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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

US Officer in Iraq Acquitted of Aiding Enemy, Guilty of Lesser Charges

By VOA News
19 October 2007

A U.S. military court in Iraq has acquitted an American officer on charges of aiding the enemy, but found him guilty on lesser charges.

The court Friday cleared Lieutenant Colonel William Steele, 52, of aiding the enemy by allowing a prisoner to use an unmonitored mobile phone. Steele had faced life in prison for that charge.

But William Steele was convicted on charges that include acting inappropriately with a female interpreter and unauthorized possession of classified information. He faces more than a decade in jail.

At a pre-trial hearing earlier this month, Steele pleaded guilty to three of the seven charges against him. Steele is the former head of the U.S. prison near Baghdad that had held ousted Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein.

In other news, the U.S. military says coalition forces killed five terrorists and detained two suspects today during operations throughout the country targeting al-Qaida in Iraq. Separately, the military says five hostages were freed earlier in the week after U.S. soldiers, acting on a tip, discovered two houses in Baquba being used as "make-shift prisons."

Also, the military says a U.S. soldier was killed and three others wounded in an explosion Wednesday near their vehicle north of Baghdad, in Salahuddin province.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.

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