The missing surveillance footage from outside multi-millionaire financier Jeffrey Epstein’s cell captured during a possible failed suicide or assault attempt in July has been found, just a day after prosecutors said it “no longer exists.”
“Earlier today, the Government confirmed with [Metropolitan Correctional Center] staff that the Video was preserved by MCC [Metropolitan Correctional Center] staff,” Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jason Swergold and Maurene Comey told federal judge Kenneth Karas in a court filing on Thursday, Dec. 19, reported the New York Post.
Just a day prior, Swergold said that nobody can find the video. “It is our understanding … that the video no longer exists. It was not preserved,” he told the court in New York, according to the Rockland/Westchester Journal News. However, he also said that efforts were being made to find the video.
Epstein, in late July, was sharing a cell with Nick Tartaglione, a former policeman who is accused of having killed four men.
Tartaglione’s lawyer, Bruce Barket, said Wednesday that he was told no video from outside the cell exists despite having requested evidence from the July 23 incident.
Epstein, 66, died two weeks later in what was deemed as an “apparent suicide.”
Tartaglione was accused of trying to kill Epstein. He denied wrongdoing and said that he actually intervened when Epstein allegedly tried to kill himself. After the incident in July, Epstein was reportedly housed in a cell without a cellmate.
Barket has said that the story of his client trying to kill Epstein was fabricated in retaliation for Tartaglione complaining about the conditions at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan.
Epstein was found unconscious again two weeks after the incident. He was rushed to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead on Aug. 10. The medical examiner ruled his cause of death suicide, though some lawmakers and medical experts have said evidence pointed to homicide.
Epstein was being held without bail at the MCC while he awaited trial. He was arrested on July 6 on new charges of sex trafficking underage girls. According to an unsealed indictment (pdf), the already-registered child sex offender was accused of sexually abusing and exploiting dozens of girls, some as young as 14, in New York and Florida. He pleaded not guilty.
Zachary Stieber contributed to this report.