It’s not just Andrew who should testify in Epstein case
IF Prince Andrew supposedly doesn't sweat, he certainly must be now.
For despite his claim that a Falklands War incident left him permanently unable to perspire, the announcement that the US Department of Justice formally wants to question him over his friendship with billionaire paedophile Jeffrey Epstein must have him sweating bullets.
In what has been described as a "diplomatic nightmare", US lawyers have issued a "Mutual Legal Assistance" request to the UK Home Office, according to The Sun.
Under this back-channel, legal treaty between the two nations, the prince must give a sworn deposition to a judge, customarily Westminster Magistrates Court, within the next few months.
Andrew, 60, who "categorically denies" any wrongdoing, would be questioned as a witness in the criminal case into Epstein's historic sex trafficking network, which included the alleged sexual abuse of children.
Of course, Andrew could exercise his right to the privilege against self-incrimination and refuse to answer or have the MLA dismissed as he may have no memory or evidence to offer.
But the dutiful Duke of York would surely never do that. This is the man who assured the public he was "willing to help any appropriate law enforcement agency".
He also admitted during his infamous BBC interview last November that he would give evidence under oath "if push came to shove and the legal advice was to do so, then I would be duty-bound to do so."
He then added: "I think there's just as much closure for me as there is for everybody else."
Yet, for some reason he refused to be questioned by New York prosecutors in January. That same month the UK police also blocked a Freedom of Information request for the location of Andrew's taxpayer-funded protection officers on the night he was accused of having sex with a teenage Virginia Roberts Giuffre, who was one of Epstein's alleged sex-trafficking victims.
However, this latest move is a significant slap in the face of Buckingham Palace's power and influence. The prosecutors have sidestepped The Firm and put pressure directly on the British government to ensure the Queen's reportedly favourite son testifies.
There were hints something was afoot last week when The Sunday Times reported that Andrew, who temporarily stepped back from frontline royal duties following his car-crash interview, "will not resume official duties".
Permanently removing the prince from public life was not a knee-jerk reaction to a TV documentary. This was a proactive Palace tactic in an attempt to mitigate further damage to the royal brand already battered by the prince's questionable mateship with a convicted criminal.
But Andrew must not be the scapegoat in this murky saga of money, power and alleged systemic rape.
To stooge him as the only scalp in this case, denies justice to the girls who Epstein allegedly preyed on.
As ex-Florida police chief Michael Reiter said, this was never a he-said, she-said situation: "This was 50-something 'shes' and one 'he' - and the 'shes' all basically told the same story."
There are many more high profile names connected to this paedophile pyramid scheme who must be held to account.
These people know what happened behind the closed doors of Epstein's Manhattan townhouse, on his private compound on Little Saint James (known as "paedophile island") or aboard his customised Boeing 727 jet dubbed the "Lolita Express" with a bed where accusers claim sex assaults took place.
The most glaring omission is Epstein's former partner Ghislaine Maxwell, who allegedly recruited and trained his underage girls. She has denied wrongdoing.
Protected by Epstein's inexplicable plea deal that granted immunity from all federal charges to named and unnamed co-conspirators, she has not been seen in public in years.
Her absence from the Netflix documentary Jeffrey Epstein: Filthy Rich is also just as baffling.
But not as surprising is the doco's gentle portrayal of Bill Clinton.
The series - currently screening on Democrat-lauding platform Netflix - was co-produced by Clinton's friend and novel writing partner James Patterson.
In it we are told Clinton was seen chatting with Epstein on Little Saint James, but their relationship was just "business".
Mr Clinton is not linked to the underage sex investigation. Instead, a recently released book A Convenient Death: The Mysterious Demise of Jeffrey Epstein, alleges Clinton was having an affair with Maxwell. His spokeswoman has dismissed the allegations as lies.
But there is no denying Clinton was in the Epstein-Maxwell circle. According to flight logs obtained by Fox News, Clinton took at least 26 trips on Epstein's jets between 2001 to 2003. This is the man who served as the 42nd president to the United States, not some naive patsy.
To look away or pretend to not notice obvious abuse, denies justice to the alleged victims, who were as Giuffre says, preyed upon because Epstein knew they were not cared about and would not be missed.
They were denied justice in Epstein's first lenient plea deal with its six-day a week work leave from prison. They were denied justice again when he committed suicide in his cell last year.
These women will not be able to rest until the people like Prince Andrew, and others who know what happened, come forward and finally tell the truth.
Only then will these girls finally be able to escape.
Lucy Carne is editor of Rendezview.com.au
Originally published as It's not just Prince Andrew who should testify in Epstein case