Shahid Karim, the lawyer of Pakistan fast bowler Mohammad Amir who is entangled in the spot-fixing controversy, says he is positive of soliciting a favourably judgement for his client. But at the same time, Karim adds that he would have preferred an independent tribunal to adjudicate Amir's alleged culpability, instead of the three-man panel set up by the ICC. The trio will hear the case between Jan 6 and 11 at Doha, Qatar.
The ICC's three-man tribunal includes Michael Beloff QC, Justice Albie Sachs of South Africa and Sharad Rao of Kenya. Beloff, the ICC code of conduct commissioner, had chaired the hearings into the appeals of Amir and Butt against their suspensions in Dubai, and had upheld the ICC's decision.
Karim also pointed out, "Although the members of the three-man tribunal are already part of the anti-corruption commission which is a permanent body in the code of the ICC and are nominated by the ICC, and the tribunal members have been picked out of those members, I still think that I have faith in their independence and impartiality."
Karim was certain of a verdict in favour of Amir, claiming there were certain over-riding factors in his case. "One of the mitigating factors is age and the other mitigating factor is Amir's previously unblemished record," he said. "Emotionally he is drained, he's been affected badly by it, but he's coping as best he can and above all he is very confident that he will come out of this clean."
In the event of an unfavourable verdict for Amir, Karim said he would appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Switzerland. Meanwhile, another accused in the case - Salman Butt - and his lawyers have asked for a postponement of the hearings to prepare a reply.