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Bob case: Scotland Yard cops set to review probe

A forensic expert from the Interpol will also join the investigation team and will be reviewing the pathologist's report and other details.

cricket Updated: Apr 04, 2007 12:28 IST

A team of Scotland Yard investigators is scheduled to reach Jamaica on Tuesday to review the Bob Woolmer murder probe and see if anything 'blindingly obvious' has been missed.

A statement from Scotland Yard said this was normal practice. "In the UK, we actively encourage that investigations of this nature are reviewed periodically, and throughout the investigation. The Jamaican constabulary force remains the primary investigating force."

A superintendent from the homicide and serious crime command, two detectives and a crime scenes officer were expected on a British Airways flight to Kingston, The Guardian reported.

The Scotland Yard help will, however, not cost the Jamaican government, said Donald Buchanan, the country's information minister.

A forensic expert from the Interpol will also join the investigation team and will be reviewing the pathologist's report and other details.

The Jamaican authorities requested the assistance to bring fresh eyes to an inquiry, which has yet to identify suspects in the apparent strangling of the Pakistan coach.

The Scotland Yard detectives will review dozens of witness statements as well as forensic evidence and CCTV footage from the 12th floor corridor leading to Woolmer's room in the Pegasus Hotel in Jamaica. However, there is also growing speculation that Woolmer may have died of natural causes.

A diabetic, Woolmer reportedly drank from a bottle of Johnnie Walker Black Label whiskey before retiring to his room at 7:30 pm (local time) on March 17. The chambermaid discovered his body the next day at 10:45 am.

Tariq Malik, a Kingston-based Pakistani businessman who was close to the Pakistan team and at the hospital where Woolmer was pronounced dead, said the coach's blood testing kit was discovered on the floor. "Can you imagine a big man like Bob falling in a tiny bathroom - he would have got a bad blow," he told the Jamaica Observer. "I don't think he was murdered. Maybe he felt he was going into a diabetic coma."

But amidst all rumours, Jamaican police are standing by their account of asphyxiation being the cause of Woolmer's death and denounced reports that he may have been poisoned.

It was reported that an ancient drug, aconite, could have been used to kill Woolmer. The police here had earlier said that the cause was asphyxiation, owing to manual strangulation.

Karl Angell, director of communications of the Jamaica Constabulary Force, stood firm Monday by police reports that Woolmer was strangled.

"Thus far we have to work with what is at hand. At hand is the pathologist report that he (Woolmer) died from asphyxiation as a result of manual strangulation," Angell was quoted as saying by the Jamaica Gleaner.

Meanwhile, Minister of National Security Peter Phillips submitted a full report on the Woolmer investigation to the Jamaican cabinet on Monday.

First Published: Apr 04, 2007 12:09 IST