Second autopsy ordered for Woolmer: Report

Published: Wednesday, March 28, 2007, 23:53 [IST]
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Kingston (Jamaica):A second autopsy will be performed on the body of Pakistan cricket coach Bob Woolmer to ward off any speculation that the initial examination may have been bungled, British media reported Wednesday.

Deputy police commissioner Mark Shields was quoted by British newspapers as saying that a fresh post-mortem had been ordered to counter possible claims from defence lawyers in the event of an arrest.

"If we arrest someone and charge them, the defence counsel will want a second post-mortem," Shields told The Times.

Jamaica police could not immediately be contacted to confirm the reports and it was not clear when the second autopsy would take place. A news conference was scheduled for later Wednesday.

Woolmer's naked body was found in his room at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in Kingston on March 18, one day after Pakistan were dumped out of the World Cup by minnows Ireland.

Kingston pathologist Ere Seshaiah later ruled that Woolmer was killed by 'manual strangulation' sparking a murder hunt that has rocked the cricket world and led to speculation about match-fixing in the sport.

However a whispering campaign has gathered pace suggesting that the initial post-mortem was flawed, and that Woolmer may have broken a bone in his neck by falling heavily against a bathroom sink instead of being throttled.

Asked to comment on the speculation on Monday, Shields said he was confident that Woolmer was murdered, citing evidence from the crime scene not yet disclosed to the public which supported the initial findings.

"There is very clear evidence of murder," Shields told reporters.

Police on Tuesday issued a fresh appeal for information about Woolmer's killing, setting up a 24-hour international hotline as they try to track down every guest and visitor at the Pegasus in the 72 hours before Woolmer's death.

The appeal came amid speculation that the investigative trail into Woolmer's killing has gone cold, and the crime may take months to solve.

Shields said Tuesday that all lines of enquiry remained open, and dismissed claims from Pakistan's team spokesman Pervez Mir that the shell-shocked squad had been eliminated from the murder investigation.

"That's a pretty inaccurate statement, because nobody at this stage can be ruled out of the inquiry," said Shields, who last week said Woolmer was probably murdered by someone he knew.


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