Sat, Apr 14, 2007 - Page 18 News List

Inquest into Woolmer's death to begin


A coroner's inquest into the killing of Pakistan's national cricket coach will begin in the Jamaican capital on April 23, the lead investigator said on Thursday.

Deputy Police Commissioner Mark Shields did not disclose how many people would be called to testify at the inquest, which could last for weeks as authorities try to piece together Bob Woolmer's death the day after his team was eliminated from the Cricket World Cup.

Shields, a former Scotland Yard detective who became the second in command of Jamaican police in 2005, said British detectives conducting a review of the homicide probe would likely deliver their initial findings in the next couple of days.

"The team from Scotland Yard are conducting a review and I anticipate that the first part of that will be completed before the end of the week," Shields said. He did not say if the detectives' review would be made public.

Woolmer, 58, was found unconscious in his Kingston hotel room on March 18 and pronounced dead at a hospital, the morning after his squad's surprising ouster from cricket's premiere event with a loss to Ireland on St. Patrick's Day.

A pathologist who conducted Woolmer's autopsy initially ruled his death "inconclusive" but four days later announced he was strangled.

Shields has said Woolmer likely knew his killer or killers because there was no sign of forced entry at his room. More than three weeks later, investigators have not identified any suspects.

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