Prince Andrew to testify over sexual assault trial in London

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Prince Andrew will meet lawyers representing his accuser Virginia Giuffre in London in March and testify under oath, a source close to the Duke of York told Agence France-Presse (AFP) on Saturday.

The Duke of York, the second son of Queen Elizabeth II, faces a United States civil case for sexual assault, embarrassing the royal family as his 95-year-old mother is about to celebrate her 70th year as monarch.

“We agreed to voluntarily produce the Duke for a deposition on March 10,” a source close to the Duke said.

This means the prince will give sworn testimony in response to questions from Giuffre’s lawyers.

The source added that “despite repeated requests, Ms. Giuffre still hasn’t committed to a date or location for her deposition.”

The Daily Telegraph reported earlier Saturday that it understood the meeting will take place in a “neutral” location in London.

It reported that the prince is being prepared by his United Kingdom-based legal team as he is expected to face questioning over two days by Giuffre’s attorneys David Boies and Sigrid McCawley.

It reported that the lawyers would also question two witnesses based in Britain.

These are Shukri Walker, who claims to have seen Andrew at the nightclub in London with a young girl around the time of the alleged assault, and Robert Olney, the prince’s former equerry, or personal assistant.

Giuffre’s U.S. lawyers did not immediately respond to a request for comment from AFP.

Giuffre, now 38, alleges she had sex with the prince when she was 17 and a minor under U.S. law after meeting him through the late financier Jeffrey Epstein, who committed suicide in prison two years ago while awaiting trial for sex crimes.

She alleges that Andrew sexually assaulted her in March 2001, at the London home of Ghislaine Maxwell, who has been jailed in the U.S. for recruiting young girls to be sexually abused by Epstein.

The prince has not been criminally charged and has strenuously denied the allegations. He is seeking a jury trial.

The 61-year-old has been a virtual recluse since attempting to give his side of the story in a 2019 BBC interview, widely seen as a PR disaster.

He has closed social media accounts and has been stripped of honorary military titles and charitable positions.

Giuffre’s lawyer Boies told AFP in late January: “We look forward to confronting Prince Andrew with his denials and attempts to blame Ms. Giuffre for her own abuse at his deposition and trial.”

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