Prince Andrew ‘forced to do something by end of year’ says Lownie
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The Duke of York has finally been served papers from Ms Giuffre’s lawyers concerning civil case allegations of rape and sexual assault. However, the PA news agency understands that lawyers for the duke do not accept the papers were properly served to him. It has been reported that they plan to boycott a court hearing on Monday and hope to get the civil case of rape and sexual assault thrown out on a technicality.
Monday’s hearing will be conducted by US district judge Lewis Kaplan, who now must decide whether Andrew has been officially served the civil case papers.
If Mr Kaplan agrees that he has, the prince will be given a deadline to respond.
Court documents have revealed that the civil case papers were eventually accepted by the security chief at the Duke of York’s Windsor home after claims that he was “avoiding” officials.
Prince Andrew’s solicitor, Gary Bloxsome, has also claimed that a document Ms Giuffre signed in 2009 may make her civil action invalid.
In 2009 she reached a confidential settlement in Florida with Jeffrey Epstein that may contain clauses that prevent her from taking action against individuals she has accused of being his co-conspirators.
One individual named is Jeffrey Epstein’s former lawyer Alan Dershowitz.
Mr Dershowitz was accused of sexual assault by Ms Giuffre, ne-Roberts, in 2019.
In August Ms Giuffre reportedly dropped the claim against Mr Dershowitz because of the Epstein settlement, which released him from liability.
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Mr Dershowitz now believes the settlement signed by Ms Giuffre in 2009 may help to get the case against the prince thrown out.
The Harvard law professor said yesterday: “We strongly suspect that Virginia and her lawyers may have committed fraud on the court by filing a lawsuit against Prince Andrew after dismissing the battery case against me.
“The same reasons for dismissing the case against me seem to apply to Prince Andrew. These documents should get the charges against Prince Andrew thrown out. It’s an airtight defence for Prince Andrew and potential fraud on the court.”
Yesterday an affidavit was lodged in New York from a London-based “corporate investigator and process server”.
A man named Cesar Augusto Sepulveda, who was employed to personally serve the court papers, went to Royal Lodge, the Duke’s Windsor mansion, on August 12.
However, he was met by Met Police officers guarding the gate who told him they “could not raise anyone in charge”.
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The Met officers then said they had been “instructed not to allow anyone attending there for the purpose of serving court process on the grounds of the property”.
The Met officers added that no documentation would be forwarded on by them.
The server of the court documents stated they had the strong impression the officers at the gate had been “primed”.
The server of the court papers, Mr Sepulveda, then returned on August 27 and was told again that he could now leave his papers and they would be forwarded.
Ms Giuffre’s lawyer David Boies has detailed the extensive efforts that his legal team has gone to in order to serve Prince Andrew the court papers.
Mr Boies then tried to contact five different lawyers from three law firms whom they had “reason to believe” represented Prince Andrew.
The team also emailed the same documents to the Duke of York’s public email.
They then got a response acknowledging the email.
According to Mr Boies the court papers were “properly served” according to the rules of the Hague Convention on the Service Abroad of Judicial Documents.
The US and the UK are both parties to the Hague Convention.
The serving of the court papers has now been ratified under civil procedure rules as required by the Supreme Court of England and Wales.
The initial court hearing for the civil case is at 9pm UK time on Monday in a conference call before a New York judge.
Prince Andrew has refused to comment on the civil case put against him, but he has previously strongly denied Ms Giuffre’s claims.
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