Pakistan: ‘Amir and Majeed involved in spot-fixing’ — judge

2011-10-27 00:00

JUSTICE Cooke began his summing-up of the alleged spot-fixing trial of former Pakistani cricket players Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Asif and Salman Butt and directed the jury to deliberate for a verdict on the basis that agent Mazhar Majeed and teenage fast bowler Amir were “involved in spot-fixing”.

The judge began his speech on the 15th day of one of the biggest controversies in cricket history. He told the jury he expects to take all of yesterday to complete his overview of the evidence.

Defendants Butt and Asif sat in the dock, listening intently, both smartly dressed in suits but without ties.

“You can proceed on the basis that Majeed and Amir were involved in the spot-fixing at Lord’s, as all parties agree that is the case,” the Judge said. “But don’t be concerned by their absence from this trial.”

He went on; Don’t let sympathy enter your verdicts and don’t speculate on what you might have heard outside of this courtroom. You should base your decision on the evidence alone and draw inferences, which I mean by drawing common sense conclusions.”

The prosecution completed its closing speech on Monday afternoon, before Butt’s legal counsel had their closing split into two days. Asif’s defence, which was the shortest presentation of the three of about 90 minutes, ended on Tuesday afternoon.

Former captain Butt and fast bowler Asif face charges of conspiracy to cheat, and conspiracy to obtain and accept corrupt payments, following the Lord’s Test in August last year when they allegedly conspired with Majeed and Amir and other people unknown to bowl pre-planned no-balls. Butt and Asif deny the charges.

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