WASHINGTON, United States (AFP) -Despite indications of Central Intelligence Agency involvement in the deaths of at least four prisoners in Iraq and Afghanistan, its employees appear likely to escape criminal charges in all but one of those incidents, The New York Times reported.
Citing current and former intelligence and law enforcement officials, the newspaper said that David Passaro, a contract worker, is the only person linked to the CIA to be charged in the deaths of prisoners in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Federal prosecutors reviewing cases of possible misconduct by CIA employees have recently notified lawyers that they do not intend to bring criminal charges, the report said.
The details of the CIA cases remain classified, as do the Justice Department reviews.
But the prosecutors” decisions appear to reflect judgments that the CIA was far less culpable in the mistreatment of prisoners than was the military, where dozens of soldiers have been convicted or accepted administrative punishment for their actions in cases in Iraq and Afghanistan, The Times said.
The decisions are based on reviews of eight dossiers referred to the Justice Department by the CIA inspector general, describing possible misconduct by a half dozen to a dozen CIA employees in the deaths and other cases, the paper pointed out.
A case still technically under review by the Justice Department, the officials said, involves a high-profile episode in which a CIA officer has been linked to mistreatment of prisoners, in a case involving an Iraqi who died under CIA interrogation in a shower room at Abu Ghraib, according to the report.
But in another case, involving the hypothermia death of an Afghan at a detention center called the Salt Pit in Afghanistan in November 2002, the Justice Department has signaled that it does not intend to bring charges, The Times said.
A third episode studied within the CIA involves a former Iraqi general who died of asphyxiation after being stuffed head-first into a sleeping bag at the base at an American base in Al Asad, in western Iraq, in November 2003, after several days of interrogation, the paper reported.
The questioning involved beatings by a group that included at least one CIA contract worker, the paper said.