Prince Andrew ‘demands jury trial’ in civil sex case
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Earlier this month, the Queen revoked the vast majority of the Duke of York’s military titles and patronages so he could pursue the case against him in New York “as a private citizen”. The prince was promoted to vice-admiral on his fifty-fifth birthday, after serving in the Royal Navy earlier in his life.
A fellow officer graduate, who asked not to be named, said: “He should have taken the honourable option and resigned this honour.
“There is widespread feeling that he has let us down.”
However, other members of the Royal Navy felt that any further removal of titles should wait until after the court case has reached a verdict.
Former frigate captain Commander Tom Sharpe OBE commented: “I’m not sure it would be right to strip him of his uniform at this point.
“If he is found guilty, there may be an argument to review this. But until then, we must work on a presumption of innocence.”
Prince Andrew has been fighting a case against him brought by Virginia Giuffre, who is accusing him of sexually abusing her at the home of disgraced British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell.
Ms Giuffre – formerly Virginia Roberts – also alleges offences occurred at two other locations between 2000 and 2002; disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein’s New York mansion and his private island Little St James.
The Duke has always strongly denied the allegations against him.
Ms Giuffre claims she was trafficked by Mr Epstein to have sex with the prince when she was 17 years old.
The Queen’s announcement revoking Prince Andrew’s titles and patronages came after he lost a legal battle to stop the case going to trial.
It followed 152 military veterans writing to the Queen to demand he be removed from his honorary positions.
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On January 13, Buckingham Palace 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.”
Prince Andrew has now asked for a jury trial of all the claims against him, court papers revealed earlier this week.
In his formal response to the allegations, the prince denied many made against him, and claimed certain allegations lack “sufficient evidence to admit or deny”.
The documents also set out his legal defences, including arguments that the claim should be dismissed as Ms Giuffre is a resident of Australia and that she gave up her right to sue after signing a settlement with Mr Epstein in 2009.
Another factor Prince Andrew’s lawyers asked the court to consider was the issue of consent.
The document said: “Assuming, without admitting, that Giuffre has suffered any injury or damage alleged in the complaint, Giuffre’s claims are barred by the doctrine of consent.”
Ms Giuffre’s lawyer said on Wednesday that he was looking forward to “confronting” Prince Andrew about his “denials”.
Her lawyer, David Boies, added in a statement: “Prince Andrew’s answer continues his approach of denying any knowledge or information concerning the claims against him, and purporting to blame the victim of the abuse for somehow bringing it on herself.”
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