Prince Andrew Demands Trial By Jury As He Tries To Defend Civil Sex Case By Virginia Giuffre
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Prince Andrew has demanded a trial by jury as he seeks to defend a civil sex case brought by Virginia Giuffre, according to court documents filed in New York today.
The documents show he has denied all of the allegations against him and 'hereby demands a trial by jury on all causes of action asserted in the complaint'.
The royal has been accused by Giuffre of forcing her to have sex at a property belonging to Ghislaine Maxwell - who faces up to 65 years in prison after being convicted on five counts of sex trafficking and other crimes, having recruited and groomed teenage girls to have sexual encounters with the late financier and convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.
Earlier this month, Buckingham Palace announced that Prince Andrew would have his military titles and patronages removed and returned to the Queen, meaning he will have to defend himself as a 'private citizen'.
An official statement from the Royal Family said: "With The Queen's approval and agreement, The Duke of York's military affiliations and Royal patronages have been returned to The Queen.
“The Duke of York will continue not to undertake any public duties and is defending this case as a private citizen.”
Andrew had argued that a previous settlement that Guiffre had signed with billionaire paedophile Jeffrey Epstein in 2009 in which she agreed not to sue other potential defendants gave cause for the case to be thrown out.
However, Manhattan federal judge Lewis Kaplan dismissed the motion, claiming that the settlement was ambiguous.
This means that the case has now moved to the ‘discovery’ phase, which could see all the key parties to the case give depositions on the alleged events.
It had been suggested that Andrew could seek to settle the lawsuit against him, but Guiffre’s lawyer David Boies suggested that money might not be the deciding factor in whether a settlement is accepted.
A judge in the USA has already rejected a motion by the prince to have the civil case dismissed, meaning that a trial could take place in the autumn of 2022.
Speaking on BBC Newsnight, Boies said: “I think it’s very important to Virginia Giuffre that this matter be resolved in a way that vindicates her and vindicates the other victims.
“I don’t think that she has a firm view at this point, nor could she, as to exactly what the resolution should be.
“But I think what’s going to be important is that this resolution vindicates her and vindicates the claim she’s made.”
Boies also said that he and his team had reached out to the Duke of York’s lawyers on the topic of mediation, but ‘there was no interest at that time’.
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Topics: UK News, Royal Family