Prince Andrew's former friendship with Jeffrey Epstein has continued to be discussed due to the ongoing investigation into the financier. Now, following the arrest of Epstein's former associate, Ghislaine Maxwell, a lawyer has discussed what the future could look like for the Duke of York.

As the investigation into Epstein's past has continued, reports have indicated that Queen Elizabeth II's son cannot currently be extradited to the U.S. due to the fact that authorities only want to speak to him as a witness. Subsequently, it was reported that prosecutors working on the Epstein case submitted a mutual legal assistance request (MLA), which asked the Home Office for their assistance in speaking to Andrew.

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Now, Karen Todner, who has handled extradition cases in the past, has revealed to Sky News that the MLA could make it nearly impossible for the UK government and Home Office to avoid involvement in circumstances surrounding Prince Andrew.

"From my understanding the Americans are not happy about Prince Andrew giving a prepared statement, that's not what they want from him, they want to have the opportunity to ask him questions and for him to be under oath when he does that," Todner told the publication.

Continuing, she added that the Duke does not have diplomatic immunity, which means that if the process begins it will follow through. As for a timeframe for the legal proceedings, she then stated that she believes it could be resolved within the next six months. However, it could take up to a year if his legal team decides to "judicially review the issuing of the mutual legal assistance request."

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She then added that she believes that confusion about moving forward may lie in how both sides want him to provide new information that he may have about the Epstein case or alleged victims.

"I think their priorities will be to minimise the risk to him of becoming a suspect, and to ensure that they have control, as much as they possibly can, over what he says so that he doesn't have another disastrous interview like he had before," she said.

Todner's discussion regarding Prince Andrew's involvement in the ongoing investigation follows a variety of other reports that have emerged in recent weeks. Not only has the member of the British royal family been advised to take a specific step before Maxwell, but it was also said that prosecutors could potentially explore an "explosive second route."

As for what's ahead for the royal, Todner anticipates that it's "very unlikely" that the U.S. would not continue to pursue speaking with Prince Andrew as the investigation into Epstein's past continues.

Prince Andrew
Prince Andrew has faced claims by U.S. prosecutors that he is running shy of giving his version of events. AFP/Lindsey Parnaby