WASHINGTON (Reuters) - No U.S. criminal charges will be filed against CIA personnel for destroying videotapes of harsh interrogations of terrorism suspects, the Justice Department said on Tuesday.
The probe was launched in January 2008 by then- Attorney General Michael Mukasey after revelations that the CIA in 2005 destroyed videos of the interrogations of terrorism suspects Abu Zubaydah and Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri.
The CIA has said it needed to destroy the tapes to guard against leaks that could endanger interrogators, but critics accused the agency of covering up illegal acts.
Career prosecutor John Durham led a team of prosecutors and FBI agents to investigate the circumstances surrounding their destruction.
“As a result of that investigation, Mr. Durham has concluded that he will not pursue criminal charges for the destruction of the interrogation videotapes,” said Justice Department spokesman Matthew Miller.
Durham has also been assigned to look into possible wrongdoing by CIA employees or contractors for harsh interrogations in Iraq and Afghanistan that went beyond approved limits.
Reporting by Jeremy Pelofsky, editing by Anthony Boadle
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