The apparent suicide of tycoon Jeffrey Epstein in the New York prison where he was awaiting a trial for child sex trafficking has raised questions about the circumstances of his imprisonment, which the authorities try to clarify while his complainants continue to seek justice.
The attorney general and head of the US Department of Justice, William Barr, said Monday at a press conference in New Orleans that the government “has known about serious irregularities” at the Metropolitan Correctional Center (MCC) in Manhattan, “They are deeply worrisome and demand a thorough investigation.”
Barr stressed that the process in which the deceased businessman was charged will continue “against anyone who was an accomplice of Epstein. None of those who conspired with him should be calm, the victims deserve justice and will have it,” he said.
The MCC security guards were doing their morning round this Saturday when they found Epstein, 66, hanging in his cell around 06:30 local time (11.30 GMT), according to the Bureau of Prisons.
After the certification of his death in a hospital, Barr declared himself “horrified” that the event occurred “in federal custody” and already announced that there were “serious questions to be answered.”
Among the issues that are now addressed by an investigation by the FBI and another by the Department of Justice is why Epstein was not subjected to the 24-hour surveillance service against suicides if he was found unconscious in his shared cell on July 23, with marks on the neck, in an apparent attempt.
According to The Wall Street Journal, which cites sources close to the matter, it was the magnate’s lawyers, with whom he was meeting up to 12 hours a day at the end of July, who requested that this specific surveillance be withdrawn, going to a ” special observation status. ”
According to this status, Epstein had to receive visits from the guards every 30 minutes and have a cellmate, conditions that were not met in the hours prior to his death, whose cause the New York Forensic Office did not want to determine once it was completed. routine autopsy, in the absence of additional information.
The magnate, arrested on July 6 and accused of creating a sex trafficking network to abuse girls in his mansions in New York and Florida, would have been tried next year, a decade after facing similar accusations and signing an agreement with the South Florida Prosecutor’s Office to end that investigation.
Manhattan prosecutor Geoffrey Berman, who drove the new lawsuit, has acknowledged the “disturbing” of the event, which can “hinder” the victims of Epstein from achieving justice, but has reiterated his “commitment” to the “brave young women who they have already taken a step and the many who still have to do it. ”
“Let me reiterate that we remain committed to being with you and that our investigation of the conduct imputed in the indictment – which includes a conspiracy charge – is ongoing,” Berman added, referring to the potential ramifications of the case in the absence of the main defendant.
And it is that the abrupt end of the millionaire came hours after a judge decided to publish 2,000 documents about him, related to another process – already closed – in which an alleged victim of Epstein accused a close friend of this of being his “recruiter” of girls and defame her for calling her a liar.
This is Ghislaine Maxwell, a woman from British high society sued in 2015 by Virginia Giuffre, who considered her an “Madame” of Epstein when she accused him of having trafficked her as a teenager and forced to have sex with important political or business figures .
Due to Epstein’s social connections and the strange circumstances of his death, numerous conspiracy theories have circulated online on Saturday, one of them amplified by US President Donald Trump to millions of his followers.
On his Twitter account, Trump shared the message of a man who claimed that Epstein “had information about Bill Clinton and is now dead,” on a veiled suggestion.
Meanwhile, attention has also focused on the alleged victims of his abuse, such as Jennifer Araoz, who on Saturday declared her “anger” that Epstein already “will never face the consequences of the crimes” he committed.
“I hope that the authorities persecute and impute their accomplices and facilitators, and ensure compensation to the victims,” she said in a statement.
Her disgust adds to that of some complainants who have turned to their lawyers to lament the turn of events and criticized the Manhattan prison for “allowing this to happen,” according to lawyer Lisa Bloom quoting an unidentified person.
“On behalf of the victims I represent, we would have preferred him to live to face justice. Our civil cases can still proceed against his estate. The victims deserve to heal for the vital damage he caused. We are just beginning,” Bloom published on Twitter.