Two French government ministers asked on Monday for an investigation into Jeffrey Epstein’s activities in France.
The American billionaire financier, who was connected to powerful political figures like Donald Trump and Bill Clinton, was found dead on Saturday in his cell at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in New York of an apparent suicide.
Epstein was arrested on July 6 in the United States upon landing from France. He was awaiting trial on federal sex trafficking charges over alleged abuse of underaged girls, some as young as 14.
“His death in prison ends the preparation of the trial initially scheduled to take place in 2020 and hence leaves numerous questions unanswered … The American investigation shed light on links with France. It therefore seems fundamental to us, and for the victims, that an investigation should be opened in France so that all the light is shed on the matter,” French Secretary of State for Gender Equality Marlène Schiappa and Secretary of State for Child Protection Adrien Taquet said in a joint statement.
Epstein reportedly owned an apartment in Paris, which raised questions about whether he had engaged in sex trafficking in France.
“France is concerned … since the FBI investigations mention multiple persons of French nationality,” French NGO Innocence en danger wrote in a letter to the French prosecutor on Monday, published by French magazine L’Obs. In it, it also asserted that it had “gotten confirmation that many of the victims of the prostitution ring created by Jeffrey Epstein and his accomplices, are also of French nationality.”