US drops most CIA torture probes
Washington - The US Justice Department has dropped nearly all the probes into CIA agents over alleged abusive interrogation techniques, and will instead focus on the deaths of two detainees, Attorney General Eric Holder said on Thursday.
"The department has determined that an expanded criminal investigation of the remaining matters is not warranted," Holder said in a statement.
Holder had in 2009 directed assistant US attorney John Durham to review the CIA interrogations of over 100 detainees at secret sites overseas to determine whether any laws were broken.
"Durham and his team reviewed a tremendous volume of information pertaining to the detainees... I have accepted his recommendation to conduct a full criminal investigation regarding the death in custody of two individuals," Holder added.
CIA chief Leon Panetta praised the decision as he left the CIA on Thursday to take over the helm of the Pentagon from Robert Gates.
"On this, my last day as director, I welcome the news that the broader inquiries are behind us. We are now finally about to close this chapter of our agency's history," he said.