Ghislaine Maxwell Should Face U.K. Police Investigation, Says Former Prosecutor

Ghislaine Maxwell and Jeffrey Epstein's conduct in the U.K. should be investigated by the U.K. police, a former prosecutor said.

Channel 4 News reported finding multiple separate women with allegations of grooming and abuse against the New York financier and his one-time lover, taking place in London.

However, the Metropolitan Police have maintained a policy that it is for the U.S. authorities to lead inquires.

Nazir Afzal, former chief crown prosecutor for north west England, told Channel 4: "From what I've seen, there is clearly enough evidence for the [U.K.] police to investigate more thoroughly than they have done up to now.

"It's concerning, because we've got potential victims here. And maybe other victims or alleged victims who may, if an investigation follows its course, be identified."

Maxwell awaits trial on trafficking offences and perjury and has pleaded not guilty to all charges. The broadcaster handed a dossier of evidence to London's Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) who confirmed they would review the information.

A statement released to Newsweek said: "We will always consider any new information and will review the information sent to us from Channel 4."

However, Britain's biggest police force has stood by past assessments that it "was not the appropriate authority to conduct enquiries" which "would be largely focused on activities and relationships outside the U.K."

The Channel 4 News special report quoted the indictment against Ghislaine Maxwell in the trafficking case brought against her in New York. It stated that one of four victims was "groomed and befriended" by Maxwell in London between 1994 and 1995.

The program also included footage of an interview with Virginia Giuffre, who says she was trafficked to London by Maxwell and Epstein to have sex with Prince Andrew when she was 17, in 2001.

Giuffre previously made an allegation to the Metropolitan Police but the force said in its statement that a decision was taken in 2016 not to launch a full criminal investigation.

Presenter Cathy Newman quoted civil court documents stating an anonymous victim referred to as Jane Doe had been abused aged 22 by Epstein in London as well as New York, Florida, New Mexico, Paris, his private island and on his private plane.

Bradley J. Edwards, a civil lawyer who represented some of Epstein's accusers, also references an incident in London in his book Relentless Pursuit: My Fight for the Victims of Jeffrey Epstein.

It describes how a woman known only as "Fantasia" had asked Maxwell to leave a young woman alone while in London because she appeared innocent.

Newman said: "She recounted Maxwell protesting and telling her someone had to give Epstein a b*** job and if this new girl didn't do it then Maxwell herself would have to and clearly she didn't want to."

Harriet Wistrich, an attorney and director of the Centre for Women's Justice, told Channel 4 she felt the Metropolitan Police may have been reluctant to pursue the case due to sensitivity around the royal family.

She said: "It's clearly an embarrassment for the Met Police. We also know that Met Police will have been involved in his [Andrew's] personal protection and so there may be issues of conflict of interest there.

"If Prince Andrew was being taken to various premises by his Met personal protection officers they may have constructive knowledge of what was going on. It's not a reason not to investigate."

An MPS spokesperson said: "The MPS always takes allegations of sexual offences and exploitation seriously. All officers no matter what their role are duty bound to uphold the law and conduct themselves with integrity.

"The MPS is clear that it will investigate allegations where there is sufficient evidence of an offence having taken place, where it is the appropriate authority to do so and where those against whom the allegation are made are alive.

"The MPS stands by the statement by Commander Alex Murray issued at the end of 2019. This confirmed that the MPS had received an allegation of non-recent trafficking for sexual exploitation against a U.S. national, Jeffrey Epstein, and a British woman in 2015 relating to events outside of the U.K. and an allegation of trafficking to central London in March 2001.

"Officers assessed the available evidence, interviewed the complainant and obtained early investigative advice from the Crown Prosecution Service. However, following the legal advice, it was clear that any investigation into human trafficking would be largely focused on activities and relationships outside the U.K.

"Officers therefore concluded that the MPS was not the appropriate authority to conduct enquiries in these circumstances and, in November 2016, a decision was made that this matter would not proceed to a full criminal investigation.

"In August 2019, following the death of Jeffrey Epstein, officers reviewed the decision making from 2016 and concluded that the position should remain unchanged.

"The MPS has continued to liaise and offer assistance with other law enforcement agencies who lead the investigation into matters related to Jeffrey Epstein but is unable to comment on individuals with whom they may or may not have interacted with regard any allegations of crime."

Ghislaine Maxwell and Jeffrey Epstein
Ghislaine Maxwell attends the 9th Annual Elton John AIDS Foundation's "An Enduring Vision" benefit at Cipriani, Wall Street on October 18, 2010 in New York City. Jeffrey Epstein poses for a sex offender mugshot after being charged with procuring a minor for prostitution on July 25, 2013 in Florida. D Dipasupil/FilmMagic and Florida Department of Law Enforcement/Getty Images

Editor's Picks

Newsweek cover
  • Newsweek magazine delivered to your door
  • Unlimited access to
  • Ad free experience
  • iOS and Android app access
  • All newsletters + podcasts
Newsweek cover
  • Unlimited access to
  • Ad free experience
  • iOS and Android app access
  • All newsletters + podcasts