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Match-fixing motive still eyed
March 27, 2007 20:30 IST
Jamaican police were still looking at match-fixing on Monday as a possible motive for the murder of Pakistan coach Bob Woolmer but have found no reference to it on his computer.
The cricket world has been rife with speculation that the strangulation of one of the world's best known cricket coaches involved cheating in matches.
"We're looking at what's on the hard drive in order that we can see if there's anything else to establish a motive as to why someone would want to kill him," Jamaica's deputy police commissioner Mark Shields said at a news conference.
"There's no reference as far as I'm aware [to match fixing] but we're still looking."
The International Cricket Council has sent its top anti-corruption investigator to Jamaica to help the local police.
Woolmer, 58, was found unconscious in his Kingston hotel room on March 18 and was pronounced dead in hospital later that day, less than 24 hours after his team was unexpectedly eliminated from the World Cup by debutants Ireland.
Some of the speculation suggested he was killed because he was going to reveal details of match-fixing in an unpublished book.
Shields said they are trying to identify everyone who was on the 12th floor in Pegasus hotel around the time of the killing through security footage.
Trying to dampen speculation that Woolmer might not have been murdered after all, Shields said there is "very clear evidence of murder."
Shields indicated the investigation, already eight days old, is not going to produce quick results. Police need to go through hours of videotape frame by frame to identify everyone on the 12th floor from the time Woolmer went to his room on Saturday night to when he was found on Sunday.
"We're going to do it properly, thoroughly and professionally and at the end of it, it may be that we might, might identify a suspect from that process," he said.
He added that British police is ready to help if needed.
Police want to take DNA samples from everyone in the hotel at the time of the killing to help them eliminate suspects, but Shields said as yet no one had been eliminated.
Shields shot down several media reports. He said investigators are not testing food from Woolmer's room for poison and that there is no truth to a British press report that police were looking for specific people as suspects.
"The British press are totally wrong on this occasion with all due respect and they should wait for announcements from us because I think we know if there are any suspects. We're nowhere near the stage at the moment to start naming names in terms of suspects," he said.
The Times newspaper in England reported that police are searching for three fans of the Pakistani cricket team.
Investigators are still trying to determine the timing of an e-mail Woolmer sent to his wife in South Africa the night of the killing. He said time stamps on computers needed to be analysed. Knowing what time he sent the e-mail could help police establish the time of the murder.
"Computers do not necessarily synchronise to local time so we're still working on that," he said.
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