The Justice Department’s investigation into the deaths of two detainees in Central Intelligence Agency custody should conclude soon, Attorney General Eric Holder said Thursday.
Holder made no mention of proceeding with prosecutions in the cases and suggested they would be closed.
“There were ….things that were done during the course of those interrogations that are antithetical to American values, that resulted in the deaths of certain people,” Holder said during testimony before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. “That investigation has run its course. We are at a point where we are about to close those investigations.”
Holder stirred significant controversy by re-opening inquiries into alleged abuses involving about 100 terrorism suspects during the “enhanced interrogation techniques” program authorized by President George W. Bush and during interrogations before that program was formally authorized.
Seven former CIA chiefs asked President Barack Obama to shut down the probes, but he did not do so. Then-CIA director Leon Panetta also reportedly objected to the renewed inquiries, saying they could demoralize Agency personnel.
Last year, Holder announced that the bulk of the inquiries would be closed, but that a full investigation would proceed into two detainee deaths.
The probe, conducted by a federal prosecutor from Connecticut, John Durham, reportedly used a grand jury investigation in Alexandria, Va. to look into the deaths, including that of a prisoner in Afghanistan at a site called the Salt Pit.
A spokesman for Durham had no comment Thursday.