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'New material' in Woolmer case

cricket Updated: Jun 08, 2007 11:36 IST

Reuters
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A press conference is to be called once officers have assessed 'new material' that has emerged in the investigation surrounding the death of Pakistan coach Bob Woolmer, Jamaican police said on Wednesday.

Commissioner Lucius Thomas said police would be addressing the matter "within days".

"We are in receipt of new material and a press conference will be called shortly on the Bob Woolmer issue," Thomas said.

Thomas offered no comment to claims in a British newspaper that a pathologist attached to London's Scotland Yard had submitted in her report that Woolmer had died of natural causes.

The Daily Mail report also said Jamaican police would be calling a news conference soon to state Woolmer had not been murdered.

"I am not yet in receipt of all the reports from Scotland Yard, so I cannot comment on certain things at this time," Thomas said.

It was the first time in weeks that Thomas had commented on the Woolmer case, as the matter is usually dealt with by the case's lead investigator, deputy commissioner Mark Shields.

The force's director of communications Karl Angell told Reuters on Sunday that police had no intention of calling a news conference to announce that Woolmer had died of natural causes.

Woolmer, 58, was found unconscious in his Kingston hotel room on March 18, following his team's humiliating loss to Ireland in a World Cup match the previous day. He was pronounced dead at the hospital later.

An autopsy report at first proved inconclusive, but police said that they had enough information to rule that the former England test batsman was murdered.

A team of detectives from Pakistan, who came to Jamaica to assist local police with the investigation, told the media in their homeland there was no evidence to support a claim that Woolmer died of asphyxiation due to manual strangulation, as the pathologist's report stated.

Since then, speculation has been rife that Jamaican police erred in their determination of Woolmer's death.