The arrest of convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein gripped the world in July – and his apparent suicide in his prison cell last week has only further fuelled conjecture about his connections to the world’s wealthiest and most powerful people.
Epstein’s now infamous “black book”, which was photocopied by a former butler and made public in 2015, lists several prominent Middle Eastern business contacts – although the extent of Epstein’s relationships with these individuals is difficult to ascertain.
Notable names in the address book included Israeli venture capitalist Yariv Zghoul; Saudi businessman Amr al-Dabbagh; Syrian-Saudi financier Wafic Said; and British-Lebanese CEO Amado Fakhre, who spent two years in prison in Cuba over alleged corruption.
A year before his suspected suicide, Epstein boasted of his ties to powerful Saudi leaders, including Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the New York Times reported on Monday.
Detailing his visit to Epstein’s New York mansion last August, journalist James Stewart described how the alleged rapist showed him a photograph of bin Salman – commonly referred to as MBS – hanging on his wall.
“The crown prince had visited him many times, and they spoke often,” Stewart said Epstein told him.
While the Epstein case seems to have made few waves in Saudi Arabia, the repercussions have already been felt in Israel.
Epstein’s black book included a short section labelled Israel that contained contact information for two former prime ministers, Ehud Barak and Ehud Olmert, as well as several other individuals with Israeli government email addresses. – READ MORE