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Friday, Aug 16, 2019

‘Serious irregularities’ in Epstein suicide, says US attorney general

Epstein, who was facing charges of sex-trafficking of young women and girls some of whom were just 14, was found unconscious in his cell with bruises around his neck. He had been on suicide watch last month but not at the time of his death.

world Updated: Aug 12, 2019 23:48 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Washington
Jeffrey Epstein was facing charges of sex-trafficking of young women and girls some of whom were just 14.
Jeffrey Epstein was facing charges of sex-trafficking of young women and girls some of whom were just 14.(AP PHOTO. )
         

US investigators have found “serious irregularities” at the jail in New York where Jeffrey Epstein, the disgraced hedge-fund owner, killed himself last Saturday, Attorney General William Barr has said. He also warned the financier’s “co-conspirators” to “rest easy”.

Epstein, who was facing charges of sex-trafficking of young women and girls some of whom were just 14, was found unconscious in his cell with bruises around his neck. He had been on suicide watch last month but not at the time of his death. Jail officials were still required to check on him periodically according to procedures.

“I was appalled and frankly angry to learn of the ( Metropolitan Correctional Centre’s) failure to adequately secure this prisoner,” Barr said in a speech in New Orleans. “We are now learning of serious irregularities at this facility that are deeply concerning and demand a thorough investigation.”

“FBI and the office of DOJ IG will get to the bottom of what happened and there will be accountability,” he added.

The attorney general also went on to put on notice associates of the financier who are understood to have played a role in his crimes. Reiterating the department’s position that the investigation into sex-trafficking charge against Epstein will continue, Barr said, “Let me assure you that the case will continue against anyone who was complicit with Epstein. Any co-conspirators should not rest easy. Victims deserve justice and will get it.”

Barr did not name anyone but there is renewed focus now on the role played by Ghislaine Maxwell, a British woman who has been described by Epstein’s victims as his chief enabler and procurer. She has not been charged and has denied all allegations of any wrongdoing in this case.

First Published: Aug 12, 2019 23:48 IST

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