ICL: Indian Cricket League

Police study poison theory in Woolmer murder probe


bobDetectives leading the Bob Woolmer murder inquiry said on Monday they are studying the possibility that poison was used to incapacitate the burly Pakistan cricket coach before he was strangled.

Jamaica police deputy commissioner Mark Shields told AFP that detectives were exploring whether the powerfully-built Woolmer was drugged before being murdered in his Kingston hotel room.

“I have said from the beginning that if he was manually strangled, there are certain aspects that don’t quite add up,” Shields said.

“There is a possibility that something was used to incapacitate Bob that could have enabled somebody to go into his room and kill him quietly. But I emphasise once more that we are we are keeping all lines of enquiry open,” he added.

Shields’s comments followed a report in Britain’s Sunday Mirror that police had received a tip that the cyanide-like poison aconite had been used to kill Woolmer, who was found dead at the Pegasus Hotel on March 18.

Aconite causes internal organ failure and forces the victim’s breath to slow until it finally stops. Death is usually by asphyxiation within 30 minutes, the report said. Shields would not directly comment on the report, but acknowledged police had received information about a possible substance used to knock-out Woolmer.

“In the course of our enquiries we have received information about possible poisons that may have been used,” he said. “But until we receive the toxicology reports it is pointless to speculate on what that substance might be,” he added.

The fact that detectives are still awaiting toxicology reports on Woolmer over two weeks after his death has led to questions over whether Jamaica’s criminal justice system is capable of handling such a complex murder inquiry.

Four police officers from Britain’s Scotland Yard are due to arrive in Kingston on Tuesday (today) to review the course of the investigation.Shields however insisted that the arrival of the officers should not be interpreted as an indicator that the local investigation was floundering.

“This is an entirely standard procedure in any major investigation,” Shields said. “Once you get past the first seven to 14 days of the inquiry it is normal to retrace your steps and make sure nothing has been overlooked,” he added.

Detectives were continuing to treat the investigation as murder, Shields said, following press reports in Britain casting doubt on the pathologistsí findings which said Woolmer had been “manually strangled.”

Woolmer’s murder has triggered a frenzy of speculation about a possible link to match-fixing in cricket, although detectives have so far said they have uncovered no evidence of corruption.

The killing of the coach is also the subject of the biggest and most complex murder investigation in Jamaica’s history, with police revealing they are trying to trace up to 1,000 people as possible witnesses.
Source:The News

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