World

UK court to ensure sexual assault papers can be served on Prince Andrew

London's High Court said on Wednesday (Sep 15) it would take steps if necessary to serve papers on Britain's Prince Andrew in a US lawsuit brought by a woman who accuses him of sexually assaulting her two decades ago.

The prince, Queen Elizabeth's second son, is accused by Virginia Giuffre of assaulting her when she was 17, at a time she says she was being abused by the financier Jeffrey Epstein.

Andrew, 61, who is officially known as the Duke of York, has rejected the accusations and his lawyers have described the case as baseless. His legal team declined comment.

Last week, Giuffre's legal team said it had tried to serve papers on Andrew by leaving the documents with a police officer at his home in southern England. The prince's lawyers told the US District Court in Manhattan they had not been properly served under English law and the Hague Convention.

A spokesperson for London's High Court said the issue about how claims could be served on parties in different jurisdictions was governed by the Hague Service Convention, which requires requests to be made and approved by the relevant authority in each country.

"The lawyers acting for Ms Giuffre have now provided further information to the High Court, and the High Court has accepted the request for service under the Hague Service Convention," the spokesperson said in a statement.

"The legal process has not yet been served but the High Court will now take steps to serve under the Convention unless service is arranged by agreement between the parties."