On Saturday morning, the 66-year-old American financier was found dead in his cell at New York’s Metropolitan Correctional Center (MCC), having apparently hanged himself. He was awaiting trial on charges of sex trafficking of minors after his bail appeal was declined. In mid-July, Epstein was put on suicide watch after an unsuccessful attempt, but was reportedly taken off a suicide watch one week later.
“We don’t know how this happened. What we do know is that according to many sources in the so-called criminal justice system, the holding facilities in New York and in other major cities are woefully understaffed,” Luqman told hosts John Kiriakou and Brian Becker. ”So, even though all of these safeguards and precautions are supposed to exist to keep people who are at risk of harming themselves or being harmed safe, there is information that there are just not enough people to carry these plans out. That’s one aspect of this situation.”
“The other aspect of the sitution is that … sex offenders, whether they are convicted or simply accused - they don’t do well in prison,” she noted. “Murderers don’t like sex offenders … but it really comes down to: we don’t really know what happened, and we don’t really how it happened, and that leaves the door open for a bunch of crazy conspiracy theories.”
Following Epstein’s apparent suicide, sources familiar with the matter who spoke to AP revealed that the correctional officers employed inside the special unit that housed Epstein before his death worked extreme overtime shifts due to severe staffing shortages. An anonymous source also told Fox News that Epstein had not been checked on by officers for “several hours” before his death - officers should check on inmates every 30 minutes, according to the prison’s guidelines.
Numerous conspiracy theories, from Epstein receiving assistance in killing himself to being outright murdered, have circulated following the financier’s apparent suicide, with some claiming that his death may have been organized by his wealthy and powerful friends. Epstein mingled extensively with political and cultural elites, including former US President Bill Clinton, the Trump family, UK Princes Andrew and Charles and members of the Kennedy family, just to name a few. One of the theories claims that Epstein's suicide ends not only the criminal case against him, but also the potential criminal cases that other powerful people involved in his trafficiking ring may have faced.
“This is a guy who was apparently going to out a lot of very important, very powerful people. And we really don't know if they had the arm to touch him inside prison,” Kiriakou noted.
In a New York Times piece published Monday, American journalist James B. Stewart described interviewing Epstein around a year ago in Epstein’s New York City mansion, adorned with photos of himself with public figures like Clinton and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. During the interview, Epstein stated that he “claimed to know a great deal about these people, some of it potentially damaging or embarrassing, including details about their supposed sexual proclivities and recreational drug use.”
“He was more at ease discussing his interest in young women,” Stewart wrote. “He said that criminalizing sex with teenage girls was a cultural aberration and that at times in history it was perfectly acceptable. He pointed out that homosexuality had long been considered a crime and was still punishable by death in some parts of the world.”
“There is a lot to delve into and there are a lot of possibilities. But, for me, there are two issues that override everything else,” Luqman told Sputnik.
“And I understand the enormous political implications that Epstein’s potential testimony could have had and what is in these unsealed documents - we have no idea, the effect, the ripple effect, they are going to have in politics,” Luqman noted, referring to hundreds of pages of court documents unsealed Friday in a New York federal court detailing allegations against Epstein, including claims that Ghislaine Maxwell, a British socialite and media heiress, was the “madame” for Epstein’s underage girl sex trafficking circuit.
“Regardless of whether Epstein took his own life or whether he was assisted, his death is really just a thumb in the eye for his victims, who now, really all they have [in order] to receive justice and vindication are these documents that will be unsealed. So, he’s not going to be able to pay for what he did to them,” Luqman told Sputnik.
“If he took his own life, from my perspective, that’s a man who had been shielded by the powers that be, that he had provided these despicable services for decades, had been shielded from any kind of scrutiny all of this time, all of a sudden having to own up to what he has done. And his decision, being a very rich and powerful man, is: ‘No one is going to make me pay for this. I am going out on my own terms.’ That’s if he took his own life. If someone took his life or helped him take his life, then that is still saying to the victims, ‘We really don’t care about justice for any of you. We don’t care about any of you. We are only interested in protecting our interests.’ That’s a real problem.”
“And then there’s the issue of all of the people who die in custody in overcrowded conditions across this country all this time, and people don’t care. But because this man was rich, powerful and could potentially take down other rich, powerful people, now, people are concerned about the lax conditions in the criminal justice system,” Luqman added.
The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.