Accused of falsifying their report, Jeffrey Epstein's prison guards charged in New York

Tova Noel and Michael Thomas are accused of not doing the surveillance rounds they had to do on the day of the financier's death.

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The Metropolitan Correctional Center, where Jeffrey Epstein was found dead, in New York, August 10. Mary Altaffer / AP

What are the specific circumstances of Jeffrey Epstein's death? Three months later, the US justice on Tuesday (November 19th) indicted its prison guards, accused of falsifying documents certifying that they had carried out their rounds when it was not the case. An indictment that provides a partial answer to an issue that remains controversial.

The death on August 10 in a New York federal prison of this financier, figure of the jet set, had put an end to de facto prosecution for the sexual exploitation of underage girls. This disappearance deprived the alleged victims of a trial that was announced to be resounding. Described by his alleged victims as an insatiable sexual predator, he risked up to forty-five years in prison.

The autopsy concluded that the financier committed suicide by hanging. But this point is disputed: an expert commissioned by Jeffrey Epstein's brother recently felt that the evidence was "More of a homicide than a suicide". Days after his death, US Attorney General William Barr deplored "Serious" malfunctions in this Manhattan jail deemed especially safe where he had been held since early July. The director of the institution, the Metropolitan Correctional Center, had been transferred and the two guards suspended.

Read the survey: Jeffrey Epstein, route of a sexual predator

"They stayed at their desk, surfed the net"

On Tuesday, the Manhattan prosecutor issued the indictment against the guards who were to monitor him on the night of August 9 to 10: Tova Noel, 31, and Michael Thomas, 41, are accused of not having "Not done the rounds" they needed to do. "They stayed at their desk, surfed the Net, and wandered around the common areas of their unit."said the prosecutor in a statement. "To hide their shortcomings", they have "Signed false certificates attesting to having made several rounds of counting prisoners, which was not the case", again accused the prosecutor.

No rounds were conducted between 10:30 pm on August 9 and 6:30 am on August 10, when Epstein's body was discovered in his cell, he said. The magistrate has not put forward any reason why the guards of this wing reserved for sensitive prisoners would have failed in their responsibilities. This point could continue to fuel speculation, even if some had mentioned, shortly after death, a lack of guards and a massive resort to overtime in the prison.

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The millionaire's death in the highly-used address book, both in the United States and in Europe, had been scandalous and fueled conspiracy theories: some argued that certain personalities whom Epstein had frequented had every interest in seeing him. death. The financier counted among his acquaintances Prince Andrew, son of Queen Elizabeth II, former President Bill Clinton, the current President Donald Trump and many other American personalities.

If the criminal case against Jeffrey Epstein is over, the Manhattan prosecutor continues to investigate his possible accomplices. An investigation was also opened in France, where the American financier had an apartment and went frequently, with the launch of a call for international witnesses.

In Britain, the case has been the "one" since Prince Andrew gave an interview on Saturday to the BBC on his relationship with the financier, who turned to the fiasco. The 59-year-old prince was speaking for the first time about his ties with US financier Jeffrey Epstein. If the prince has "Categorically" denied the claims of an accuser of Epstein – who claims to have been forced to have sex with him, including in London in 2001 when she was 17 – he was widely criticized for defending his friendship with the and expressed no regret for the victims.

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