Thatscricket - News - Stewart likely to be cleared of fixing charges
Published: Friday, June 22, 2001, 23:53 [IST]
Copyright AFP 2001
ACU meets CBI, seeks MKs co-operation
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New Delhi: England's cricket captain Alec Stewart is set to be cleared of corruption charges after Indian bookmaker Mukesh Gupta declined to testify before investigators this week, sources said on Friday.Two members of the Anti Corruption Unit of the International Cricket Council (ICC) visited Gupta's home in New Delhi on Thursday but failed to persuade him to give evidence, a close associate of Gupta said."Mukesh has said everything he wants to, he stands by what he said, but is not interested in testifying or giving any written statement," the associate told AFP.Investigators Geoff Rees and Alan Hawkins, who refused to speak to the media, are expected to travel to Pakistan and Sri Lanka before returning to London.The match-fixing report by India's Central Bureau of Investigation quotes Gupta as saying he paid 5,000 Pounds ($ 7,000) to Stewart during England's tour in 1993 to provide information about the wicket and team composition.Gupta told the CBI he was introduced to Stewart by former Indian Test cricketer Manoj Prabhakar, but added the Englishman refused to fix any matches for him.Stewart, currently leading England in the absence of the injured Nasser Hussain, has repeatedly denied meeting Gupta or accepting money from any other bookmaker.The ICC's chief investigator Paul Condon warned last week that he would drop the inquiry against Stewart and other cricketers if Gupta refused to become a witness and provide evidence to the charges made by him.CBI officials, who have not framed any charges against Gupta since the Indian Law has no provision to punish match-fixers, said they could not force the bookmaker to testify to the ICC.