London, Feb 5: The three Pakistani players implicated in the spot-fixing scandal face up to nine years in jail after British prosecutors "authorised" the slapping of corruption charges against them as well as alleged bookmaker Mazhar Majeed.
While the tainted trio- Salman Butt, Mohammad Amir and Mohammad Asif- were suspended over newspaper allegations that Asif and Amir bowled "no balls to order" at pre-arranged times, 35-year-old Majeed is said to have been paid 150,000 pounds by undercover reporters for revealing the timing of the no-balls.
They could face a further two years in jail if convicted of a second offence of conspiracy to cheat, Express.co.uk reports.
Simon Clements, head of the Crown Prosecution Service Special Crime Division, said on Friday that the CPS had decided that all four accused "should be charged with conspiracy to obtain and accept corrupt payments and also conspiracy to cheat."
Clements said Majeed had been summonsed to appear for a first hearing at City of Westminster Magistrates' Court on March 17. "Summonses for the same court date have been issued for the three players and they have been asked to return to this country voluntarily, as they agreed to do in September last year. Their extradition will be sought should they fail to return," he added.
The official said the CPS had been working closely with the Metropolitan Police Service since the spot-fixing allegations became public on 29 August 2010, and that they had "sufficient evidence" against the accused.
"We received a full file of evidence on 7 December 2010 and we are satisfied there is sufficient evidence for a realistic prospect of conviction and it is in the public interest to prosecute," he said.
Clements, however, reminded that the accused were entitled to a fair trial, and that they should be regarded as innocent of these charges unless it is proven otherwise in court.