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Woolmer's body to be flown to South Africa

A casket containing Pakistani coach Woolmer's body is being sent to his family home in Cape Town.

cricket Updated: Apr 26, 2007 13:48 IST

The body of murdered Pakistan cricket coach Bob Woolmer is to be flown from Kingston to South Africa on Thursday, Jamaican government officials said on Wednesday.

A casket containing Woolmer's body is being sent to his family home in Cape Town. Police said the flight was due to leave Kingston at around 11 am.

Woolmer, 58, was murdered on March 18 shortly after Pakistan were eliminated from the World Cup following a shock defeat by Ireland.

He was found unconscious in his hotel room and pronounced dead at hospital. Police said he was strangled in a crime still shrouded in mystery.

The National Security Ministry said a casket carrying Woolmer's body would leave Roman's Funeral Home in the heart of volatile West Kingston early on Thursday.

Senior investigator Mark Shields, Jamaica's deputy police commissioner, has said he plans to fly to South Africa to meet Woolmer's widow, Gill.

He has, however, denied reports that he would be accompanying the body and said he planned to leave Jamaica around the first week of May.

"It is critical for us that we speak to Gill Woolmer in order for us to be better able to solve the case," Shields told a local radio station recently.

The police will host a news conference half an hour before Woolmer's body is due to leave the island nation.

"The news conference will be addressed by Mark Shields as well as two members of the Pakistan police force," police spokesman Karl Angell said.

"I do not think that anything major will be announced, but we want to keep the media informed as far as the investigations go," Angell said.

Media reports have said Woolmer, a former England player, was poisoned and later strangled but the police have not confirmed that a toxic substance was used in the murder.

Toxicology results have not yet been made public.

A coroner's inquest was due to begin on April 23, but coroner for Kingston Patrick Murphy postponed it indefinitely due to the emergence of what he described as "new information" which could help solve the case.

First Published: Apr 26, 2007 13:42 IST