Prince Andrew ‘offered to help Jeffrey Epstein prosecutors’

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The Duke of York offered to help US officials on “at least three occasions” in the inquiry into sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, his lawyers say.

US authorities have previously accused Prince Andrew of not cooperating with the investigation.

But the duke’s representatives suggested the US Department of Justice was seeking publicity rather than accepting the offer of help.

The duke has been heavily criticised for his friendship with Epstein.

He has previously said he did not witness any suspicious behaviour during visits to Epstein’s homes.

Prince Andrew’s legal team has hit back at allegations from the US prosecutor in charge of the investigation into Epstein that the duke had provided “zero co-operation” to the Department of Justice (DoJ).

In a statement, the legal team said: “The Duke of York has on at least three occasions this year offered his assistance as a witness to the DoJ.

“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.”

Prince Andrew stepped away from royal duties last year following a widely-criticised BBC interview about his relationship with Epstein, who took his own life in a US jail cell in August, aged 66, while awaiting trial on sex trafficking and conspiracy charges.