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Woolmer's inquest to start on April 23

A coroner's inquest into the death of Bob Woolmer will be held in Kingston on April 23, officials said.

cricket Updated: Apr 12, 2007 20:38 IST

A coroner's inquest into the death of former Pakistan cricket coach Bob Woolmer will be held in the Jamaican capital Kingston on April 23, officials said.

Coroner for Kingston, Patrick Murphy, confirmed late on Wednesday that he had set the date for the start of the inquest in which more than 20 are slated to testify.

Information from Murphy's office said that 22 people had already been contacted to attend sittings and summonses were being prepared. Officials said that the inquest could last up to a month.

Woolmer, 58, was found apparently lifeless in his Kingston hotel room on March 18. He was pronounced dead later at hospital.

Shock defeat

Police said that Woolmer died of strangulation and the coroner said that an inquest had to be held before the body could be turned over to the family in South Africa.

The coach died one day after his Pakistan team were eliminated from the World Cup in a shock defeat to debutants Ireland. His death cast a pall on the entire tournament.

The inquest will be held at the Jamaica Conference Centre, an elaborate building in the Jamaica capital that houses local and international meetings.

Jamaica's minister of justice Arnold Nicholson, in confirming that the inquest will be held at the Jamaica Conference Centre, said that the coroner's office in the heart of downtown Kingston, was not adequate to house the inquest.

The coroner's office is based in an old and dilapidated building.

Some have criticised the coroner's office for speeding up the Woolmer inquest, saying more than over 4,000 cases were still not disposed of.

"There is a huge backlog of cases, so many outstanding matters to be dealt with, yet the Woolmer case gets priority," one local lawyer told Reuters.

Two members of Pakistan's police force were in Jamaica to work alongside local and international police personnel in trying to solve the murder, an Jamaican police source told Reuters.

"The policemen are here to assist with the investigations and they will work alongside local detectives and those from Scotland Yard," the officer said on condition of anonymity.

"They will play the primary role of liaison officers and will be the persons assisting mainly with getting in touch with Pakistan players and officials if they are needed for further information."

The seven-week World Cup culminates in the April 28 final in Barbados.

First Published: Apr 12, 2007 20:31 IST