French former Epstein associate found dead in Paris cell: prosecutors

A prominent French modelling agent who was a former close associate of disgraced American billionaire Jeffrey Epstein has been found dead in his Paris prison cell, prosecutors said on Saturday.

La Sante prison in Paris
A prison guard at the Prison de la Sante in Paris. Photo: BERTRAND GUAY / AFP

Epstein, who was arrested in New York in July 2019 on charges of trafficking underage girls for sex, was found hanged in his New York jail cell the following month while awaiting trial over abuses involving girls at his Palm Beach home and on his private island in the Caribbean.

His former associate Jean-Luc Brunel, in his mid 70s, had been charged with
the rape of minors and held in prison since December 2020.

A souce close to the investigation told AFP that he had been found dead
overnight Friday to Saturday. Paris prosecutors later confirmed he had died.

Police are now investigating the cause of the death, added the source, who asked not to be named. Brunel’s death means that his case is now closed,
unless other suspects are implicated in the same case in the future.

Brunel had denied the charges against him.

His ownership of an apartment in an upmarket Paris district and allegations from women who say they were abused in France prompted French prosecutors to open their own investigation.

That probe focused on Brunel, who was accused in American court documents
of rape and of procuring young girls for his friend.

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France charges teen over ‘imminent terror attack’ plot

French authorities have charged an 18-year-old man on suspicion of planning an imminent terror attack with a knife in the name of Islamic State (IS) jihadists, a judicial source said on Wednesday.

France charges teen over 'imminent terror attack' plot

Initial investigations indicated that he planned to carry out a terror attack “in the name of IS, to which he had pledged allegiance,” said the source, who asked not to be named, adding that the man had been detained in the Drome region of southeast France and charged in Paris.

The source added that the man had been detained in the Drome region of southeast France and charged in Paris.

The man, from a Muslim family, had adopted extremist views and was considered a threat, sparking France’s anti-terror prosecutors office (PNAT) to open an investigation on May 19, a source close to the case said.

Police arrested him on Friday and a video of him swearing allegiance to IS was found in his possession.

The source did not say whom he was planning to target in the attack or in which location.

France saw a wave of jihadist attacks from 2015 that left hundreds dead and pushed the country to its highest level of security alert.

There has been no repeat of a mass atrocity in the last years, but there have been several deadly attacks carried out by lone individuals

More to follow