan court where sexual assault claimants invited by a judge addressed a hearing following Epstein's jailhouse death in New York - Sputnik International, 1920, 14.09.2021
In this Aug. 27, 2019, photo, Virginia Roberts Giuffre, who says she was trafficked by sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, holds a news conference outside a Manhattan court where sexual assault claimants invited by a judge addressed a hearing following Epstein's jailhouse death in New York
On Monday, the US District Court in New York held its first pre-trial video conference on the case. Prince Andrew’s legal team is reportedly trying to dodge the trial over claims that their client wasn’t properly served the court summons.
They are also said to be keen on showing the court that the whole case is “baseless, non-viable and potentially unlawful” over Roberts Giuffre’s 2009 settlement with Epstein, where she reportedly agreed not to prosecute any of the financier’s potential associates.
But US District Judge Lewis Kaplan wasn’t impressed by the arguments and skirmish between the two sides. According to the Daily Mail, he urged Prince Andrew’s legal team to “cut out all the technicalities and get to the substance.”
“There is a very swift way of getting to the substance promptly, but you two [lawyers] need to talk about that because I can see a lot of legal fees being spent and time being expended and delay which ultimately may not be terribly productive for anyone,” the judge was quoted as saying on Monday.
Virginia Roberts Giuffre’s team insists that Prince Andrew was served legal papers on 27 August through a policeman at the gate of the duke’s Royal Lodge home in Windsor.
Lisa Bloom told BBC that she believes that Prince Andrew’s attempts to run away from the case will turn out fruitless in the end:
“I think that Prince Andrew is trying to dodge and hide and duck service which is not a good look for him,” the lawyer said. “Eventually the judge is going to say that he's been served, either on this occasion or in the future because wealthy people typically have guard gates and walls and they can get on their plane and go away and they can try to evade service and they often do, but it doesn't work forever.”
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