UPDATE: Prince Andrew Disputes Lack of Cooperation in U.S. Epstein Inquiry

Prince Andrew - Jeffrey Epstein

The legal team for Prince Andrew have rejected claims by US prosecutors that he has not cooperated with the inquiry into sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.

Officials had accused him of “zero co-operation”, but in a statement today, the Duke of York’s legal team said that there was an offer of help on “at least three occasions“.

The lawyers suggested the US Department of Justice was seeking publicity rather than accepting the offer of help.

Andrew’s royal duties were wiped last year following a widely-criticised BBC interview about his relationship with sex trafficker Epstein, who killed himself in a US jail cell in New York in August, aged 66, ahead of a trial for sex trafficking and conspiracy charges.

The duke has been heavily criticised for his friendship with the despicable paedophile Epstein, and claimed to have not witnessed any suspicious behaviour during his visits to the US financier’s homes.

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 US Department of Justice (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.”

Earlier today, it was revealed that the Justice department had made a formal request to speak to the prince as part of its inquiry, by submitting a mutual legal assistance request to the UK Home Office.

The terms of the request would mean if Prince Andrew does not voluntarily respond, he can be called to a UK court to answer questions.

The duke’s lawyers described the request as “disappointing” because the Duke of York was “not a target of the DoJ investigation and has recently repeated his willingness to provide a witness statement”.