05 de agosto de 2020
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Surveillance video of Epstein's cell exterior during 1st suicide try erased

New York, Jan 9 (efe-epa).- The surveillance video of the exterior of the cell in which Jeffrey Epstein was being held during his first reported suicide attempt in July 2019, just weeks before his death in the same New York prison on Aug. 10, has been erased, authorities announced on Thursday.

 US federal prosecutor for the Southern District of New York, Geoffrey Berman, speaks during a press conference regarding the arrest of US financier Jeffrey Epstein on sexual abuse charges on July 8, 2019. EFE-EPA/ Jason Szenes/File

US federal prosecutor for the Southern District of New York, Geoffrey Berman, speaks during a press conference regarding the arrest of US financier Jeffrey Epstein on sexual abuse charges on July 8, 2019. EFE-EPA/ Jason Szenes/File

New York, Jan 9 (efe-epa).- The surveillance video of the exterior of the cell in which Jeffrey Epstein was being held during his first reported suicide attempt in July 2019, just weeks before his death in the same New York prison on Aug. 10, has been erased, authorities announced on Thursday.

The Metropolitan Correctional Center (MCC) incorrectly saved a video of the wrong area inside the high-security Manhattan prison and, as a result, the July 22-23 video of the exterior of Epstein's cell "no longer exists on the backup system and has not since at least August 2019 as a result of technical errors," said prosecutors in a court document released on Thursday to which EFE received access.

The information is part of the case of Nicholas Tartaglione, the inmate with whom Epstein shared the cell, whose attorney expressly asked that that videotape be preserved to be able to use it in defending his client if the authorities decided to involve him in the incident. Tartaglione claims that he helped save Epstein's life during that first suicide attempt.

Legal advisers to the New York prison reported at the time to authorities that the MCC video surveillance system recorded a cell other than the one it should have been recording.

The prosecutors added that a backup copy of the video of the cell's exterior existed, but that one also is not available due to "technical problems."

The FBI has corroborated what happened after reviewing, as part of another unrelated investigation, the backup copies of the prison's surveillance videos and verifying that the correct video of Epstein's cell, and its backup copy, "no longer exists" in the system.

Several weeks after that first reported suicide attempt, on Aug. 10, Epstein allegedly hung himself in his cell, although this version of events is not believed by the family or by his attorneys, who have complained on numerous occasions about what they call the "strange circumstances" surrounding the disgraced magnate's death.

In the opinion of Epstein's relatives and the former medical examiner they have hired, the forensic evidence released to date, including the autopsy results, "are extremely unusual in suicidal hangings and could occur much more commonly in homicidal strangulation."

Epstein was found unconscious in his cell about 1:30 am on July 23 and placed on suicide watch for six days, however he was no longer on suicide watch at the time of his death on Aug. 10.

Two prison officials have said that the staff members on duty the night Epstein actually did kill himself were supposed to be checking on him every half hour, but they had not looked in on him for three hours before he was found hanging and had falsely recorded checks every 30 minutes in the logbook.

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