NBC News said on Tuesday that a secret report prepared under Major-General George Fay implicates military intelligence officers for the abuse and ill-treatment of Iraqi inmates at Baghdad's notorious prison.

The punishment could include criminal charges being brought against the officers.

So far, charges have been filed against seven military police officers, most of whom appear in photographs with prisoners stripped naked, piled up in sexually explicit poses or cringing in front of snarling army dogs.

Complicity

According to testimony presented during last week's pre-trial hearing of Private First Class Lynndie England – one of the military police personnel in the dock – at least one military intelligence officer and three other officers were present during the abuse of three prisoners at Abu Ghraib. 

Under military law, failure to halt or report illegal activity may be considered dereliction of duty.

Fay's investigation apparently found no evidence that the abuses at Abu Ghraib had been part of any interrogations intended to gather military intelligence, the NBC report said.

However, he is understood to have fixed the ultimate responsibility for the prison abuse on the top military commander in Iraq at the time, General Ricardo Sanchez, who left his post in June.