FILE PHOTO: Marlene Schiappa, French Junior Minister for Gender Equality, speaks during the questions to the government session at the National Assembly in Paris, France, November 27, 2018. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes
PARIS (Reuters) – Marlene Schiappa, France’s gender equality minister, called on Monday for an investigation into the activities in France of Jeffrey Epstein, the U.S. financier found dead in an apparent suicide while being held on sex-trafficking charges.
“The American investigation has highlighted ties 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 this matter,” Schiappa said in a statement.
Epstein was arrested on July 6 in New Jersey after his private jet landed on a flight from Paris. The New York Times reported that he owned property in the French capital.
Epstein, a well-connected money manager dogged for years by allegations that he sexually abused girls and young women, was found hanging by his neck, according to a source who was not authorized to speak publicly.
“We would like to use this occasion to highlight again our utmost determination to protect young girls from sexual violence and especially from being exploited by criminal networks, and this should result in new measures being announced during the final quarter of this year,” added Schiappa.
Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta; Editing by Richard Lough