Inquest into Roebuck`s death could take at least a month

Updated: Nov 14, 2011, 11:44 AM IST

Melbourne: It will take at least a month before the circumstances of renowned cricket writer Peter Roebuck`s suicide in South Africa are revealed with a Police Services official there saying that an inquest has been launched into his death.

Colonel Vishnu Naidoo of the South African Police Services has revealed it will take four to six weeks for the inquest to be completed.

The 55-year-old Roebuck plunged to death from his sixth-floor room in a Cape Town hotel after being reportedly questioned over sexual assault charges on Saturday night.

Roebuck`s ABC radio colleague Jim Maxwell, considered one of his closest confidants, is to give a statement to Cape Town detectives but the South African police ruled out foul play in the death.

The police have taken personal items from Roebuck`s hotel room, including a laptop. Naidoo said the exact chain of events leading to the death can be established only after the inquest.

"An inquest can take a long time, it can be anything from six months to two or three years, but what is critical here is to get the autopsy reports, or what we call the post-mortem report," Naidoo told reporters.

"We will be looking at that first and that can take four to six weeks, sometimes up to eight weeks. When we get that report, we can determine officially what his cause of death was.”

"There is no crime suspected as far as Mr Roebuck`s death is concerned," he added.

Naidoo said medical reports of Roebuck are awaited.

"If someone dies of unnatural causes and there isn`t suspicion of a crime being committed, then we conduct an inquest.”

PTI