Pakistan to also send two senior police officers March 31, 2007

British police to join Woolmer murder probe

Cricinfo staff

Nasim Ashraf clarified that Pakistan would send two senior police officers to Jamaica © AFP

A team of British police officers will fly to Jamaica next week to help with the probe into the death of Bob Woolmer, London's Metropolitan Police said. Pakistan will also send two senior police officers to Jamaica, Nasim Ashraf, the PCB chairman, said.

The team from the Metropolitan Police - commonly referred to as Scotland Yard - will consist of three detectives and a scenes of crime officer, a spokeswoman for the force said. "We received a formal request from the Jamaican authorities to review the investigation," she told AFP, but could not confirm precisely when they would arrive or give further details of what their work would likely entail.

In a statement, the Met said that it was "normal practice" for a review to take place shortly after the start of an investigation and stressed that the Jamaican Constabulary Force (JCF) would remain "the primary investigating force". The team will be led by a detective superintendent from the homicide and serious crime command, the statement added.

A senior officer of the JCF who confirmed that Scotland Yard were called in to investigate, told the Jamaica Gleaner that Lucius Thomas, the local police commissioner, made the request through the Ministry of National Security. "We have invited four senior Scotland Yard detectives to come and look at what we have done so far and to see if we are on the right track. We are making the investigations as transparent as possible," the senior officer said.

Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) in charge of crime, Denver Frater, said the Scotland Yard officers would be reviewing the investigations and will offer support where it is necessary.

When he announced that two policemen would travel to Jamaica, Ashraf reiterated that no Pakistani players were involved in the crime. "The Pakistani police team will cooperate with the Jamaican police. I have no doubt that our players are innocent. We are thankful to the Jamaican prime minister who expedited clearance of the team."

Ashraf also said he would represent "Pakistan and the PCB" at the Woolmer's funeral in South Africa on Wednesday.

Woolmer's body was found nearly two weeks ago at the Pegasus Hotel in Kingston. His murder, which came the day after Pakistan was knocked out of the World Cup by Ireland, prompted speculation of links to illegal betting syndicates. Police have since said there is no evidence to suggest bookmakers were responsible.