A decision over whether to charge guards from the private security firm G4S over the death of detainee Jimmy Mubenga is imminent, Britain's most senior prosecutor has said.
The investigation into the father of five's death has been ongoing for 17 months, prompting complaints from his family and asylum-seeker campaigners.
In a letter to Keith Vaz MP, the chairman of parliament's home affairs select committee, said prosecutors had been reviewing detailed pathology reports and information from experts in restraint and resuscitation. They have also had access to 320 witness statements, including 145 from passengers on the aircraft.
Starmer said the guards have been bailed eight times over the past 17 months. Their next bail date is 28 March.
Police arrested the three guards two days after Mubenga's death, after a Guardian investigation revealed accounts from passengers who said the Angolan had been forcibly restrained before losing consciousness.
Vaz urged the CPS to make a decision over charges soon. "I am very concerned that over 17 months since the tragic death of Mr Mubenga, the suspects remain on bail and the CPS has only just begun its review," he said.
"As the committee's report into enforced removals in January found, serious questions still remain over the use of contractors in removals and deportations. Mr Mubenga' case may shed further light on this. I hope we will hear a decision from the CPS soon."
Mubenga's wife, Adrienne Makenda Kambana, said: "I thought we would have an answer this month from the CPS. It's too stressful for my children and me. My children were really upset when I told them it was going to take longer. I have no more words to explain how I feel. I just want this to finish."
Deborah Coles, co-director of the campaign group Inquest, said: "Delays in the investigation and CPS decision making process mean a delay in proper public scrutiny of how and why Mr Mubenga died, not to mention the ever present risk of further death and serious injury. This is compounded by the Home Office's refusal to release an unredacted copy of the guidance given to escorting contractors on the use of force, leaving us all in the dark about what safeguards should have been in place."
"This is a serious and complex matter requiring very careful attention and it is important that any decision considers all the available evidence in detail. We are working hard to reach a decision as soon as we are properly able to do so."