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3 Mar, 2009 00:40

CIA destroyed 92 terror interrogation records - investigation

Prosecutors on Monday said the CIA destroyed nearly 100 tapes of terror suspect interrogations. The investigation into the case is coming to a close.

“The CIA can now identify the number of videotapes that were destroyed,” said the letter by Acting U.S. Attorney Lev Dassin. “Ninety two videotapes were destroyed.”

The number of missing tapes was revealed in a letter filed by government lawyers in New York, reports the AP news agency.

The letter, dated March 2 to New York Judge Alvin Hellerstein, says the CIA is now gathering more details on the destroyed tapes, including information on their content and the identities of those who may have viewed them. It also notes some of the information may be classified.

“The CIA intends to produce all of the information requested to the court and to produce as much information as possible on the public record to the plaintiffs,” states the letter.

The CIA was ordered to investigate the missing interrogation tapes after the American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit against the intelligence agency seeking more details on the terror suspect interrogating program.

“The large number of videotapes destroyed confirms that the agency engaged in a systematic attempt to hide evidence of its illegal interrogations and evade the court’s order. It’s time to hold the CIA accountable for its flagrant disregard for the rule of law,” the American Civil Liberties Union stated.

The issue of missing tapes came to light during the trial of 9/11 conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui. Prosecutors initially claimed recordings of his interrogation never existed, but later admitted two videotapes and one audiotape had been made.