A former military prison and military police commander charged with aiding the enemy in Iraq must be held in pretrial confinement, a military judge ruled earlier this week.

Defense attorneys for Lt. Col. William H. Steele had requested he be released until his trial begins Aug. 15. That motion was denied, Lt. Col. Edward J. O’Brien, officials said Wednesday.

Steele will remain at the Theater Field Confinement Facility at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait, until his trial, which is expected to take place in Baghdad, officials said.

Charges were referred to court-martial June 10 by Maj. Gen. James E. Simmons, officials said. They carry a maximum punishment of life in prison.

The charges include aiding the enemy by providing an unmonitored cellular phone to detainees; having unauthorized possession of classified information; providing special privileges to, and maintaining an inappropriate relationship with, an interpreter; failing to obey a lawful order; and wrongfully and knowingly possessing pornographic videos.

Steele, a 51-year-old Army reservist from Virginia, is the former commander of the 451st Military Police Detachment at Camp Cropper and later was the 89th Military Police Brigade’s senior patrol officer near Camp Victory.

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