Explosive claims as sentencing looms in fixing case

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Explosive claims about corruption in cricket team stunned a London courtroom Wednesday as three guilty players and their agent spoke out on each other’s roles as they awaited sentence.
Judge Jeremy Cooke was due to pass sentence on Pakistan’s former Test captain Salman Butt, fast bowlers Mohammad Aamer and Mohammad Asif, plus their agent Mazhar Majeed, whose guilty plea can now be reported.
They could each be jailed for up to seven years for conspiring to accept corrupt payments and up to two years for conspiring to cheat by arranging deliberate no-balls in a case that has rocked a sport rooted in ideals of fair play.
With the four stood in the dock, their lawyers sent claims and counter-claims flying across the packed Court 4 at Southwark Crown Court.
Butt, 27, who became a father Tuesday for the second time just 30 minutes before being found guilty, watched as his lawyer said he admitted his career was over and he stood to lose his family.
The lawyer for Majeed, 36, pleaded in mitigation — a submission which included a string of extraordinary claims about what was going on within the Pakistan team.
Accepting that his client was facing jail, he told the court of the agent’s frustration at the “lies” the jury had heard from the defendants, the BBC reported.
The lawyer said Butt had approached Majeed in 2009 to get involved in fixing and that Butt and another player, who is not among the three in the dock, had taken him to a meal in March 2010 to push him into fixing.
He said Majeed was introduced to a mysterious bookmaker called Sanjay, who was running the racket.
Majeed claimed that of the £150,000 ($240,000, 175,000 euros) he received from an undercover newspaper reporter with the News of the World tabloid, Asif got £65,000 and Butt £10,000.
The judge then heard that Asif was given such a huge amount to keep him from joining another fixing racket. Lawyers for Butt and Asif dismissed the claims about the sums of cash.
Cooke also dismissed claims that Aamer was only involved in one episode of spot-fixing. He said that text messages sent from murky contacts in Pakistan suggested that the talented youngster was also implicated in fixing during the preceding Test at The Oval.
Aamer claimed he was being leant upon and feared for his future in national side if he did not take part in the conspiracy. “I refuse to accept that basis of plea on the material I have seen,” Cooke said.
“There are certainly texts which suggest that Aamer’s first and only involvement was not limited to Lord’s, it was not an isolated and one-off event,” Cooke said.
Meanwhile, former Pakistan captains urged the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) to act immediately to save future players from corruption.
“We desperately need to save our future generations after what happened to Butt, Asif and Aamer,” Rashid Latif, who blew the whistle on match-fixing in 1995, told AFP.
“We have not done enough in the past and that’s what we are paying for,” former skipper Aamer Sohail said and added that the PCB had to be more pro-active.

11 COMMENTS

  1. It is extremely important that these losers are punished to the fullest extent of the law ! They have made this game and the reputation of Pakistan a joke

  2. Just punishing a young cricketer is not going solve any problem, i for one feel the PCB let down Amir he should have been legally advised maybe he should have got a bargain deal with a Ban of 5 years from cricket.I think this all the cricketing boards dealt with their fixers, they didnt a 3rd country to punish it's players.

  3. If they did coruption (as it is been proved)
    than they be made example for whole world of sports.
    They should be hangged & drowned in Arabian sea……..!

    • Bangash sb dua kre k China ki tra Pakistan me b corruption ki ye hi saza ho but they r sports man kuch soft corner rakhay in k liye Sulman ko life time ban kr dena chahye bcoz he was captain at the time of occurance

  4. They both use the youngster Aamir he is innocent and Sulman permanently banned in International cricket.

  5. Kamran Akmal and Asst Manager Shafqat Rana were also involved in spot fixing. These two had frequent meetings with Mazhar Majeed.

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