Prince Andrew extradition depends on Boris Johnson, says human rights lawyer

11 August 2021, 17:46 | Updated: 11 August 2021, 17:52

By Tim Dodd

Whether Prince Andrew will face criminal trial in the US over Virginia Giuffre's sexual abuse allegations is going to "come down to Boris Johnson", human rights lawyer Mark Stephens tells LBC.

It comes as the lawyer representing Prince Andrew's accuser Virginia Giuffre has claimed the royal's legal team "stonewalled" appeals for information.

Ms Giuffre is suing the Duke of York for allegedly sexually assaulting her when she was a teenager.

She claims she was trafficked by Andrew's former friend and convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein to have sex with the duke, when she was aged 17 and a minor under US law.

Mr Stephens told Eddie Mair: "The Queen and her advisers know that it's unlikely that they'll be able to get Prince Andrew extradited, but this is not just harming Prince Andrew and his reputation, it's harming the wider royal family.

"If there were to be a request for extradition to bring Prince Andrew to criminal trial in the United States of America, as one of the direct lineage of the sovereign, he's covered by crown immunity which goes right the way back to Charles II.

"We're very familiar with diplomatic immunity, with the abuse of that in the Harry Dunn case where Anne Sacoolas got diplomatic immunity and the Americans refused to extradite her."

READ MORE: Virginia Giuffre: Epstein accuser suing Prince Andrew over alleged sexual assault

Mr Stephens was referring to the case of teenager Harry Dunn, who was killed when his motorbike crashed into a car being driven on the wrong side of the road by American Anne Sacoolas outside RAF Croughton in Northamptonshire on August 27 2019.

Mr Stephens continued: "Ultimately it's going to come down to Boris Johnson, whether he would extradite Prince Andrew, waive his right to immunity... or not."

Andrew has vehemently denied the allegations in the past, and a spokesman for the duke said there was "no comment" when she was asked to respond to Ms Giuffre's legal action.