U.S. financier Jeffrey Epstein appears in a photograph taken for the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services’ sex offender registry March 28, 2017 and obtained by Reuters July 10, 2019.

New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services | Handout | Reuters

Surveillance video footage from outside the jail cell of accused child sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein at the time of his first reported suicide attempt in July has been deleted, federal prosecutors revealed Thursday.

The Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan, where Epstein was being held after his arrest on charges of allegedly trafficking dozens of underage girls, “inadvertently preserved” video feed from the wrong area of the jail, prosecutors wrote in a court filing in U.S. District Court in Manhattan.

“As a result, video from outside the defendant’s cell” on July 22 and 23, which covered the time Epstein made his first alleged attempt to kill himself inside the federal lockup, “no longer exists.”

Bureau of Prisons spokesperson Emery Nelson told CNBC: “We decline to comment as the Epstein case is under investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General.”

The Department of Justice declined to comment. The Metropolitan Correctional Center did not respond to a request for comment.

Epstein, who was a former friend of Presidents Donald Trump and Bill Clinton, died in the Manhattan jail in August. The New York City Medical Examiner ruled his death a suicide by hanging.

Bruce Barket, a lawyer for Epstein’s former cellmate, Nicholas Tartaglione, complained in December that he had been told the video was missing.

Tartaglione, a former police officer from Westchester County, New York, who is accused of several drug-related murders, claims he saved Epstein’s life during the first reported suicide attempt.

A day later, prosecutors said the video had been found by MCC staff, and that prosecutors were working to obtain the video.

But in their court filing Thursday, prosecutors said that after reviewing the video, they realized that while the footage was from the correct date and time, it “captured a different tier than the one where” Epstein’s cell was located.

The video that was preserved showed another cell, which the MCC computer system had incorrectly listed as being occupied by Tartaglione.

“Therefore, when MCC legal counsel asked that the video outside of [Esptein’s cell] be preserved, the MCC preserved video outside” the other cell in which Tartaglione was purportedly staying.

Prosecutors said that although a backup video system was in place that housed all video” for the Special Housing Unit where Epstein being held, the FBI found that the “requested video no longer exists on the backup system and has not since at least August 2019 as a result of technical errors.”

In a statement to CNBC on Thursday, Barket said, “The video would further corroborate the events of July 23 and we believe would have supported our client’s position that he acted appropriately that evening.”

“The various and inconsistent accounts of what happened to that video are deeply troubling,” the lawyer said.

“We are going to request a hearing to determine what exactly happened.”

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