The solicitor fighting to bring ITN reporter Terry Lloyd's killers to justice has attacked claims from the US military that there was "no crime committed".
The leader of the American troops involved in the "friendly fire" incident of March 2003 that killed Lloyd, second Lieutenant Vince Hogan, has defended their actions and claimed that Lloyd was simply "in the wrong place at the wrong time", according to a report in the Mail on Sunday.
Louis Charamalous, solicitor for Lloyd's widow Lynn, said they are determined to bring the soldiers responsible to justice.
He told Press Gazette: "Hogan's comments perpetuate the now discredited US line that Terry was killed ‘in the heat of battle'.
"The coroner heard evidence and accepted as true that the fatal bullet was fired by US Marines long after the exchanges with Iraqi forces, as he was being driven away in a makeshift ambulance carrying injured to hospital, in the opposite direction to the US forces.
"It was on that basis that the coroner ruled the killing was unlawful, amounting to a homicide and triable here as a war crime."
Hogan, speaking at the weekend, said his Delta Company marines would do the same thing if in the same situation again. "When something like this happens it's never a good feeling, [but] I don't think there was any crime committed. I don't see that if I were in the situation again that anything would have been different, as unfortunate as the results were. That's war."
US authorities have consistently refused to hand over the names of the troops involved in the incident in which translator Hussein Osman and French cameraman Fred Nerac were also killed, although Nerac's body has never been recovered.
But according to Charamalous, an unknown source has handed the names of the other 15 soldiers — in addition to Hogan — to ITN. He said he expects to receive them this week and he plans to then hand them over to the Crown Prosecution Service for possible criminal action.
He said: "Disclosure of the names is a massive step forward as we can now identify them to the British authorities. If they sit on their hands we will take steps with the assistance of the media. This is a story that won't go away and I am sure the British authorities are fully aware that the spotlight remains on them."