Washington: US plans to appoint a criminal
prosecutor to probe whether CIA interrogators used techniques,
including excess waterboarding that were not authorised on
terror suspects, a media report said on Sunday.
A top justice department official said Attorney
General Eric H Holder Jr intends to hold an inquiry focussing
on "whether people went beyond the techniques that were
authorised" in Bush administration memos that liberally
interpreted anti-torture laws.
CIA officials who have firsthand knowledge of the
interrogation files contend that criminal convictions will be
difficult to obtain because the quality of evidence is poor
and the legal underpinnings have never been tested.
Some cases have not previously been disclosed,
including an instance in which a CIA operative brought a gun
into an interrogation booth to force a detainee to talk,
officials said, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Other potentially criminal abuses have already come to
light, including the waterboarding of prisoners in excess of
Justice Department guidelines, and the deaths of detainees in
CIA custody in Afghanistan and Iraq in 2002 and 2003.
Opening a criminal investigation is something Holder
"has come reluctantly to consider," the Justice Department
official said, emphasising that Holder had not reached a final
decision but noting that, "as attorney general, he has the
obligation to follow the law."