General Sir Peter Wall, the head of the army, says new evidence could mean further disciplinary action against soldiers.
General Sir Peter Wall says further prosecutions against soldiers are being considered after fresh evidence was unearthed.
The army has suspended a number of soldiers after the publication of a damning report into the "violent and cowardly abuse" by servicemen that led to the death of an Iraqi detainee in British military custody.
There have been widespread calls for further prosecutions and the defence secretary, Liam Fox, disclosed that Ministry of Defence inquiries "are revealing evidence of some concern" in other Iraqi abuse cases.
Fox acknowledged for the first time that there could be more prosecutions. "If any serviceman or woman, no matter the colour of uniform they wear, is found to have betrayed the values this country stands for and the standards we hold dear, they will be held to account," he said.
General Sir Peter Wall, head of the army, confirmed that the force's provost martial will investigate whether anyone else should be disciplined in the light of fresh evidence unearthed by Sir William Gage's inquiry into the final hours of Baha Mousa's life in Basra in 2003.
Wall said the inquiry had cast a "dark shadow" over the service's reputation.
The retired appeal court judge's report, which runs to three volumes, found that troops from 1st Battalion Queen's Lancashire Regiment inflicted "gratuitous" violence on a group of 10 Iraqi civilians, who were kicked and hit in turn, "causing them to emit groans and other noises and thereby playing them like musical instruments". This humiliating practice was nicknamed "the choir".
While focusing criticism on a few members of the regiment – particularly Corporal Donald Payne, Lieutenant Craig Rodgers and Lieutenant Colonel Jorge Mendonca – the report also passes scathing comment on the role of the unit's regimental medical officer, Dr Derek Keilloh, and its padre, Father Peter Madden.
Both Keilloh and Madden face further hearings: the doctor will be examined by a General Medical Council disciplinary tribunal over his role in Iraq and the priest is to be interviewed by the archbishop of Birmingham, Bernard Longley.
The report will be passed to prosecutors to assess whether fresh charges should be brought against any soldiers. So far only Payne has been convicted of inhumanely treating civilians; he served one year in prison.
Fox said: "There is no place in our armed forces for the mistreatment of detainees and there is no place for a perverted sense of loyalty that turns a blind eye to wrongdoing or erects a wall of silence to cover it up."
Referring to methods of "conditioning" suspects in Northern Ireland that were banned in 1972, Fox admitted that "there was a 'systemic failure' that allowed knowledge of the prohibition on abusive techniques made by the Heath government to be lost over the years".
Military prosecutors from the Service Prosecuting Authority (SPA) will be responsible for examining any cases brought against those still in uniform. Despite suggestions that the Crown Prosecution Service will be asked to examine the fresh evidence in relation to those who have already left the army, a CPS spokeswoman said: "We are not aware of anything being referred to us."
Dan Leader, a solicitor with Leigh Day and Co, which represented some of the detainees, said: "The claimants are very clear they want accountability. We are talking about torture and murder. All that has happened is that someone has spent one year in prison. The claimants are concerned about criminal justice and feel let down so far."
In terms of immediate disciplinary action, Wall told the Guardian that "some soldiers have been suspended from operational duty and military service". More suspensions may follow. Only 14 of those referred to in the Gage report are still in the army.
So far £2.8m has been paid out by the Ministry of Defence in compensation to Mousa's relatives and the nine other Iraqi detainees held in Basra between 14 and 16 September 2003.
The solicitor Phil Shiner, of Public Interest Lawyers, renewed his call for a wider inquiry into allegations about how British troops treated detainees in southern Iraq between 2003 and 2009.
"There is a case called Ali Zaki Mousa," Shiner said, "currently before the court of appeal that will determine whether the UK should fulfil its legal obligations by holding an extended inquiry into 150 additional complaints by Iraqi civilians."
Mousa's father, Daoud Mousa, was not in Britain for the report's publication but is due to deliver a lecture in memory of his son in London next week.
The MoD signalled that it would not accept one of Gage's recommendations, namely that "harshing" – shouting at detainees to intimidate them – should be abandoned. A test case about the technique, which the MoD defends, is due to come before the courts soon.
The General Medical Council declined to comment on the forthcoming hearing into Keilloh but Peter Jennings, press secretary for the archdiocese of Birmingham, said of the criticism of Madden: "The Catholic church takes this matter extremely seriously.
"The archbishop, the Most Rev Bernard Longley, and the vicar-general of the archdiocese will be meeting with Fr Madden when he has had the opportunity to study carefully the full report and the criticisms of himself in the context of the report."
Amnesty International called for soldiers to be charged.
"Those responsible must be held accountable for their actions and brought swiftly to justice, including in criminal proceedings," said Nicola Duckworth, the organisation's Europe and central Asia director.