US officer accused of aiding enemy

Inquiry to decide on possible court martial for former commander of Iraq prison.

    Saddam spent his last few days before
    execution at Camp Cropper [AP]

    Improper relationship

     

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    He is charged with fraternising with a detainee's daughter, having an improper relationship with a translator, providing unmonitored mobile phones to prisoners, unauthorised possession of classified information and keeping pornographic videos.

     

    The offences are alleged to have occurred between October 2005 and this February. The US military has said the charges are only an accusation of wrongdoing and that Steele is entitled to the presumption of innocence.

       

    Evidence will be presented during a hearing expected to last two or three days. The formal investigation will determine whether Steele should be tried by a military court.

     

    Camp Cropper, which holds more than 3,000 detainees, is where Saddam Hussin, the former Iraqi president, spent his final days before his execution on December 30. It was expanded to include prisoners from Abu Ghraib prison, notorious for the prisoner abuse scandal involving US troops.

       

    The military confirmed for the first time last week that Saddam had not been held at Camp Cropper as it was always widely believed but at another, secret facility during the rest of his three years of incarceration.

       

    The former Iraqi president visited Camp Cropper only for medical check-ups and stayed there before his execution, the military said.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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