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US: CACI Plans to Drop Interrogation Work

by Ellen McCarthyThe Washington Post

 CACI International Inc., the Arlington-based defense contractor that attracted controversy when an employee was  accused of participating in the Abu Ghraib prison abuses, is getting out of the interrogation business.
 
 The company said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission this week that once its existing interrogation contract with the Army expires on Sept. 30, it will no longer provide such services.
 
 The filing did not elaborate on the decision, and CACI executives did not return calls yesterday.
 
 An internal Army report last year said Steven A. Stefanowicz, an interrogator employed by the company, was among four individuals suspected to be "either directly or indirectly responsible for the abuses" at Abu Ghraib.
 
 Subsequent investigations generally concluded that company employees had played a more limited role than originally reported. Nevertheless, six employees of CACI and Titan Corp., which provided translators to the military, were referred to the Justice Department for prosecution.
 
 No charges have been filed.
 
 Stefanowicz's lawyer has said his client did nothing wrong, and CACI said its internal investigation found no evidence that its employees were involved in the abuse of prisoners.
 
 Though CACI's stock price fell 18 percent when the allegations surfaced, the firm's business continued to flourish.
 
 For the year ended June 30, the company earned $85.3 million on $1.62 billion in revenue, compared with a $63.7 million profit on $1.15 billion in revenue recorded during the previous fiscal year.
 
 CACI was hired in August 2003 to provide intelligence gathering and interrogation support to the Army.
 
 The $19.9 million task order came under a larger existing contract held by the company, and so was not announced publicly.
 
 The original contract, with a $500 million limit, was designed to allow the Army to buy information technology products and services from the company.
 
 A similar contract was used to place Lockheed Martin Corp. interrogators in Guantanamo Bay.
 
 Analysts said the interrogation work was not worth the headaches it brought to the company.
 
 "I just think at the end of the day it was such a small piece of their overall revenue," said Joseph A. Vafi, an analyst with Jefferies & Co. "It's not core to the business and there's too much risk associated with it."
 
 Shares of CACI gained 94 cents yesterday to close at $60.91 on the New York Stock Exchange.




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