ISSN: 1391 - 0531
Sunday, April 01, 2007
Vol. 41 - No 44

Scotland Yard to join Woolmer murder probe

KINGSTON, Saturday (AFP) - A team of British detectives is expected to arrive in Jamaica next week to assist in the Bob Woolmer murder investigation, two weeks after the Pakistan cricket coach was found strangled in his hotel room. Jamaica deputy police commissioner Mark Shields confirmed to AFP that officers from Scotland Yard's Special Crime Directorate had been sought in order to “review” the progress of the murder investigation.

It was the latest twist to a whodunit that has shocked the genteel sport of cricket and threatened to eclipse the game's showpiece tournament, the World Cup, which is taking place across the Caribbean. Woolmer's naked body was discovered by a chambermaid in his 12th floor room at the Pegasus Hotel on March 18, one day after Pakistan had been humiliatingly knocked out of the World Cup by minnows Ireland.

But despite the biggest murder investigation in Jamaican history, police have failed to announce any significant breakthroughs, with Shields saying this week detectives were “nowhere near” being able to pinpoint suspects. In an effort to retrace the progress of the investigation, British detectives are expected to arrive early next week in order to review all “major lines of inquiry” and conduct “a forensic review.””They will be looking to see if there is anything else we can do,” Shields was quoted as saying by Britain's Daily Telegraph.

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) meanwhile on Thursday urged Jamaican authorities to speed up the murder investigation “so that the mystery surrounding the unexplained death of Woolmer is resolved as soon as possible”. Woolmer's widow Gill also said she was hoping for a quick conclusion to the murder probe.

“I just hope this thing can be done so we can find out who committed this terrible act,” she said in an interview with the Jamaica Observer. Shields has defended the pace of the investigation and says his team does not feel under external pressure to make an arrest.“Everybody wants a result by tomorrow and I can understand that, but that's not the way to conduct an investigation,” he said.

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Copyright 2007 Wijeya Newspapers Ltd.Colombo. Sri Lanka.