Monday, 19 August, 2019

US attorney: Epstein abuse probe steadfast despite his death

United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York Geoffrey Berman speaks during a news conference in New York Monday Medical Examiner ‘Confident’ Jeffrey Epstein Killed Himself While Autopsy Results Pending – Reports
Patty Aguilar | 13 August, 2019, 04:08

The House Judiciary Committee's demand for information comes as Attorney General William Barr announced Saturday that the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Justice Department's internal watchdog would investigate Epstein's death. Epstein pled not guilty, but had he been convicted, he faced up to 45 years in prison.

Epstein's death raises questions about how the Bureau of Prisons ensures the welfare of such high-profile inmates.

The jail staff failed to follow protocols leading up to Epstein's death, according to a report from The New York Times, deepening the fallout from what led to the highly connected financier's apparent suicide.

"Jeffrey Epstein's death is a tragedy to everyone involved in his case", Berman said in a statement on Monday.

Guards on Jeffrey Epstein's unit were working extreme overtime shifts to make up for staffing shortages the morning of his apparent suicide, a person familiar with the jail's operations told The Associated Press.

"If it wasn't Mr Epstein, it would have been somebody else, because of the conditions at that institution", she told the newspaper.

"It wasn't a matter of how it happened or it happening, but it was only a matter of time for it to happen. Simple as that", she said.

The staff at the facility also failed to follow protocols on the day of Epstein's August 10 death, while in custody.

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Epstein had been placed on suicide watch after he was found a little over two weeks ago with bruising on his neck, according to a person familiar with the matter who wasn't authorized to discuss it publicly. Mr Epstein was reportedly left alone early Saturday after his cellmate was transferred.

In addition, recently released documents reveal that Virginia Roberts Giuffre, a woman who claims she was once held as a teenage sex slave by Epstein, Virginia Roberts, was supposedly ordered to have sex with former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson of New Mexico and former U.S. Sen.

What happens to the case against him?

He was arrested July 6 on federal sex-trafficking charges. In a court filing on Monday, two unnamed accusers of Epstein urged a federal judge in West Palm Beach, Florida, to scrap portions of Epstein's 2008 non-prosecution agreement with federal prosecutors there that provided immunity to his alleged co-conspirators from criminal charges.

According to USA media reports, he kept a "little black book" with the names of over 100 "recruits" from areas where he had residences, including NY and Palm Beach, Florida, as well as Paris.

Epstein, 66, was not on suicide watch at the time in his cell in the Special Housing Unit of the Metropolitan Correctional Center (MCC), a source said. "We are now learning of serious irregularities at this facility that are deeply concerning and demand a thorough investigation".

The death may be a relief for many powerful people around the world, who allegedly partook in Epstein's sexual predation dating back to at least 2002.

But without the results from the post mortem examination, questions still loom regarding the precise cause of Epstein's death. On Sunday, the New York City medical examiner's office announced that although it had completed an autopsy on Epstein, it needed more information before it could officially determine his cause of death, according to NBC News.

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