Judge wants Pak investigators on Woolmer case

Published: Thursday, March 29, 2007, 23:53 [IST]
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Karachi:A Pakistani former judge who led a key probe into match-fixing during in the 1990s urged the government to send investigators to Jamaica to help probe the murder of cricket coach Bob Woolmer.

Justice Malik Mohammad Qayyum Thursday also demanded a judicial inquiry into the national team's shock World Cup exit, amid swirling rumours that Woolmer's death was linked to a so-called gambling mafia.

Minnows Ireland sent Pakistan, the 1992 champions, crashing out of the tournament on March 17, beating them by three wickets. A day later, Woolmer was found strangled in his hotel room.

"A judicial inquiry should be ordered into this fiasco," Qayyum told AFP.

"Winning or losing is part of the game but the manner in which we lost against Ireland in particular needs to be inquired into," he said.

He refused to speculate on the possible motives for Woolmer's death but said that Pakistan's government should get involved in the probe.

"Woolmer was our man. He was our coach and the government must send its own investigation team," he said.

In 2000, Qayyum, at the time a Lahore High Court Judge, led a judicial inquiry into allegations of match-fixing centered on former Pakistan captain Salim Malik.

Australian trio Shane Warne, Tim May and Mark Waugh had alleged Malik offered them money to underperform during their team's tour to Pakistan in 1994.

The Qayyum inquiry banned Malik and paceman Ataur Rehman for life and fined six others, including the current captain Inzamam-ul-Haq, caretaker coach Mushtaq Ahmed, Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis, Saeed Anwar and Akram Raza.

Qayyum expressed surprise over the inclusion of former leg-spinner Mushtaq in the World Cup.

"Mushtaq Ahmed's appointment as assistant coach was in violation of my recommendations that he should not be given any position in the squad, as a member or official," he said.

Pakistan Cricket Board Chief Naseem Ashraf on Tuesday promised legislators that players would get legal aid if they were summoned to Jamaica for further questioning over Woolmer's murder.

Jamaican police questioned the whole team once and Inzamam, Mushtaq and manager Talat Ali twice after the coach was found dead. The squad also gave DNA samples and fingerprints.

Ashraf has denied the team were involved in any kind of match-fixing or corruption.

Detectives in Jamaica said Wednesday that better-than-anticipated security video footage could provide vital clues in the hunt for Woolmer's killer.


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