British soldiers could face charges for murder and other crimes allegedly committed during service in Iraq, the former police officer leading an investigation said.
Mark Warwick, who heads the Iraq Historic Allegations Team (IHAT) charged with investigating allegations of torture and unlawful killings by British troops from 2003 to 2009, told The Independent's Saturday edition he believed his team would compile enough evidence for prosecutors to press charges.
"There are serious allegations that we are investigating across the whole range of IHAT investigations, which incorporates homicide, where I feel there is significant evidence to be obtained to put a strong case before the Service Prosecuting Authority to prosecute and charge," Warwick told the newspaper.
The team is handling allegations by some 1,500 people, including 280 claims of unlawful killing, and is scheduled to complete its investigations in 2019.
"Over the next 12 to 18 months, we will review all the caseload to better understand the picture and then I think we can say whether 2019 seems realistic," Warwick said.
He declined to say if any of the allegations could constitute war crimes, but he told the newspaper there were "certainly serious allegations currently being investigated."