British general could face charges over death of soldier in Iraq

A British general has been quizzed by police over alleged attempts to block an investigation into a soldier's death in Iraq, a British newspaper reported Sunday.

The Sunday Times said London's Metropolitan Police had interviewed Maj. Gen. Peter Wall in connection with the 2003 death of Sgt. Steven Roberts. A spokeswoman for the force confirmed it was investigating the death but said she could not comment on who had been interviewed.

Roberts, 33, was serving with the 2nd Royal Tank Regiment when he was shot in the chest in southern Iraq on March 24, 2003. An Iraqi also died in the incident.

The incident made headlines after it emerged that Roberts had been ordered to give back his body armor because there was not enough to go around. A pathologist's report found that the bullet would have been stopped by a specialist body vest, which had ceramic plates to cover the heart and aorta. Roberts had been ordered to give up the vest to a soldier deemed more at risk, and Roberts was left with standard armor.

Roberts' death was initially investigated by military officials, who did not bring any charges.

In December 2004, Attorney General Lord Goldsmith asked the police to conduct their own investigation. The Times said the Crown Prosecution Service was considering whether to file charges in connection with the deaths.

In a statement quoted by the newspaper, Wall commander of the 1st Armored Division said "it is inappropriate for me to comment on the case as it is still under investigation", reported AP. P.T.

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