The justice ministry says more fugitive war criminals could be put on trial in Britain under planned changes to the law.

Justice Secretary Jack Straw says that Britain will extend laws on genocide and war crimes which currently only cover crimes committed since 2001.

Straw said on Tuesday fugitives in Britain will in future be held responsible for crimes dating back to 1991.

It means people suspected of war crimes in the former Yugoslavia and in Rwanda could be put on trial in Britain.

Straw said that dozens of suspects are likely to face prosecution.

The Aegis Trust human rights group estimates there are at least 300 fugitive war criminals in Britain.

Since 2005, 25 war crimes cases have been investigated by British police.