Why are Prince Andrew’s lawyers such a secret? Lawyer for his alleged victim Virginia Roberts criticises the Duke for refusing to name the legal firm representing him
- Virginia Roberts’ lawyer does not know who is on Prince Andrew’s legal team
- David Boies says that the palace are ‘not saying’ who is representing the Prince
- Silence comes despite clamour from US investigators for information from Duke
The lawyer acting for Prince Andrew’s alleged victim Virginia Roberts last night lambasted the Duke for refusing to name the legal firm representing him.
Buckingham Palace has repeatedly refused requests from journalists to identify the lawyers working on behalf of the Queen’s second son – and astonishingly, even Ms Roberts’s US lawyer says he is in the dark.
‘We don’t really know who his lawyers are,’ David Boies said last night. ‘We know he has lawyers and we know he has PR people but exactly who they are and who is doing it officially and who is doing it unofficially, we don’t know. They are not, as far as I know, saying.’
The silence comes despite a clamour from US investigators for Andrew to provide information about paedophile Jeffrey Epstein.
David Boies, with paedphile billionaire Jeffrey Epstein’s victim Annie Farmer, right, and Virginia Roberts
The Duke has previously been represented by the London law firm Schillings. Royal sources, however, indicated that he has instructed another firm with extensive US legal expertise.
Mr Boies added: ‘This attempt to shroud everything in secrecy and hope somehow it will go away is I think misguided and ultimately counterproductive. This is not going to go away. This is not something that if you simply ignore it, people will lose interest in it.’
The FBI, US prosecutors and lawyers for Epstein’s victims want to speak to Andrew as part of investigations into the disgraced financier’s sex trafficking ring.
Ms Roberts, now known by her married name Giuffre, claims she was trafficked to London and coerced into having sex with the Prince on three occasions in London, New York and the US Virgin Islands.
The Duke has categorically and repeatedly denied her claims.
Last month, US attorney Geoffrey Berman said prosecutors and the FBI had contacted the Duke’s representatives but had received no reply. Andrew was said to be ‘angry and bewildered’ about the claims, saying he had not been approached to speak about the case.
But in the increasingly bitter war of words, Mr Boies supported Mr Berman’s account, adding: ‘We have continued to be met with an absolute refusal to co-operate in our investigation. An absolute refusal to be interviewed.’
Ms Roberts claims that she was flown to London by Epstein in March 2001 when she was 17 and coerced into having sex with the Duke (pictured together with Ghislaine Maxwell)
Mr Boies also said that the whereabouts of Ghislaine Maxwell remain unknown. The socialite disappeared from public life around 2016, although Prince Andrew told BBC’s Newsnight that he saw her as recently as last spring or summer, saying: ‘She was here doing some rally.’
Mr Boies added: ‘We heard she was in California, the South of France, Israel, the UK… We have not been able to establish any credible evidence of where she actually is.’
Mr Boies said our story last week that a former Royal protection officer had raised questions about Andrew’s ‘alibi’ for the night he allegedly had sex with Ms Roberts in London in March 2001 was ‘significant’. He added: ‘All the evidence that has come out is supportive of what Virginia has said.’
He also urged Scotland Yard to reopen its investigation into the claims made by Ms Roberts, now 36. She made a criminal complaint against Epstein and Maxwell to the Met in July 2015, but in November 2016 Scotland Yard decided not to proceed with an inquiry.
It is understood the complaint did not include any criminal allegations against the Prince.
‘Both in the UK and the United States, prosecutors failed to pursue evidence of Epstein’s sex trafficking that was presented to them,’ Mr Boies added.