The former commander of a U.S. prison in Iraq is headed to a court-martial for allegedly allowing detainees to make unsupervised phone calls using his cell phone, according to a Multi-National Corps–Iraqi news release.

If convicted, Army Lt. Col. William Steele could face the death penalty for aiding the enemy.

Steele, of Virginia, has been charged in connection with a series of incidents between October 2005 and February 2007, when he was head of the 451st Military Police Detachment at Camp Cropper and later was the 89th Military Police Brigade’s senior patrol officer near Camp Victory.

Steele is also charged with having an inappropriate relationship with an interpreter, “[w]herein such acts constituted conduct unbecoming an officer in the armed forces”; failing to handle classified documents correctly; failure to obey an order; and possessing pornographic videos, the MNC-I news release stated.

None of the charges referred to a court-martial on June 10 references Steele allegedly fraternizing with a detainee’s daughter, the news release stated.

According to testimony in previous legal proceedings, Steele allegedly exchanged e-mails with the detainee’s daughter, bought computer software for her and used government money to buy Cuban cigars and hair dye for Saddam Hussein before the dictator was hanged.

“Charges were served on Lt. Col. Steele on 12 June 2007,” the news release stated. “The government must wait five days before arraignment may occur.”

Steele is being held in a detention facility in Kuwait.

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