Woolmer murder suspect identified: report
Saturday, 21 April 2007 | http://www.nerve.in/news:25350043308 | channel: Europe

London, April 21
A suspect in the murder of Pakistan cricket coach Bob Woolmer has been identified from the security camera footage in his hotel, The Independent reported Saturday.

Police have reportedly declined to comment on the identity of the suspect, understood to be male, or say whether he is a member of the Pakistan team or management.

The report added that there was growing evidence that the former England player was drugged with an 'ancient poison' called aconite, which is used in herbal medicine across Asia. It causes an agonising death as it shuts down internal organs and causes loss of sensation in the limbs. One of the first symptoms is vomiting, and is notoriously difficult to trace after death.

The report said that the opening of an inquest into the coach's death, due to take place Monday, was postponed after a series of breakthroughs by the team of 30 officers working on the inquiry, including detectives from Scotland Yard.

In a statement, the justice ministry in Jamaica said the inquest, at which more than 20 witnesses were due to give evidence, had been postponed because of rapid progress in the investigation.

The Independent has been told that digital enhancement by the Scotland Yard of CCTV footage from cameras on the 12th floor of the Pegasus Hotel in Kingston, where Woolmer was staying, has identified at least one suspect in the killing.

A source close to the investigation told the paper: 'The cleaned-up images from London show at least one individual of considerable interest to the inquiry. The time of the footage and its location mean that this individual must be considered a suspect. Further work is being done on statements given by individuals to look at any inconsistencies. It is good progress.'

A spokesman said: 'The coroner has been advised that there are recent and significant developments concerning the death of Woolmer. The coroner wishes that these new and significant developments be pursued with the utmost urgency, taking into account that the officer in charge has advised that these new developments are critical to the progress and the eventual results of the investigations themselves.'

Deputy Commissioner Mark Shields, the former Yard officer who is leading the Jamaican police investigation, confirmed last week that he expected officers from his team to travel to Pakistan to re-interview members of the Pakistani squad to clear up 'ambiguities' in witness statements.

Woolmer was found unconscious in his Kingston hotel March 18 and pronounced dead - a day after Pakistan suffered an upset loss by Ireland and elimination from the World Cup.