Hearing ordered in interrogation tapes

Dec. 18, 2007 at 5:01 PM

WASHINGTON, Dec. 18 (UPI) -- U.S. District Judge Henry H. Kennedy Tuesday ordered a hearing to determine if the CIA violated a court order by destroying interrogation tapes.

In a one-sentence order, Kennedy scheduled a Friday morning session, rebuffing Bush administration efforts to block a congressional investigation into the destruction of tapes showing the use of harsh interrogation techniques on terror suspects Zayn al-Abidin Muhammed Hussein and Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri.

The Justice Department had asked Congress to delay its inquiry while Justice conducts its own investigation.

The CIA has acknowledged the tapes were destroyed in November 2005 after Kennedy had issued an order requiring evidence to be preserved in conjunction with a lawsuit filed on behalf of 16 Guantanamo Bay prisoners, The Washington Post reported. Attorneys for the prisoners want to know whether the destruction violated Kennedy's order.

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