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Destroyed CIA interrogation tapes contained torture evidence: documents

[JURIST] Twelve of the 92 videotapes destroyed by the CIA [JURIST report] contained evidence of "enhanced interrogation techniques," according to redacted documents [text, PDF] filed Friday in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York [official website]. The US Department of Justice (DOJ) [official website] had acknowledged last week that the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) [official website] destroyed [letter, PDF] 92 videotapes of high value terrorism suspect interrogations [JURIST news archive], in response to an August 2008 judicial order [text, PDF] that the CIA turn over information regarding the tapes or provide specific justifications on why it could not release the information. The August 2008 order came in response to a December 2007 American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) [advocacy website] motion [text, PDF] that the CIA be held in contempt of court for not providing information on the tapes during a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) [text] lawsuit [ACLU materials] brought by the organization in an effort to access government materials on the interrogations.

A stay on the ACLU suit was filed by the DOJ in December 2007 while a criminal probe [JURIST report] was conducted on the videotapes' destruction. That order expired last week, and in a letter to the court, US Attorney Peter Skinner wrote that the DOJ now intends to provide as much of the information as possible. The ACLU intends to proceed [interview audio] on the lawsuit. The lawsuit was brought [CCR backgrounder] after the October 2003 request filed by the ACLU under FOIA for information pertaining to US held detainees in overseas facilities received in answer only a set of media talking points used by the Department of State.

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