Jamaican police wrongfully declared Pakistan coach's death a homicide


PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti -- Jamaican police could face legal
action for declaring Pakistan cricket coach Bob Woolmer's death a
homicide, the team's World Cup spokesman said Friday, claiming the
high-profile case unfairly cast suspicion on the country's players.

"The name of Pakistan has been maligned and the names of
Pakistani cricketers have been maligned because everybody became a
suspect," spokesman Pervez Jamil Mir told The Associated Press in
a telephone interview from Pakistan.

Last month, a Jamaican newspaper reported that Scotland Yard
investigators had concluded that Woolmer died of natural causes
after his team's upset by Ireland on March 17 in the World Cup and
was not strangled as local police had said.

Scotland Yard declined to comment on the report in the Jamaica
Gleaner and said it would not discuss the toxicology tests that a
British government lab conducted for Jamaican authorities.

Several media outlets have reported that Jamaican police will
announce they believe the 58-year-old Woolmer died in his hotel
room in Jamaica of natural causes. Jamaican Police Commissioner
Lucius Thomas said Wednesday his office has new information in the
case and will make an announcement in coming days, but refused to
comment on the reports.

Woolmer's body was found in his Kingston hotel room March 18 and
later pronounced dead at a hospital.

Three Pakistan team members, including squad captain Inzamam
ul-Haq, were fingerprinted and swabbed for DNA as part of the
investigation, though police said they were never officially
suspects. But Mir said those actions along with repeated police
statements that Woolmer was strangled fed speculation that Pakistan
team members were somehow involved.

"I will be recommending whatever legal actions [the Pakistan
Cricket Board] needs to take because basically it was the Pakistan
team on trial," Mir said from Karachi, Pakistan.