'Torture memos' unlikely to result in criminal prosecution

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An investigation by the US Justice Department into the authors of Bush-era “torture memos” is unlikely to recommend criminal prosecution — but may suggest that they should be disciplined or even banned from practising as lawyers.

According to reports yesterday, the inquiry has concluded that lawyers such as John Yoo and Jay Bybee committed serious lapses of judgment when they wrote secret memorandums authorising harsh interrogations including waterboarding of terror suspects.

Although the 220-page report by the Office of Professional Responsibility is still awaiting final approval from by Eric Holder, the Attorney-General, letters sent to former Bush Administration officials suggest criminal action is not being considered.

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