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Primce Andrew wants jury trial over sex assault claims if fresh bid to dismiss case fails

Councillors in Armagh vote not to fly Union flag to mark Andrew’s birthday

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Allegations: The Duke of York with Virginia Giuffre. Credit: US Department of Justice/PA

Allegations: The Duke of York with Virginia Giuffre. Credit: US Department of Justice/PA

PA

Allegations: The Duke of York with Virginia Giuffre. Credit: US Department of Justice/PA

The Duke of York has demanded a trial by jury in the civil sex case brought against him by Virginia Giuffre.

Ms Giuffre, also known as Virginia Roberts, alleges Prince Andrew sexually assaulted her in three different locations between 2000 and 2002.

The duke submitted 11 reasons why the case should be dismissed, including that Ms Giuffre’s claims are “barred by the doctrine of consent” and by “her own wrongful conduct”.

In the court document which communicated his reasons for requesting a dismissal of the case, Andrew’s lawyers concluded: “Prince Andrew hereby demands a trial by jury on all causes of action asserted in the complaint.”

In Ms Giuffre’s allegations, she accuses Andrew of sexually abusing her at the London home of disgraced British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell, at paedophile financier Jeffrey Epstein’s New York mansion, and Epstein’s private island, Little St James.

Judge Lewis A Kaplan previously denied the duke’s application to dismiss the case.

The document, submitted to the US District Court for the Southern District of New York, also includes arguments that the claim should be dismissed because Ms Giuffre is a permanent resident of Australia, and that by entering into the 2009 agreement with Jeffrey Epstein she “waived the claims now asserted in the complaint”.

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Elsewhere, Andrew’s birthday will not be marked next month by the flying of the Union flag at the palace — in Armagh.

The decision concerning the Archbishop’s Palace in the city was taken at Monday’s monthly meeting of the local council.

The building was the main residence of the Church of Ireland Archbishops of Armagh for over 200 years, but now serves as the office of the Lord Mayor.

It came after a proposal from Sinn Fein’s Darren McNally, with DUP council group leader Mark Baxter proposing the flag be flown on July 1 instead to mark the anniversary of the Battle of the Somme.

Mr McNally said due to the serious nature of the allegations facing the Duke of York, marking his birthday “would send out a very poor message” to the public.

“Given the current situation, I don’t feel it would be appropriate to fly the Union flag next month,” he said.

“I wish to propose this council does not fly the flag for Prince Andrew until such times as these allegations are investigated and the truth is in the public domain.”

Agreeing that it may not be a wise course of action, Mr Baxter proposed that the flag should be flown on July 1 instead to mark the anniversary of the beginning of the First World War battle.

“We realise there are a lot of sensitivities out there, we are not blind to what is going on in terms of flying the flag for Prince Andrew’s birthday,” he said.

“I think in this council it really only applies to Armagh, as we have a 365 (days a year) policy in both Banbridge and Craigavon.

“As such, my suggestion would be that we maybe don’t fly the flag on February 19, but to keep up the amount of designated days that the policy follows, that we fly it on July 1.

“It would be flown to commemorate the Battle of the Somme for this year anyway until we see how things go in terms of trials and all that.”

Mr Baxter’s proposal was then approved by fellow councillors.

It follows a similar move by Belfast City Council.


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