A grand jury in South Texas indicted U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney and former attorney General Alberto Gonzales on Tuesday for “organized criminal activity” related to alleged abuse of inmates in private prisons.
The indictment has not been seen by a judge, who could dismiss it.
The grand jury in Willacy County, in the Rio Grande Valley near the U.S.-Mexico border, said Cheney is “profiteering from depriving human beings of their liberty,” according to a copy of the indictment obtained by Reuters.
The indictment cites a “money trail” of Cheney’s ownership in prison-related enterprises including the Vanguard Group, which owns an interest in private prisons in south Texas.
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Former attorney general Gonzales used his position to “stop the investigations as to the wrong doings” into assaults in county prisons, the indictment said.
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Cheney’s office declined comment. “We have not received any indictments. I can’t comment on something we have not received,” said Cheney’s spokeswoman Megan Mitchell.