US judge orders release of names linked to Epstein

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A judge has ordered a New York court to reveal the names of 180 people — including victims, associates and suspected accomplices — tied to Jeffrey Epstein, the U.S. financier who killed himself in 2019 as he awaited trial for sex crimes.

The ruling from judge Loretta Preska in a Manhattan federal court was seen by AFP on Tuesday, a day after it was handed down..

The judicial order is part of a defamation proceeding between Epstein’s former mistress, Ghislaine Maxwell, sentenced in 2022 to 20 years in prison, and a plaintiff against the duo, Virginia Giuffre.

The judge listed in a 50-page document the cases of some 180 people — under pseudonyms — ordering that their identities be made public within 14 days of the order, the first days of January.

According to British media, Giuffre’s defamation claim against Maxwell dates back to 2016 and was settled the following year. But the Miami Herald then took legal action to access the file and investigate the Epstein network.

Maxwell and Epstein were a couple in the early 1990s before becoming professional collaborators and accomplices in sex crimes for almost three decades.

Maxwell, 61, was convicted in December 2021 in New York of trafficking underage girls for sex with Epstein and sentenced in 2022 to a 20-year prison term.

Epstein, a financier with a powerful network in the United States and abroad, was himself accused of raping young girls, but his suicide by hanging in a New York prison in August 2019 halted his prosecution.

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