Prince Andrew will probably avoid the potential fallout of a perjury case against Ghislaine Maxwell

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Mark Stephens, of London law firm Howard Kennedy, said: “There will be no appetite to pursue these charges, not least as perjury is notoriously difficult to prosecute successfully.

“They might try and do some kind of deal based on time served, so they are not erased from the record completely, as she will have been behind bars for 18 months by that point.”

A decision not to pursue a trial that could have seen Ms Giuffre give evidence is relatively good news for the Duke, avoiding the prospect of him being involved in at least one of two potentially highly damaging cases this year.

Ms Giuffre is arguably Epstein’s most high profile victim, claiming that Maxwell recruited her to become his “sex slave” when she was just 16.

Lawyers, as well as sources close to the Duke, believe her testimony was not included in Maxwell’s trial on abuse and trafficking charges because her story is not “bulletproof” and her various inconsistencies might not withstand the rigorous scrutiny of the court.

The Duke denies Ms Giuffre’s claims against him and says he has no recollection of meeting her.

Both sides have now submitted detailed discovery requests, listing the evidence they require to build their respective cases.

Disastrous Newsnight interview

The Duke has revealed there are no witnesses to corroborate his claim that he was at a Pizza Express on the night he allegedly slept with a teenager trafficked by Jeffrey Epstein.

He also said he had no documents in his possession regarding the “peculiar medical condition” he said prevented him from sweating.

The Pizza Express and sweating revelations were made during the Duke’s disastrous Newsnight interview in November 2019, which he offered as proof that Ms Giuffre was lying about the night she alleged that she was abused.

Judge Lewis Kaplan will hear oral arguments on January 4 on whether to dismiss Ms Giuffre’s lawsuit against the Duke or let it proceed to trial in September.

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