Judge orders Bush administration to explain evidence handling of CIA tapes

A federal judge said Thursday that CIA interrogation videotapes may have been relevant to his court case and he gave the Bush administration three weeks to explain why they were destroyed in 2005 and say whether other evidence was done away with as well. Several judges are considering wading into the dispute over the destroyed videos, but US District Judge Richard W. Roberts was the first to order the administration to provide a written report on the matter. The tapes showed harsh interrogation tactics used by CIA officers questioning al-Qaida suspects Abu Zubaydah and Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri in 2002. The Justice Department and Congress are investigating the destruction of the tapes. When they were destroyed, the government was under various court orders not to destroy evidence relevant to terror suspects at the US military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. After it became public in December that the tapes had been destroyed, lawyers for several detainees went to court demanding to know more.