CIA no longer uses secret prisons, says spy chief

April 10th, 2009 - 3:06 am ICT by IANS  

Barack Obama Washington, April 10 (Xinhua) CIA Director Leon Panetta has said that the US spy agency no longer uses secret prisons to detain terrorism suspects and is working on a plan to close the existing facilities.
Panetta made the remarks in a letter Thursday to the employees of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

Panetta said in accordance with President Barack Obama’s order to ban controversial detention and interrogation practices, CIA “no longer uses secret sites” and plans to close all remaining sites.

He said the government will save up to $4 million after the detention sites are closed permanently.

Panetta, however, said “the CIA retains the right to detain individuals in the short term and temporarily”. He said: “CIA continues to aggressively pursue Al Qaeda and its affiliates.”

The revelation of the CIA secret prisons in 2005 sparked a global outcry that tainted the image of the US during the tenure of former US president George W. Bush.

Soon after his inauguration in January, President Obama announced a plan to close the US prison in Guantanamo Bay in Cuba within a year, and ordered a comprehensive review of the detention and interrogation policies on terror suspects.

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