Tuesday, 20 August, 2019


Medical officials complete Jeffrey Epstein autopsy, but details yet to be released

United States Attorney Geoffrey Berman during a news conference about the arrest of American financier Jeffrey Epstein in New York USA 08 July 2019 New York coroner 'confident' Epstein's death was suicide
Bennie Garza | 13 August, 2019, 08:40

The top two members of the US House Judiciary Committee have asked Bureau of Prisons (BOP) Acting Director Hugh Hurwitz to answer a list of 23 questions related to the policies and procedures of the prison in NY where accused sex offender Jeffrey Epstein is reported to have committed suicide.

Attorney General William Barr condemned the "serious irregularities" at the MCC and demanded a "thorough investigation".

The criticism came as French government ministers demanded that the country's prosecutors launch their own investigation into Epstein, saying the USA inquiry had exposed the disgraced financier's links with France.

Epstein had been placed on suicide watch after he was found a little over two weeks ago with bruising on his neck, according to the person familiar with the matter.

Epstein was accused in early July of sexually exploiting and abusing dozens of underage girls in the early 2000s.

DOJ officials will want to know why Epstein was taken off suicide watch, what happened in the first instance and why there was only minimal security at the time of his death. He was being held without bail for child sex trafficking, as well as conspiracy charges.

That investigation into conduct described in the indictment, including the conspiracy count, will continue despite Epstein's death, Geoffrey Berman, the US Attorney in Manhattan, said on Saturday.

Staffing shortages worsened by a partial government shutdown prompted inmates at the New York City jail to stage a hunger strike in January after they were denied family and lawyer visits.

The Daily Mail also reported the raids on its website.

Catherine Linaweaver, who retired in 2014 after 16 months as the MCC's warden, said some people were overreacting to Epstein's suicide because he was well known. He also warned the financier's "co-conspirators" to "rest easy".

Epstein's July 6 arrest drew national attention, particularly focusing on a deal that allowed him to plead guilty in 2008 to soliciting a minor for prostitution in Florida and avoid more serious federal charges.

Eight months later, the lockup remains so short-staffed that the BOP is offering correctional officers a $10,000 bonus to transfer there from other federal lockups.

The filing came in a long-running lawsuit by alleged victims who said prosecutors violated their rights by failing to consult them about Epstein's plea agreement, which was made on condition that Epstein cooperate with the Florida state prosecutors.

A prison guards union said Monday that thousands of vacancies had created "dangerous conditions" at federal jails across the US.

The Miami Herald said if a civil forfeiture is filed, a federal judge in a civil court would make a decision based on the prosecution's recount of Epstein's crimes, but using a lower threshold than what's used to determine guilt in criminal cases.

Suicide has always been the leading cause of death in USA jails overall. At least 124 inmates killed themselves while in federal custody between fiscal years 2010 and 2016, according to the most recent statistics available from the Bureau of Prisons.

Baden was the city's chief medical examiner in the late 1970s and has been called as an expert witness in high-profile cases including by the defence at O.J. Simpson's 1994 murder trial.

Officials said that Epstein, 66, died by hanging and was found dead at around 7:30 a.m. on Saturday morning, the New York Times reported.

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