ICL: Indian Cricket League

Police deny Pakistan players were treated like criminals


Police investigating the death of Pakistan cricket coach Bob Woolmer have dismissed accusations by cricketer Younis Khan that the team were treated like criminals during questioning.

Lead investigator Mark Shields in answering a question by Reuters at a news conference here on Saturday, denied claims of poor treatment by Younis.

“Nothing could be further than the truth,” Shields said. “We had 100 per cent cooperation from the Pakistan team. They were treated with dignity and respect at a time when their coach had recently died under tragic circumstances. They were very upset, however we had to do our job and we did it as sensitively as we possible could,” Shields, the Jamaican Police deputy commissioner, added.

Woolmer, 58, was found lifeless in his Kingston hotel room on March 18. He was later pronounced dead in hospital. Police later revealed that they were treating his death as murder caused by strangulation.

Speculation was rife that Woolmer’s death was connected to Pakistan’s first-round exit from the World Cup. He watched the 1992 champions’ elimination from the tournament after losing to debutants Ireland the day before his death.

Younis, who turned down the captaincy of Pakistan for the second time this week, told a news conference on Thursday that Jamaican police did a poor job of dealing with them.

“At one stage I got so angry with the way we were being treated I told the Jamaican authorities we are international cricketers not criminals,” Younis said. “I told them ‘why are you suspecting us of murdering Woolmer?’ In him we have lost a father figure,” he added.

But Shields expressed surprise at Younis’s remarks.

“They (Pakistan) had a game on Wednesday and we decided that we would interview all the players on Thursday and they cooperated,” Shields explained.

“So we set time aside and I personally spoke to the players after that and there was no indication at the time from any player or match official that they had been treated in any other way than with dignity and respect as we treat everybody,” Shields said.

“We have received nothing but praise from the Pakistan diplomats here recently for the way in which we have handled the investigations and we now have two Pakistan policemen here, who are working alongside us,” Shields continued.

“So frankly I am very surprised and disappointed by that statement but he is entitled to his views.” Shields added.

Source:The News

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This entry was posted on Monday, April 16th, 2007 and is filed under Cricket, Cricket Stars.

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