U.S. ends most CIA abuse cases, to probe two deaths

Reuters News
Posted: Jun 30, 2011 3:49 PM
U.S. ends most CIA abuse cases, to probe two deaths

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A U.S. prosecutor, who has been examining possible CIA prisoner abuses after the September 11, 2001 attacks, will conduct a full criminal investigation into the death of two individuals, Attorney General Eric Holder said on Thursday.

But the prosecutor, John Durham, has decided that an expanded criminal investigation was not warranted in the cases of about 100 prisoners, closing those cases, Holder said in a statement.

Holder and a Justice Department spokeswoman declined to give details about the two individuals who died in custody.

But Time magazine reported earlier this month that Durham was investigating the interrogation and 2003 death of a prisoner, Manadel al-Jamadi, at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq.

On his last day as CIA director, Leon Panetta said, "I welcomed the news that the broader inquiries are behind us. We are now finally about to close this chapter of our agency's history." Panetta is to take over as defense secretary on Friday.

During George W. Bush's presidency, the CIA came under widespread criticism from human rights groups for mistreatment and abuse of prisoners after September 11, including harsh interrogations and waterboarding of terrorism suspects.

(Reporting by James Vicini, Editing by Cynthia Osterman)