Socialist Worker

Prince Andrew’s lies on abuse scandal start to unravel

Issue No. 2682

Prince Andrew

Prince Andrew (Pic: Titanic Belfast/Flickr creative commons)


Prince Andrew secretly met Ghislaine Maxwell inside Buckingham Palace on 6 June. It was two weeks after her abuser friend Jeffrey Epstein was placed under a new investigation by US cops.

Last March, Virginia Roberts launched an appeal over a judge’s refusal to unseal documents relating to the 2017 defamation settlement with Maxwell.

She claims to have had sex with Andrew “three times, including one orgy”.

The first encounter took place in Maxwell’s London home when Roberts was 17. Roberts has accused Maxwell of recruiting her to work as Epstein’s masseuse aged 15.

In 2015 court testimony, she wrote, “Epstein, Andy, approximately eight other young girls and I had sex together.”

She said the other girls seemed to be under 18 and “didn’t really speak English”. This seemed to amuse Epstein who said, “They are the ‘easiest’ girls to get along with.”

When news broke of that case, Andrew was holidaying in a ski chalet, which he’d bought for

£13 million.

He gets a £20,000 Naval pension, and £259,000-a-year grant from his mum in return for putting his name on charity letterheads.

How could he afford a £13 million ski chalet, not to mention a £200,000 Bentley, a Windsor mansion, the non-stop foreign golf trips and private yacht holidays? In 2008 he sold his marital home, Sunninghill Park, for £3 million more than the asking price to Timur Kulibayev, a son-in-law of the then president of Kazakhstan.

It fell into disrepair and was demolished in 2016, the same year that leaked emails showed the duke had attempted to arrange for Coutts, the Queen’s bank, to take Kulibayev on as a client.

He denied taking £3.85 million commission for setting up a deal with Kazakh oligarch Kenges Rakishev in 2011.

Last week Andrew stepped away from all his royal duties.

Sadly the Queen will no longer be able to write off the estimated £1 million a year cost of running the Duke’s office as a business expense as he no longer has an official royal role.


Prince Andrew stayed at the lavish Caribbean estate of another billionaire accused of rape and sexual assault.

In 2000 the duke visited the mansion of Peter Nygard just as he settled three cases of sexual harassment out of court.

The Mayan-themed house includes a 50-foot temple and a giant stone cobra that hissed steam. There were fake volcanos, a casino and a disco.

Last year the mansion was seized by the Supreme Court of the Bahamas as part of a legal battle surrounding Nygard’s efforts to dredge the sea floor around the estate.

Earlier this month he was sentenced

to 90 days in prison and fined £100,000 after breaching a court order prohibiting the disclosure of stolen emails. Nygard is currently in Canada saying he is too ill to travel to serve his sentence.


53 student blocks have risky cladding

Thousands of students are still living in accommodation with the same flammable cladding as Grenfell Tower.

A total of 62 university and college blocks were identified as being coated in the material that helped spread the 2017 inferno.

But only nine have had it stripped off, leaving 53 where it is still in place.

According to a report a ten-storey, 75-bedroom tower in Portsmouth has failed a safety test, although officials say there are “no immediate concerns”.

The revelation comes after 100 people were evacuated amid a fire recently at a student block of flats in Bolton.

And a blaze which destroyed a block of cladding-covered flats in Brighton in 30 minutes is being probed.

 


Cover-up of undercover cops was covered-up

A Police Scotland inquiry into an undercover unit may have covered up a cover-up.The Metropolitan Police were asked to investigate how the Scottish force had investigated itself.

Senior officers had ordered piles of secret and sensitive documents to be torched in an incinerator.

This was days after the Special Operations Unit for undercover operations had been exposed as chaotic. Destroyed documents included bank statements, passports and credit card bills linked to undercover officers’ secret lives.

The Police Scotland review, Operation Towering, concluded there was no cover-up.

The Met’s review of that review said, “The timely manner of the incineration, its closeness in time to a professional standards investigation and the lack of any audit or record of destruction, throws sufficient doubt that this can be the only conclusion.”

One cop said, “It looks like a cover-up, it smells like a cover-up and, if even the Met cannot deny it was a cover-up, then you can be assured it was a cover-up.”

The Met says it found no evidence of criminal activity but admits more than £10,000 cannot be accounted for.


Duckenfield trial reaches conclusion

The jury was sent out to consider its verdicts in the trial of David Duckenfield on Monday of this week.

Duckenfield was South Yorkshire Police match commander during the Hillsborough football disaster in Sheffield in April 1989.

Some 96 Liverpool fans died after a crush in pens 3 and 4 at the Leppings Lane end of the ground.

Duckenfield denies 95 counts of gross negligence manslaughter in relation to the deaths. He can’t be tried over the 96th death, of Tony Bland, as he died over a year and a day after his injuries were sustained.

Judge Sir Peter Openshaw said jurors should consider five questions.

The first is whether Duckenfield owed a duty of care to fans. The second is whether he was in breach of that duty.

The third is whether it was reasonably foreseeable that Duckenfield’s breach, or breaches, would cause a serious and obvious risk of death.

The fourth is whether a breach or breaches of a duty of care caused or substantially contributed to the deaths. The jury was told it did not have to prove that any breach by Duckenfield was the only or main cause.

And the fifth is whether any breach or breaches amount to gross negligence.

Openshaw summed up the case at Preston Crown Court last week. He said jurors must be “dispassionate” in their deliberations.


Click here to subscribe to our daily morning email newsletter 'Breakfast in red'


Mobile users! Don't forget to add Socialist Worker to your home screen.