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Police urged to clarify basis for Woolmer's murder theory

An opposition lawmaker urged Jamaican security officials to provide the basis of their theory that Pakistan cricket coach Bob Woolmer was murdered.

cricket Updated: May 15, 2007 12:51 IST

An opposition lawmaker urged Jamaican security officials to provide the basis of their theory that Pakistan cricket coach Bob Woolmer was murdered, describing media reports to the contrary as a "global embarrassment" for the Caribbean nation.

Derrick Smith, of the Jamaica Labour Party, said the confusion raised by the conflicting accounts jeopardised the reputation of the country's police, who launched a murder inquiry following Woolmer's death.

"Announcements emerging from police and medical authorities in both Britain and Pakistan indicate that Mr Woolmer's death was from natural causes and not murder as suggested by the Jamaica police authorities," Smith told a news conference. "The matter has become a global embarrassment for us."

Woolmer, 58, was found unconscious in his Kingston hotel room on March 18 and pronounced dead at a hospital.

A pathologist initially ruled the cause of death was inconclusive but four days later determined Woolmer had been strangled.

Smith said that to prevent further damage the Security Ministry must "state conclusively what are the circumstances which have convinced our police that his death was due to foul play."

Calls to the office of National Security Minister Peter Phillips were not returned.

Mark Shields, the lead Jamaican police investigator in the case, has refused to comment on the reports, saying he was awaiting independent verification in a British government-owned lab of toxicology tests that were done in Jamaica.