Prince Andrew’s accuser asks UK public for support

An image taken from video issued by the BBC, Virginia Roberts Giuffre speaks during an interview that will be aired on Monday. (AP)
Updated 02 December 2019

Prince Andrew’s accuser asks UK public for support

  • Giuffre says she danced with Andrew at a London nightclub before having sex with him
  • In Prince Andrew's recent interview, he said he had never met Giuffre, and had a medical condition that prevented him from sweating

LONDON: The woman who says she was a trafficking victim made to have sex with Prince Andrew when she was 17 is asking the British public to support her quest for justice.
Virginia Roberts Giuffre tells BBC Panorama in an interview to be broadcast Monday evening that people “should not accept this as being OK.”
Giuffre’s first UK television interview on the topic describes how she says she was trafficked by notorious sex offender Jeffrey Epstein beginning in 2001 and made to have sex with Andrew three times, including once in London.
“This is not some sordid sex story. This is a story of being trafficked, this is a story of abuse and this is a story of your guys’ royalty,” Giuffre tells the program.
Andrew, 59, has categorically denied having sex with Giuffre and apologized for his association with Epstein, who died in prison in August in what New York City officials said was a suicide.
He has stepped down from royal duties “for the foreseeable future” because of his friendship with Epstein and the allegations of sexual wrongdoing with an underage girl

He tried to contain the damage by giving a televised interview on the topic, but it backfired in part because he did not express concern for Epstein’s victims.
In the TV interview, Giuffre says she danced with Andrew at a London nightclub before having sex with him.
“It was horrible and this guy was sweating all over me,” she said. “His sweat was like it was raining basically everywhere, I was just like grossed out from it, but I knew I had to keep him happy because that’s what Jeffrey and Ghislaine (Maxwell) would have expected from me.”

She said that Maxwell told her she would have to do for Andrew what she had done for Epstein, meaning she would have to have sex with the prince.
“That just made me sick,” Giuffre said.
In his recent interview, Andrew said he had never met Giuffre. He said he had a medical condition that prevented him from sweating.
Epstein was a wealthy financier with many powerful friends. He was in prison on sex trafficking charges when he died.
The scandal is one of the worst to have gripped the royal household in recent decades

 

 


New Zealand troops complete daring volcano mission to retrieve bodies

Updated 13 December 2019

New Zealand troops complete daring volcano mission to retrieve bodies

  • The goal of the team from the bomb disposal squad was to recover the remains of eight people still on New Zealand’s most active volcano
  • White Island volcano sits semi-submerged 50 kilometers out to sea

WHAKATANE, New Zealand: Elite soldiers retrieved six bodies from New Zealand’s volatile White Island volcano on Friday, winning praise for their “courageous” mission carried out under the threat of another eruption.
At first light, two military helicopters set off from Whakatane airport for the offshore volcano, where an eruption last Monday killed at least 16 people and severely injured dozens more.
The goal of the team from the bomb disposal squad was to recover the remains of eight people still on New Zealand’s most active volcano, which sits semi-submerged 50 kilometers (30 miles) out to sea.
After a tense wait, while volcanologists monitored live seismic feeds for signs of another eruption, police said the majority of the bodies had been safely airlifted to a naval frigate anchored off the coast.
“Those staff showed absolute courage in order to ensure those six people were returned to their loved ones,” police commissioner Mike Bush told reporters, saying they were operating in an “unpredictable and challenging” environment.
Bush said efforts to locate the two remaining bodies were ongoing, with divers searching nearby waters after a corpse was seen floating in choppy seas on Tuesday.
Helicopters were also searching over the Bay of Plenty and Bush did not rule out a return to the island when conditions were safer.
Drone flights helped locate the six bodies on the caldera before the operation began and the eight-strong team labored to reach them in heavy hazmat suits and breathing gear that restricted movement.
Special forces commander Rian McKinstry said he was “incredibly proud” of the team, comprised of six men and two women.
“It was a unique operation, but unique operations are what organizations like the Explosive Ordnance Disposal Squadron gets involved in,” he said.
On the eve of the operation, GeoNet vulcanologist Nico Fournier said the dangers facing recovery teams if an eruption occurred included magma, superheated steam, ash and cannonball-like rocks thrown from the caldera at supersonic speed.
As the military began their grim task, police took grieving families out near the volcano on a boat to perform a Maori blessing and locals chanted karakia, or prayers, on the shore as the island smoldered in the distance.
Despite the risk of an eruption inside 24 hours being put at 50-60 percent, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said those involved wanted to help grieving families.
“It has been an incredibly difficult operation but it’s been such a priority. We just want to bring everybody home,” she told Australia’s ABC Radio.
Many of the tourists who died on the island were Australians and Canberra’s Foreign Minister Marise Payne said they had been affected by a catastrophic event.

“This is a time of absolute desperation and distress, and to every single one of those families and their friends and their loved ones, our hearts go out at this extraordinarily difficult time” she said.
The bodies on the island are thought to include New Zealand tour guide Hayden Marshall-Inman.

This handout photo taken and released by the New Zealand Defense Force shows elite soldiers taking part in a mission to retrieve bodies from White Island after the Dec. 9 volcanic eruption, off the coast from Whakatane on the North Island. (AFP)


His brother Mark Inman had epitomized relatives’ frustrations with stalled recovery efforts, criticizing “red tape, bureaucracy” but on Friday he praised the daring recovery attempt.
“It’s going to allow us to grieve and send our loved ones off in the manner they deserve,” he told the New Zealand Herald.
The recovery had been on hold for days as poisonous gases continued billowing from the volcanic vent and the island remained blanketed in a thick layer of acidic ash.
While troops were recovering the bodies, another 28 people — mostly tourists who had been on a day trip to see the natural wonder — were still being treated in hospitals across New Zealand and Australia, many in a critical condition suffering severe burns.
The survivors’ injuries are so severe New Zealand doctors initially estimated they would need to import 1.2 million square centimeters (185,000 square inches) of skin for grafts.
A total of 47 people were on the island during the eruption, hailing from Australia, the United States, Britain, China, Germany, Malaysia and New Zealand.
While Australian officials have only confirmed one dead, they say a further 10 were missing and presumed to have perished.
A coronial process has begun to identify those confirmed dead but police have said it could “take some time.”