A judge on Wednesday ordered a former army interpreter to stand trial for allegedly disclosing British national security secrets to an enemy state.

Security officials have said the charge refers to alleged communications with Iran.

District Judge Timothy Workman ordered Daniel James, 44, to appear for a pretrial hearing on Jan 12. James, arrested Dec. 18 and charged under the Official Secrets Act, allegedly "communicated to another person information calculated to be directly or indirectly useful to the enemy" on Nov. 2. He has yet to enter a plea.

The judge turned down a request for bail.

James, a corporal in the British Army, had acted as a translator for Gen. David Richards, the commander of NATO forces in Afghanistan, defense ministry officials said.

Most of a hearing last week at London's City of Westminster Magistrates Court was held in a closed session after Workman said details of the case posed a "possible prejudice to national security."

Workman heard James' bail application in private Wednesday, though he gave his decision in open court.

"In relation to details of communications and in relation to movements and meetings of the defendant, I am satisfied that if the details of that were to be revealed, it would be likely to endanger public safety and security," the judge said.