Jeffrey Epstein’s probe sparks debate at Commons – Independent Observers

Jeffrey Epstein’s probe sparks debate at Commons

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By Kunle Adedoyin  

The revelation that the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI)’s 2,000-page ­dossier on late paedophile, Jeffrey Epstein includes details of 301 British associates from his address book has sparked debate at the House of Commons in Britain.

One of Epstein’s victims, Virginia Giuffre’s claim that she was a victim of sex trafficking by Epstein and “loaned” to Prince Andrew for sex three times is also adding sparks to the debate in UK parliament, even though the Palace and the prince have vehemently denied this.

Labour MP Jess Phillips, who sits on the Women and Equalities Committee, said: “I think that, of course, the case must be properly investigated.”

She said it was especially important as Prince Andrew, 59, “still appears to have some role as an envoy for the UK government”. He stood down as a trade envoy in 2011 amid criticism of his links with Epstein.

 Ms Phillips added: “No one is assuming guilt, but the Epstein case and evidence does mean that we have a duty to undertake a proper investigation.

“We are talking about the trafficking of children, this is very serious and authorities should learn from the past in ignoring such allegations.”

Labour backbencher and committed Republican Emma Dent Coad said: “Nobody should be above the law and if there is a case to answer then whoever it is should answer it.”

Labour MP Lloyd Russell-Moyle said the prince had questions to answer. He said: “He has been accused by a credible witness of keeping her as a sex slave when she was a child.

“He is allegedly among many alleged co-conspirators in a child trafficking operation led by Epstein.

“Prince Andrew must give a full account of his relationship with Epstein and answer accusations levelled against him.”

FBI agents raided Epstein’s private US Virgin Island, dubbed “paedophile island”, yesterday as the sex-trafficking probe continued, despite his apparent suicide, aged 66, on Saturday.

US officials have also vowed to carry on probing Epstein’s ties to the UK amid fears about his offending overseas.

It was likely that Epstein would have clarified who else was involved and now his victims will never know.

US investigators who looked at Epstein’s “little black book” found almost half of it read like a who’s who of British society.

His 301 British contacts had more than 1,000 numbers and dozens of email addresses between them.

There is no suggestion the presence of their names in the book means any are accused of any wrongdoing or even met Epstein in person.

The contacts included celebrities such as Mick Jagger, Simon Le Bon, the late Sir David Frost, Richard Branson, Naomi Campbell, Tamara Beckwith, Jonathan Dimbleby, Loyd Grossman and numerous lords and ladies.

Former Prime Minister Tony Blair is recorded once, while his former cabinet minister Lord Peter Mandelson has 10 numbers, including one marked “direct line” one for “home” and another for “country home”.

There are 16 numbers for Prince Andrew, including a mobile number, one marked “Palace ex-directory”, one for Balmoral, the Queen’s Scottish residence, where the Prince invited Epstein, and one marked “Sand”, for Sandringham, another royal retreat where he spent time.

Epstein also recorded 18 numbers for Prince Andrew’s former wife Sarah Ferguson, who took £15,000 off the paedophile to help pay off her debts.

Federal prosecutors and FBI agents who built the case against Epstein have turned their attention to people his accusers claim were involved in his scheme to sexually exploit dozens of underage girls.

It includes a circle of associates who victims claim helped recruit, train and coerce them.

One document is said to describe in detail the “damning things” Epstein’s inner circle did as he abused more than 100 girls from across the world.

A source said: “The document entails everybody in the Epstein case. It has some damning things, including about a number of Brits.”

The ex-Wall Street financier flew “sex slave” Giuffre, formerly known as Roberts, to London in 2001, when she was just 17.

While in the British capital, she was pictured with the then 41-year-old Prince Andrew inside the home of British socialite ­Ghislaine Maxwell.

Giuffre claims she was “lent out” to the prince for sex in London and on two other occasions. Buckingham Palace has issued an “emphatic” denial, saying: “Any suggestion of impropriety with underage minors is categorically untrue.

“It is emphatically denied that the Duke had any form of sexual contact or relationship with [then] Virginia Roberts. Any claim to the contrary is false and without foundation.”

US Attorney General William Barr said yesterday that there were “serious irregularities” at the federal prison in New York City where Epstein died.

And he vowed that the investigation into Epstein’s sex crimes would continue. Barr, the top US law enforcement official, said: “Any co-conspirators should not rest easy.”

His comments came in a speech to the Grand Lodge Fraternal Order of Police’s National Biennial Conference.

Barr said the criminal case against Epstein was personally important to him. He said the financier’s death had denied victims the chance to confront Epstein in a courtroom.

Barr said: “I was appalled – and indeed the whole department was – and frankly angry to learn of the Metropolitan Correctional Center’s failure to adequately secure this prisoner.

“We are now learning of serious irregularities at this facility that are deeply concerning and demand a ­thorough investigation.”

The decision by officials at the Bureau of Prisons not to keep Epstein on suicide watch even after he was found semi-conscious with neck wounds in July has come under scrutiny.

The prison where Epstein died is run by the federal Bureau of Prisons, a division of the US Justice Department.

Mirror

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