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Ex-Camp Cropper officer facing Baghdad court-martial

[JURIST] The US military announced Saturday that a former senior officer at the Camp Cropper detention camp in Iraq will face a Baghdad court-martial [press release] beginning Monday on four counts [press release] of violating the United States Code of Military Justice. Lieutenant Colonel William H. Steele, former commander of the 451st Military Police Detachment, is charged [JURIST report] with aiding the enemy by providing a cellular phone to detainees, giving special privileges, failing to obey an order, and for conduct unbecoming an officer by having an inappropriate relationship with an interpreter. The charges carry a maximum penalty of life in prison if Steele is convicted. Earlier this year, Steele pleaded guilty to three other charges of unauthorized possession of classified materials and to unlawfully possessing pornographic videos. His trial was postponed twice previously to allow more preparation time. Steele is currently confined at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait.

Camp Cropper, located near Baghdad International Airport, is the second-largest US-run military prison [WP report] in Iraq after Camp Bucca in the wake of the closing of the notorious Abu Ghraib [JURIST news archive] prison which the US emptied [JURIST report] and transferred to the Iraqi government in 2006. Cropper currently has some 3000 inmates. AFP has more.

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