Suspect identified in Woolmer murder: Report

Published: Saturday, April 21, 2007, 23:53 [IST]
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Kingston/London :In a new revelation to Bob Woolmer murder case, British media today claimed that traces of poison were found in the Pakistan coach's body and investigators have identified a suspect on digitally enhanced CCTV footage from his Jamaica hotel.

One newspaper reported that ''concentration of toxins'' was present in Woolmer's body which would need further toxicology tests to know the potential role of poison in the murder.

In Jamaica, a Coroner's inquest into Woolmer's death, due to take place on Monday, had been postponed after a series of breakthroughs by the team of 30 officers working on the inquiry, including detectives from Scotland Yard.

Police have persuaded senior coroner Patrick Murphy to delay an inquest to allow further toxicology tests and to prevent disclosure of the new evidence, described as ''significant'' by Jamaica Justice Ministry.

''The aim of the toxicology tests -- which may be carried out in America -- is to confirm the nature of the toxic material and whether it is a poison which can only have got into his body through sinister means,'' a front page article in Daily Telegraph read.

''Crucially, they will also assess whether it would have been enough to kill him.'' The poison has not been publicly identified but police sources denied reports that it was the drug aconite -- also known as Wolfsbane, the so-called ''Harry Potter'' drug.

The Sun reported yesterday that the poison was aconite and may have been given in a sufficient dose to kill Woolmer outright, and that the neck injury may have been caused by a fall as he collapsed.

Aconite, which is used in herbal medicine across Asia, 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. There were evidence that Woolmer had vomitted inside his hotel.

Another newspaper said digital enhancement of CCTV footage by Scotland Yard from cameras on the 12th floor of the Pegasus Hotel in Kingston, where Woolmer was staying, has identified at least one suspect, understood to be male, in the murder.

''The cleaned-up images from London show at least one individual of considerable interest to the inquiry,'' The Independent reported in a front page article, quoting a source close to the investigation.

''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.'' According to the report, police declined to comment on the identity of the suspect or say whether he is a member of the Pakistan team or management.


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