Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 16 October 2019

Jeffrey Epstein's death ruled to be suicide

Investigators say they found no evidence of foul play

The Metropolitan Correctional Center in New York where financier Jeffrey Epstein died while awaiting trial on sex-trafficking charges. AP
The Metropolitan Correctional Center in New York where financier Jeffrey Epstein died while awaiting trial on sex-trafficking charges. AP

A coroner has ruled financier Jeffrey Epstein's death was a suicide.

Its comes a day after a postmortem examination found his neck had been broken in several places.

Epstein died while awaiting trial on sex-trafficking charges and was found dead in his jail cell in New York City on Saturday.

The circumstances of the multi-millionaire's death had been under investigation.

Law enforcement sources had said there was no evidence or suggestion of foul play, but had cautioned that the investigation was still ongoing.

Dr Zhongxue Hua, the Bergen County medical examiner in New Jersey, said a neck fracture was not typical in a suicide but he warned against jumping to conclusions on Thursday.

"It’s unusual to have a neck fracture," Dr Zhongxue said. "But the first question to address is, when did it occur?"

If Epstein's neck fracture was fresh then "at a minimum, it's a very unusual suicide", he had said.

Epstein, 66, who once counted US President Donald Trump and former President Bill Clinton as friends, was found unresponsive in his cell on Saturday morning, the Federal Bureau of Prisons said.

He had been found alone in his cell.

Epstein had pleaded not guilty in July to charges of sex trafficking involving dozens of underage girls between 2002 and 2005.

Prosecutors said he recruited and paid girls to give him massages, which became sexual in nature.

Attorney General William Barr has said the criminal investigation into any possible co-conspirators would continue.

Mr Barr has demanded an investigation into Epstein's death and ordered the prison's warden to be removed.

The disgraced financier had been on suicide watch at the Metropolitan Correctional Centre in lower Manhattan but was taken off before his death.

At the prison, two guards are required to make separate checks on all prisoners every 30 minutes, but that procedure was not followed overnight, the source said.

Meanwhile, a team at the jail on Wednesday began a review, which is normally started by significant events such as a prominent inmate's death, an insider said.

Updated: August 17, 2019 12:45 AM

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