British troops who fought in the Iraq War between 2003 and 2011 could be prosecuted for war crimes.
That’s according to Mark Warwick, a former police detective in charge of the Iraq Historic Allegations Team (IHAT), who revealed in an interview with the Independent that there are a number of cases with sufficient evidence to warrant investigation and criminal 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.
IHAT was set up by the Ministry of Defence following allegations of torture and unlawful killing in Iraq during the conflict, and reports say the allegations against British soldiers in the war-torn nation have increased dramatically since the unit was established in 2010.
IHAT are now dealing with cases involving more than 1,500 victims, with 280 of those allegedly unlawfully killed by British forces.
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. IHAT has budget of £57.2 million ($84.5 million) which only runs until the end of 2019.
We would look at the credibility of the allegation in the first instance and, when we’ve looked at a lot of these extra cases coming to us, some of them are duplicates of cases, some of them we’ve already identified as part of our own investigation process, and some are multiple allegations, where we would investigate as a single allegation.
While these investigations are ongoing, Britain remains under the scrutiny of the International Criminal Court (ICC), which is also conducting a preliminary examination of allegations of war crimes by British forces in Iraq.