NBC News Investigative Unit
updated 4/25/2007 3:10:28 PM ET 2007-04-25T19:10:28

NBC News has learned that the commander of Camp Cropper, the massive U.S. Army detention center in Baghdad, has been charged with aiding the enemy.

The Army tells NBC News that military police arrested Lt. Col. William H. Steele several weeks ago and that he is being held at a detention facility in Kuwait. He now faces an Article 32 hearing, the military's equivalent of a grand jury investigation, to determine whether there is sufficient evidence to prosecute him.

An Army statement listed these charges against Steele: "One specification of a violation of Article 104, aiding the enemy; one specification of a violation of Article 134, retaining classified material; two specifications of violations of Article 133, conduct unbecoming an officer, for relationships involving an interpreter and another Iraqi female; five specifications of a violation of Article 92, failure to obey lawful orders for wrongfully storing classified materials, improperly marking classified materials, failing to obey an order from a superior officer, possession of pornography and dereliction of duty as an approving official for the expenditure of government funds."

The Army said no other U.S. military personnel are believed to be involved in the case.

Lt. Col. James Hutton, an Army public affairs officer, said he could not explain how or why Steele allegedly aided the enemy. An e-mail to Steele's wife was not returned, and Hutton said he did not yet have the names of Steele's lawyers.

Camp Cropper, located near Baghdad International Airport, is the Army's main holding facility for Iraqi insurgents and detainees. Several thousand people are held there now. Saddam Hussein was held there prior to his execution in December.

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