Restrictions Announced for Coroner’s Inquest into Woolmer’s Death

The Ministry of Justice has announced restrictions to be put in place for persons attending the Coroner’s inquest into the death of the Pakistani cricket coach, Bob Woolmer.
At a press briefing yesterday (April 18) at the Ministry’s Oxford Road Office in Kingston, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Carol Palmer informed that persons attending the inquest would be required to undergo a search before entering the venue.
No cameras, video recorders, camera phones or other recording devices would be allowed. Additionally, all cellular phones should be turned off prior to entering the courtroom and for the duration of the inquest. If these rules are breached, the offender might have his property confiscated or be imprisoned, Mrs. Palmer cautioned, adding that it was important for all persons to adhere to the requirements for participation in the investigation.
The inquest, which is scheduled for Monday, April 23, at the Jamaica Conference Centre in downtown Kingston, is expected to commence at 10:00 a.m. in Conference Room 2.
All persons should be seated prior to the start of the inquest and are asked to observe proper decorum and be respectfully attired.
The Permanent Secretary said the venue was selected in keeping with the recognition of international interest in the investigation. “We chose to hold the inquest in a venue which would accommodate both the media and the public in general,” Mrs. Palmer said.
Meanwhile, addressing what she called a misconception relating to who should order a coroner’s inquest, the Permanent Secretary said that under Section 11, Subsection 1 of the Coroner’s Act, the “Coroner is empowered to issue a warrant for the summoning of not less than five nor more than 30 persons, selected indiscriminately from among the persons whose names appear on the jury list certified under Section 13 of the Jury Act, to appear before him at a specified time and place, there to enquire as jurors touching the death of such persons.”
Continuing, she added that Subsection 2 of the same provision states that, “the specified time shall be a time within 30 days after the Coroner receives the investigation report from the police and the report of the medical examiner who conducted the post-mortem examination.”
This Act, Mrs. Palmer said, was silent on the matter of other persons being prescribed with the authority to direct that coroner’s inquest.
The Police are awaiting analysis of closed caption television (CCTV) footage taken of the crime scene and now have in their possession partial toxicology results in the murder.
Mr. Woolmer was found unconscious in his hotel room at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel on March 18 and was later pronounced dead at the University Hospital of the West Indies. A pathologist report revealed that death was due to asphyxia as a result of manual strangulation. His body remains in Jamaica pending the completion of a Coroner’s inquest.

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