December 23, 1996 in Nation/World

Cia Renews Investigation Of Torture

Compiled From Wire Services

The CIA’s inspector general has renewed an investigation into whether clandestine agency officers failed to report allegations of torture by CIA-trained Honduran military-intelligence units in the 1980s, according to congressional sources and a published report.

The unit, Battalion 316, has been blamed for the disappearance of 184 suspected leftists, according to an international court and the Honduran government, which has been investigating the well-publicized case for years.

The inquiry by CIA Inspector General Frederick P. Hitz focuses on a CIA case officer in Honduras who allegedly was aware of torture being carried out by the battalion, but who did not report it to CIA headquarters, according to a report in Monday’s editions of The Washington Post.

The CIA officer said he told his boss then station chief in Honduras - but the former station chief cannot remember being informed, the Post reported, quoting unnamed congressional sources.

The CIA confirmed the inspector general had reopened the case, which had been dormant without action being taken against CIA personnel.

In 1988, a congressional intelligence committee looked into the CIA’s sponsorship of Battalion 316, but its findings weren’t made public.

Charles Battaglia, staff director for the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, confirmed late Sunday that the Honduras investigation had been reactivated. The committee had pushed for a fuller review.

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