[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Languages
Last Updated: Tuesday, 12 June 2007, 18:48 GMT 19:48 UK
Woolmer 'died of natural causes'
Bob Woolmer
Bob Woolmer was found unconscious in his hotel room

Jamaican police have confirmed that Pakistan cricket coach Bob Woolmer died of natural causes and was not murdered, as they stated earlier.

Mr Woolmer, 58, died after being found unconscious in his Kingston hotel room on 18 March, following his team's loss to Ireland in the cricket World Cup.

An initial pathologist's report concluded that he had been strangled.

Every member of the Pakistan team was fingerprinted before returning home, sparking anger among many in Pakistan.

'No poison'

Jamaican Police Commissioner Lucius Thomas told a news conference in Kingston that three expert opinions had concluded that the original pathologist report of death by manual asphyxiation was wrong.

We got [the bone] x-rayed and the fact is that the bone wasn't broken in the first place
Mark Shields,
deputy police commissioner

Mr Thomas also said that toxicology tests had now been received and that they showed there was no substance to indicate poisoning.

"The police have now closed the investigation into the death of Bob Woolmer," he said.

Mr Thomas launched a strong defence of the police investigation, saying it had been commended by both Scotland Yard and Pakistani police who had helped with the case.

The original pathologist's report had said a specific bone - the hyoid - was fractured.

But deputy police commissioner Mark Shields told the BBC a later x-ray showed the bone was not broken.

"I instructed my team... to go back and actually retrieve it from his body... We got it x-rayed and the fact is that the bone wasn't broken in the first place," he said.

Mr Woolmer's widow, Gill, welcomed the latest news, saying: "My sons and I are relieved to be officially informed that Bob died of natural causes and that no foul play is suspected in his death."

'Terrible days'

Mr Woolmer's death sparked speculation he had been murdered by an angry fan or by an illegal betting syndicate. There was also speculation members of the Pakistan team may have been involved.

Imran Khan. File pic
They should have first ruled out natural causes before this whole drama about the murder
Imran Khan

Mr Thomas said the Jamaica Constabulary Force had found no evidence "of any impropriety by players, match officials nor management".

In response to the findings, the head of anti-corruption unit of the International Cricket Council said that "bizarre" theories of match-fixing had "unnecessarily tarnished" the game.

Paul Condon said: "To those who suggest that corruption is still widespread... we have one clear message: put up or shut up."

Mr Thomas said his force had carried out its investigation thoroughly and with respect to the Pakistan cricket team.

But Pakistan's former captain Imran Khan said he was shocked there was no apology to the national side.

He said Pakistan's cricket board should sue those responsible for the "humiliation that the Pakistan team went through".

"Bob Woolmer had diabetes, he had blood pressure, an enlarged heart, he had respiratory problems. On top of it, the depression of losing and then he drank a bottle of champagne. They should have first ruled out natural causes before this whole drama about the murder," Imran Khan said.

But Inzamam-ul-Haq, captain during the World Cup, said that although the days after Mr Woolmer's death were "the most terrible of our lives", legal action now would serve no purpose.

The Pakistan Cricket Board made no mention of legal action in its statement, saying only that it felt "great satisfaction over the fact that the truth has finally come out".

The BBC's Andy Gallacher in Kingston says this is an embarrassing U-turn for the Jamaican police.

He says the news conference was an attempt to shift the blame for the errors in the case onto the report of the original pathologist, Dr Ere Sheshiah.




VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
The investigation into Bob Woolmer's death



SEE ALSO
Timeline: Bob Woolmer investigation
12 Jun 07 |  South Asia

RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites



FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

PRODUCTS & SERVICES

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific