Gonzales Resignation Will Not End Investigations
The resignation of Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales does not mean an end to several investigations into his actions and truthfulness during his tenure at the Justice Department, with congressional Democrats vowing on Tuesday to press ahead with their inquiries.
Gonzales is a focus of investigations by the House and Senate Judiciary Committees, centered on his role in the firing of several U.S. attorneys last year for what appear to have been political reasons, Other inquiries are being conducted by the Justice Department’s inspector-general and its Office of Professional Responsibility.
The White House said it would move quickly to find a replacement for Gonzales at the Justice Department but a spokesman would not confirm the names of candidates under consideration.
Several names continued to circulate Tuesday on Capitol Hill and within the department, including Michael Chertoff, the secretary of homeland security and a former senior Justice Department prosecutor; Theodore B. Olson, who was solicitor-general earlier in the Bush administration, and Larry D. Thompson, a former deputy attorney general.
U.S. Army Officer Acquitted of Most Abu Ghraib Abuse Charges
A U.S. military jury acquitted an Army officer on Tuesday of charges that he failed to properly train and supervise enlisted soldiers involved in detainee interrogations in 2003 at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, where prisoners were subjected to brutal treatment.
In the court-martial at Fort Meade, Md., the jury of nine Army colonels and a brigadier general found the officer, Lt. Col. Steven L. Jordan, guilty of only one lesser offense, that of disobeying an order to refrain from discussing the case.
Jordan, 51, was the only officer to stand trial on charges related to the detainee-abuse scandal at Abu Ghraib, which led to prolonged investigations and charges against several soldiers in the abuse and humiliation of detainees.
Jordan’s acquittal on most charges means that no officers have been found criminally responsible for the abuses at the prison. Col. Thomas M. Pappas, a military intelligence officer who ran Abu Ghraib, was punished administratively by senior Army commanders for improperly allowing military dogs to be used during interrogations to frighten detainees. Janis Karpinski, a brigadier general who was the military police commander at Abu Ghraib, was reprimanded and demoted.
Russia Seeks to Arrest Wealthy Oil Entrepreneur
A Russian court issued an arrest warrant Tuesday for Mikhail S. Gutseriev, a former owner of Russneft, a large young oil company, on charges of tax evasion and fraud, a month after he published a letter critical of the government on a company Web site and in a Russian business newspaper.
The public criticism from a wealthy individual, rare in Russia, had prompted speculation about what lay in store for Gutseriev in a case with parallels to the 2003 arrest of the oil tycoon Mikhail B. Khodorkovsky. That speculation was apparently answered with the order for his arrest.
Gutseriev, however, was likely to have already fled the country, a spokeswoman for the Russian Interior Ministry, Irina V. Dudukina, said in a telephone interview. It is unclear where he might have gone.