ICL: Indian Cricket League

Pakistan ruled out as suspects in Bob Woolmer murder


bobAfter eight days of speculations, news coming from Kingston suggests that Jamaican Police have finally excluded Pakistani players from their list of suspects in the Bob Woolmer murder inquiry.

It is apparent that the Police were far from solving the case with one top Jamaican official conceding that ‘it would take a long time’ to round up the people who carried out the murder. Mark Shields, Jamaica’s Deputy Commissioner of Police, also rejected as baseless a sensational report by a British newspaper that the Jamaican Police were now looking for three Pakistani fans, who left the island, immediately after the murder.

Shields, a former Scotland Yard detective, said that his department has collected enough evidence to rule out the Pakistani players as suspects in the murder of their coach.“It’s fair to say they (Pakistani players) are now being treated as witnesses,” Shields said at a press conference in Kingston on Monday evening. “We have got no evidence to suggest it was anybody in the squad,” he added.

Woolmer, 58, was found unconscious in his hotel room on March 18 and later pronounced dead at a Kingston hospital. Five days later a full murder investigation was launched after an autopsy report said that the Englishman was strangled.

Among the initial suspects were Pakistani players who were questioned, finger-printed and swabbed for DNA before being allowed to leave Jamaica on Saturday. The way Pakistani players were interrogated led to widespread rumours that the Police have placed some of them among the list of prime suspects. The Police’s belief that Woolmer was killed by somebody he knew only added fuel to fire.

The Police have been denying it all along though Shields said that the authorities have the option of ordering back any Pakistani player or official during any stage of the investigations. Two Pakistani diplomats are currently in Jamaica and were taken to the crime scene by the Police.

Just a day after the Pakistani team headed back home, a British newspaper claimed that the Police were tracing a trio of Pakistani fans who were seen mixing with the Pakistani players at the Jamaica Pegasus hotel before Woolmer’s murder.

“The British Press are totally wrong on this occasion,” Shields said. “The reality, as I’ve said before, is that there are many potential suspects in this investigation and even more potential witnesses, and we are nowhere near the stage of being able to start naming names in terms of suspects,” he added.

Shields pointed out that the Police have a lot of potential suspects and even more potential witnesses adding that they are thinking about taking DNA tests of all the people who were staying at the Pegasus when Woolmer was murdered.

Police, meanwhile, have been sniffing for clues. They went through the hard drive of Woolmer’s laptop but later said no clues were found. It is speculated that Woolmer could have fallen victim to a betting syndicate and people believing that theory thought that the Police might find some clues the files Woolmer stored in his computer.

The authorities are still taking this theory seriously and a top official of the International Cricket Council (ICC) Anti-Corruption Unit (ACU) has also joined the investigations. According to sources, ACU chief Jeff Rees on Tuesday went through the report of Chris Broad, the ICC match referee, from the Ireland-Pakistan match to determine whether there was any evidence of match-fixing.

There have been reports that the CCTV footage from the 12th floor of the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel where Woolmer stayed were faulty. It is believed that Police were unable to reach any conclusive result after going through the video tapes because of poor qualify.

However, Shield denied those reports saying that the Police were still in the process of going through the footage. He said that it was a lengthy process as investigators will have to study the footage frame-by-frame.
Source:The News

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