Prosecutors revealed Thursday that accused child sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein had an Austrian passport with a fake name that he’d used “to enter France, Spain, the United Kingdom, and Saudi Arabia in the 1980s.”
That raised concerns about whether Epstein has foreign citizenship and slapped down claims from Epstein’s attorneys that the passport, which has a false name, had never been used. Epstein was denied bail by a federal judge Thursday. He has pleaded not guilty to charges of sex trafficking and conspiracy.
Epstein’s attorneys responded by trying to dismiss Epstein’s foreign passport as being much ado about nothing.
“As for the Austrian passport the government trumpets, it expired 32 years ago,” the defense contended. “And the government offers nothing to suggest — and certainly no evidence — that Epstein ever used it.”
Epstein’s attorneys said he had “acquired the passport in the 1980s” but claimed he’d done so as “an affluent member of the Jewish faith … when hijackings were prevalent, in connection to Middle East travel.”
They asserted that “the passport was for personal protection in the event of travel to dangerous areas, only to be presented to potential kidnappers, hijackers, or terrorists should violent episodes occur” but said it was never used.
But the government shot this down on Wednesday, saying the passport “contains numerous ingress and egress stamps” indicating it was used to enter countries in Europe and the Middle East.
“The government further notes that the defendant’s submission does not address how the defendant obtained the foreign passport and, more concerning, the defendant has still not disclosed to the court whether he is a citizen or legal permanent resident of a country other than the United States,” prosecutors said.
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