Ghislaine Maxwell could use prison swap scheme to relocate to British jail, expert says
Ghislaine Maxwell’s 20-year sentence could be reduced if she gets to serve it in the UK.
Legal expert Mark Stephens said she would then be subject to British law rather than US rules, which prohibit parole for federal crimes.
That means Maxwell, 60 – who is expected to appeal – may only have to serve eight more years in prison and may be free before she turns 70.
Stephens, of the London law firm of Howard Kennedy, said: “I think it will take until the fall to appeal. Once she appeals, if she is British, she has the right to opt for the prison swap regime – it usually takes six to 18 months as it depends on a US citizen to be sent back to America .
A courtroom illustration of Ghislaine Maxwell with her attorney Christian Everdell during her New York City hearing on Tuesday. She was sentenced to 20 years for sex trafficking
The conviction marks the end of a decades-long struggle for justice by victims of Maxwell and Epstein
“She starts her remaining rate on an English basis. Let’s say it took two years to get here, she’s already served two years, she’s still got 16 years to go.”
He said British prisoners would be released up to a third for good behavior and a third for pardon, adding: ‘She would only serve another five or six years.
The legal expert added: ‘For Maxwell, the US authorities must agree, as do the British authorities, and there must be a prisoner to trade. I’m sure Kevin Maxwell and his sisters can afford to make the trip to the US to visit her, but not everyone can. She’s not getting any special treatment.’
Ghislaine was the youngest child of Robert Maxwell, born on Christmas Day 1961. She is pictured with her father in 1984
But Stephens pointed out that there are many hurdles for the convicted child sex predator before she can think about early freedom.
Explaining the process of transferring to UK prison, Mr Stephens – of London-based Howard Kennedy – told the Mail: ‘She has to appeal the conviction and verdict, which is why she essentially confessed to she could in her apology. She would have been advised not to plead guilty, but she tried to do something within the limits of what she had.
As grinning Andrew takes cover, Maxwell victims tell him: You’re next target
By Van Sam Greenhill and Daniel Bates in New York for Daily Mail
Prince Andrew came under new pressure last night to talk to the FBI about his pedophile friend Jeffrey Epstein after Ghislaine Maxwell’s jail term.
Her victims say the Duke and other “cowardly” Epstein associates who “hide behind power and prestige” should be targeted by authorities.
As a grinning Andrew, 62, broke cover for a horseback riding trip in Windsor yesterday, a lawyer said he should be “definitely concerned.”
Maxwell, 60, will likely serve at least 15 of the 20 years she was handed Tuesday in a New York court for inflicting “incalculable harm to young girls” with Epstein.
The Duke of York smiled at the cameras as he rode a brown steed through Windsor Great Park on Wednesday
The Duke’s former aide, Maxwell, 60, was sentenced to 20 years in prison after a court heard how she trafficked vulnerable teens for billionaire pedophile Jeffrey Epstein
Andrew was also spotted behind the wheel of his Range Rover as he drove through Windsor Great Park
The Duke of York, Virginia Roberts and Ghislaine Maxwell at the London socialite’s home
Yesterday, the victims’ attorney Spencer Kuvin said: “We hope the government…prosecutes all co-conspirators in this sexual conspiracy pyramid scheme.
“This includes not only the people who make victims, but also the alleged perpetrators of abuse such as Prince Andrew. He should certainly be concerned. But if he didn’t do anything wrong, come forward and tell the whole story to the FBI.”
Andrew has largely withdrawn from public life this year since he reached a £12 million out-of-court settlement with Epstein victim Virginia Roberts (now Giuffre), who accused the Duke of raping her. He has always denied the allegations.
In the 2000s, he spent weeks at Epstein’s Florida villa—the so-called “House of Sin” where “lady of the house” Maxwell forced children to dress as schoolgirls for underage sex with her boyfriend.
For more than two years, US prosecutors have wanted the British government to hold a formal meeting with the Duke under the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty.
The Home Office has yet to act, and a stalemate remains between the Duke’s legal team and US prosecutors over the terms of each FBI interview in London.
Spencer Kuvin (left) and Lisa Bloom (right), attorneys representing Jeffrey Epstein’s victims
Legal sources told the Daily Mail that the request was “long drawn out”. One said: ‘It seems to be too hot in the tray to handle.’
Following his Newsnight interview in November 2019, Andrew promised to “help any appropriate law enforcement agency with their investigations,” but has not yet done so.
Maxwell, the daughter of media mogul Robert Maxwell, met Andrew while studying history at Oxford in the early 1980s, and the Prince later invited her and her friend Epstein to Windsor Castle and Sandringham.
Yesterday in New York, Brad Edwards, another of the victim’s attorneys, said: “There are a lot of people who have a lot of information. We’ve been saying for a long time… they should speak, and now the time has come.
Brad Edwards, attorney representing victims, speaks at press conference outside New York federal court
“Yet they don’t keep talking, they hurt victims, they hurt survivors, they don’t help. There are many people who have a lot of power and prestige and hide behind it and don’t come forward as normal good people. They are cowards and I wish they would come forward.’
He urged the FBI to continue the investigation. Asked about others who may have ties to Maxwell and Epstein, he vowed, “Let’s hope they’re the next target. If we have anything to do with it, it will be them.’
Maxwell victim Sarah Ransome, who gave an emotional speech in court about how her life had been ruined, said: “The men involved in our sex trade, the employees, the rich friends – you are just as bad as Ghislaine.”
Lisa Bloom, a lawyer for victims of Epstein, who committed suicide in prison in 2019 while awaiting trial for child sex, added: “We call on the FBI to fully investigate Prince Andrew. Virginia Giuffre’s civil case should be just the beginning. Anyone associated with Epstein and Maxwell should be carefully examined. It’s time for Prince Andrew to do the right thing, what he said he would do, and work with the FBI so that everyone who made possible Epstein and Maxwell can be brought to justice. Until he does, it’s too early for him to return to public life.’
Former federal prosecutor Neama Rahmani, who is now a lawyer in Los Angeles, said: “I know Prince Andrew’s lawyer. I know how they defend cases. They are definitely not going to make it available. They will make sure he never sets foot in the US.”
The FBI has said Andrew is a “person of interest.” Nick Goldstone, the UK-based head of dispute resolution at international law firm Ince, said: ‘If the FBI wants to escalate Andrew’s status, they should consider filing a criminal charge against him – and to do so, they would pretty compelling evidence.
“Unless or until charges are filed, I don’t think anything can be done to force Andrew to help, as long as he doesn’t set foot in the US or on US territorial soil any time soon.”
Last night, a spokesman for the Duke of York and New York Southern District prosecutors declined to comment.