ACLU seeks detainee special counsel

Jan. 30, 2005 at 12:06 PM
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WASHINGTON, Jan. 30 (UPI) -- The American Civil Liberties Union Sunday said Al Gonzales must agree to a special counsel on detainee abuse before he is confirmed as attorney general.

The ACLU said Gonzales, the White House counsel, failed to adequately answer inquiries during his confirmation hearing about the Bush administration's policies on the torture and abuse of prisoners and detainees.

In a letter to senators, the ACLU said a three-prong test outlined in the Justice Department's own regulations on the appointment of an outside special counsel has been met.

The requirement that "criminal investigation of a person or matter [must be] warranted" is met by the clear record of high-level government officials changing U.S. policy on the treatment of prisoners, the group said.

The second requirement is that an "investigation or prosecution of that person or matter by a United States attorney's office or litigating division of the Department of Justice would present a conflict of interest ... "

The third requirement is that "it would be in the public interest ... "

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