Thursday, April 26, 2007

US Prison Commander Arrested (Iraq)

Baghdad - The commander of the US military prison in Iraq which held former dictator Saddam Hussein has been detained by military police and is under investigation, a military spokesperson said on Thursday.

Lieutenant Colonel William Steele will face a hearing before a panel of officers to decide whether he should face a court martial, Lieutenant Colonel Josslyn Aberle told AFP in Baghdad, without specifying the charges.

"He has been detained and is now in Kuwait. His current status is that he is in confinement and waiting for his Article 32 hearing. All other details will be released soon, including the charges against him," she said.

According to the website of the US television network NBC, citing a statement from the US army, Steele could be prosecuted for "aiding the enemy" and having improper relationships with his translator and another Iraqi woman.

The military in Iraq was not able to immediately confirm this.

Prior to his arrest, Steel was the commander of Camp Cropper, a major US detention facility outside Baghdad used to hold "high value detainees" such as Iraq's former dictator Saddam, who was executed on December 30.

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