Odumbe's wife accuses six other players

Published: Friday, July 30, 2004, 23:53 [IST]
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Nairobi:The estranged wife of former Kenya cricket captain Maurice Odumbe has implicated six other players in the corruption scandal involving her husband at an International Cricket Council (ICC) tribunal.

Katherine Maloney told the hearing that the group of six had received 5,000 dollars from Jagdish Sodha, the same Indian bookmaker who is alleged to have had links with Odumbe.

"Maurice said he had been approached by a middleman of a bookmaker to throw away a match. He had invited five or six members of the team because he could not do it alone," Maloney said in her testimony, recorded by the ICC's Anti-Corruption and Security Unit (ACSU) investigators.

Maloney, who was summoned as a witness to the case by presiding judge Ahmed Ebrahim of Zimbabwe, said the players' relationship with Sodha had led to a breakdown in her two-year marriage with Odumbe.

The couple, who have two children, are currently involved in a bitter divorce settlement in Kenya.

"I was very unhappy about the relationship because Maurice has said Sodha was a gangster and I did not want any friendship with Sodha because I disapproved of this match-fixing business," said Maloney, who recounted one occasion in 2002 when Odumbe sent her to collect 10,000 dollars from Sodha at his Nairobi hotel room.

"He handed me a roll of American dollars. I was uncomfortable and expressed concern about all this money. I was worried I was participating in something I did not know, but he said the money was for a pharmaceutical business," she added.

"This is no business I am aware of. The only pharmaceutical was medicine for Maurice's mother who was ailing with hypertension," Maloney said.

Odumbe's lawyer Ishan Kapila said his client would not be giving evidence in the tribunal, as he had a strong case derived from the preliminary objections and the cross examinations by the witnesses.

"There is nothing to be gained by Odumbe giving evidence, but there is need to do so on the evidence presented in this tribunal," Kapila said.

He said he would prepare his written submissions, to be presented on Friday, which would "outline the contents of our defence."

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