Epstein's lawyers 'not satisfied' with autopsy conclusion and vow to carry out independent investigation

Rozina Sabur
Epstein reportedly spent his last days sleeping on the floor in his cell - REUTERS

Jeffrey Epstein's lawyers have vowed to carry out their own independent investigation into his death, saying they are not "satisfied" with an official investigation which ruled the financier killed himself in prison.

An autopsy on the disgraced American financier concluded on Friday that Epstein hung himself in his jail cell.

The ruling comes six days after the 66-year-old, who was accused of trafficking girls as young as 14 for sex, was discovered dead in New York's high-security Metropolitan Correctional Center.

New York's chief medical examiner Barbara Sampson said the ruling had been arrived at "after careful review of all investigative information, including complete autopsy findings".

However Epstein's lawyers said  they were "not satisfied with the conclusions of the medical examiner" and would conduct their own investigation into his death, including demanding to see video footage from the jail.

"It is indisputable that the authorities violated their own protocols," the lawyers said, decrying the "harsh, even medieval conditions" at the facility.

It comes as a report suggested Epstein spent his last days in the facility going unwashed and sleeping on the floor.

According to the New York Times, the financier paid money into inmates' prison commissary accounts in bid to ingratiate himself with his fellow prisoners.

But by the final days, witnesses told the newspaper that Epstein was going without washing and his hair and beard appeared unkempt and he had taken to sleeping on the floor of his cell rather than his bunk bed.

It was also reported that Epstein had long harboured a fear of going to jail and had painted a mural of a prison scene in his Manhattan mansion several years ago.

The scene showed barbed wire, prison offers with Epstein in the middle, as a reminder of the fate that could await him if he was not "careful", according to the newspaper. 

Epstein, a multi-millionaire who once counted Britain's Prince Andrew and US President Donald Trump as friends, was in jail awaiting trial on charges relating to the sex trafficking of minors at the time of his death.

The FBI and Justice Department are still investigating how such a high-profile inmate managed to take his own life just weeks after an earlier reported suicide attempt.

William Barr, the US attorney general, said he was "appalled" that Epstein was found dead while in custody, amid reports that the guards responsible for checking on the convicted paedophile had fallen asleep on duty.