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Security tapes may show Bob's killer: police

cricket Updated: Mar 26, 2007 17:35 IST

AP
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Jamaican police need more time to analyse security video at the hotel where Pakistan cricket coach Bob Woolmer was killed because of the camera's limited scope of vision, an official said on Sunday.

Deputy Police Commissioner Mark Shields said police were reviewing digitally enhanced closed-circuit video from the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel, including the 12th floor — where Woolmer was found strangled to death a week ago after Pakistan lost to Ireland on St Patrick's Day.

"It's critically important because it may give us an image of the killer or killers of Bob Woolmer," Shields told reporters in the hotel lobby.

"I'm very optimistic that if the quality (of the video) is as good as I hope it is, then that would help us significantly in the investigation as to who exactly went onto the 12th floor," he said.

Woolmer, 58, was found dead in the bathroom of his room. Police say there was no sign of forced entry, suggesting the burly, affable Englishman likely knew whoever killed him. They have not identified any suspects, and the body will stay in Jamaica pending a coroner's inquest.

Shields, a former Scotland Yard investigator, said the video shows only the corridors at the end of Woolmer's floor — not the door to his room or others.

"But at least it will give us a good indication of who went on those floors," he said.

Pakistan's team was allowed to leave the island on Saturday, hours after three team members — including captain Inzamam-ul-Haq — were re-questioned. Police earlier fingerprinted and took DNA samples from all team members.

Shields defended the decision to allow them to leave but conceded that the absence of players and others could complicate the investigation.

"This is an extraordinary investigation in that many of the potential witnesses are leaving the island," he said. "The fact that people have left Jamaica doesn't mean the inquiry stops."

Shields said police plans to interview more possible witnesses and are awaiting results of DNA and toxicology tests. He also planned to meet Pakistani diplomats, who arrived in Jamaica on Saturday.

Speaking to reporters in Kingston on Sunday, Pakistani diplomat Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri pledged full support for the investigation but declined to say whether his government would extradite any team members if asked by Jamaica.

"Since there are no suspects on the Pakistan cricket team, it's premature to talk about that," he said.

"The team is devastated," he added. "They are traumatized."

The murder has shocked the international cricket community and cast a pall over the World Cup, the sport's premier tournament being played in nine Caribbean islands through late April.

Speculation within the global cricket fraternity has focused on everyone from crazed fans to a gambling mafia and disgruntled Pakistani team members. The International Cricket Council has said it will investigate whether match-fixing was a motive.