Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Spot Fixing Verdict Announced

A jury found former Pakistan captain Salman Butt guilty of both charges in the spot-fixing trial, while fast bowler Mohammad Asif was found guilty on one charge, after they took 16 hours and 56 minutes to debate the verdicts.
The judge, Justice Cooke, then retired the jury to deliberate further on the second count against Asif. Both players will remain on bail until sentencing on Thursday and Friday.
Butt and Asif were unanimously found guilty on the charge of 'conspiracy to cheat' and Butt was guilty by a 10-2 majority on the charge of 'conspiracy to obtain and accept corrupt payments' following the Lord's Test in August last year when they allegedly conspired with agent Mazhar Majeed, teenage fast bowler Mohammad Amir and other people unknown to bowl pre-determined no-balls. The charges were levelled after allegations made last September in the now defunct British tabloid the News of the World, which carried out an undercover sting operation. Majeed was recorded by a secret camera, saying when no-balls would be delivered by the bowlers.
Butt, wearing a velvet jacket and shirt without a tie, showed no emotion as the verdicts were read out. He just stared at the jury stony-faced. Asif, wearing a grey winter coat in the dock, was equally unmoved as neither player said a word or made any obvious facial expression.
The jury were unable to reach a verdict on the "accepting corrupt payments' charge in relation to Asif, and Justice Cooke immediately retired them to deliberate some more in case they could reach a verdict on that fourth charge.
Butt and Asif denied the charges. The maximum prison sentence for the acceptance of corrupt payments is seven years in jail, while 'conspiracy to cheat' carries a maximum two-year sentence.
In a bitter twist for Butt, his wife, Gul Hassan, was understood to have given birth to a second son by caesarean section on Tuesday morning, an hour before his verdict was delivered at 11.45am.
The players have already been punished by the ICC after a disciplinary hearing in Doha, Qatar, earlier this year. Each was banned from the sport for at least five years. Butt received a further suspended five-year ban and Asif was handed a further two-year suspended sanction.
All three players have filed appeals against their bans at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Lausanne, Switzerland.

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