Bashar al-Assad says Epstein didn't kill himself
"American billionaire Jeffrey Epstein was killed several weeks ago, they said he had committed suicide in jail. However, he was killed because he knew a lot of vital secrets connected with very important people in the British and American regimes, and possibly in other countries as well," Assad said.
Epstein was a prominent financier who became rich under mysterious circumstances in the 1980s and was reportedly close to prominent politicians and personalities, including US President Donald Trump, former US President Bill Clinton, and Prince Andrew of the UK.
He was arrested for sex trafficking of minors on 6 July, 2019 and was found hanged in his prison cell on 10 August.
Although a medical examiner ruled that he had committed suicide, there have been many conspiracy theories saying that he was in fact murdered, particularly from the right of the political spectrum.
On Wednesday, Republican US Congressman Paul Gosar spelled out the words "EPSTEIN DIDN'T KILL HIMSELF" with the first letter of each of a series of 23 bizarre tweets.
Assad has found some support on the far-right of the political spectrum, with politicians such as Nick Griffin, the founder of the racist British National Party, endorsing his narrative of the war.
In his Russia-24 interview Assad also promoted conspiracy theories regarding the death of James Le Mesurier, whose organisation Mayday Rescue provided support to the White Helmets, who rescue the victims of Assad's and Russia's airstrikes on rebel-held civilian areas.
"And now the main founder of the White Helmets has been killed, he was an officer and he had worked his whole life with NATO in Afghanistan, Kosovo, Iraq and Lebanon," Assad told Russia-24.
"Both of us know that they [the White Helmets] are naturally part of Al-Qaeda. I believe that these people, as well as the previously liquidated bin Laden and [ISIS leader] al-Baghdadi had been killed chiefly because they knew major secrets. They turned into a burden once they had played out their roles. A dire need to do away with them surfaced after they had fulfilled their roles."
Le Mesurier, who has been lauded for his humanitarian work in Syria, died in Istanbul on 11 November after falling from the balcony of his flat. Turkish authorities say they are 99% sure his death was suicide, and that he had been suffering from depression before his death.
However, a Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman accused him of being a "former MI6 agent" three days before his death.
The White Helmets have been subjected to a debunked smear campaign by Russia, which has accused them of links to terrorist groups in response to their work with the victims of Russian airstrikes.
On Friday, five people including three children were killed in a Russian airstrike on Al-Bara in Idlib province.
In March 2019, human rights lawyers filed cases against Assad at the International Criminal Court, based on the testimony of 28 refugees who said that they had been shot at, bombed and tortured by the Syrian dictator's forces.
More than 500,000 people have been killed and millions more displaced as a result of the Syrian conflict, mostly as a result of Assad regime bombardment of civilian areas.