US officer accused of Iraq crimes to have hearing

April 30, 2007 03:40


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A hearing opens Monday to determine whether a US officer should be court-martialed for nine alleged violations of military law, including aiding the enemy while he commanded a military police detachment at a main detention center here. Army Lt. Col. William H. Steele, a reservist from Virginia serving full time, faces charges that include providing an unmonitored cell phone to detainees, fraternizing with a prisoner's daughter, illegally storing and marking classified material, maintaining an inappropriate relationship with an interpreter, possessing pornographic videos, failure to obey an order and dereliction of duty regarding government funds. The most serious charge, aiding the enemy, was tied to Steele's time at the jail at Camp Cropper and could carry a death sentence. The camp is an expansive prison near Baghdad International Airport that held Saddam Hussein before he was hanged.

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