Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. said this afternoon that a special prosecutor is conducting a criminal investigation of the death of two detainees in United States custody as part of an examination of CIA interrogation abuses.
The special prosecutor, John Durham, who was initially appointed in 2008 to review the CIA's destruction of interrogation tapes, examined the interrogation of 101 detainees who were taken into custody after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
Durham’s expanded role to review interrogation techniques came at Holder’s request to determine whether any federal laws were violated during the questioning of detainees. Holder said previously the department would not prosecute any individual who acted in good faith and within the scope of interrogation guidance from the Office of Legal Counsel.
Holder said today in a prepared statement that an expanded criminal investigation beyond the death of the two detainees is not warranted.
“Mr. Durham and his team reviewed a tremendous volume of information pertaining to the detainees. That review included both information and matters that had never previously been examined by the Department,” Holder said. “Mr. Durham has advised me of the results of his investigation, and I have accepted his recommendation to conduct a full criminal investigation regarding the death in custody of two individuals.”
Time magazine reported this month that a federal grand jury in Alexandria, Va., is hearing evidence about the November 2003 death of Manadel al-Jamadi at the Abu Ghraib prison.