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Butt, Asif obliged to confess

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Published: Tuesday, February 8, 2011, 13:42 [IST]
 
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Butt, Asif obliged to confess

London, Feb 8: Tainted Pakistan cricketers Salman Butt and Mohammad Asif will have to sign full confessions to avoid the suspended part of their sentences being enforced in the spot-fixing case, which may deter them from appealing to the Court of Arbitration in Sports (CAS) in Switzerland.

Last week, an independent Anti-Corruption Tribunal appointed by the International Cricket Council (ICC) to hear into the spot-fixing case imposed a "sanction of ten years ineligibilit" on Salman Butt, "five years of which are suspended on condition that he commits no further breach of the code and that he participates under the auspices of the Pakistan Cricket Board in a programme of Anti-Corruption education."

On Mohammad Asif, a sanction of seven years ineligibility has been imposed, two years of which are suspended "on condition that he commits no further breach of the code and that he participates under the auspices of the Pakistan Cricket Board in a programme of Anti-Corruption education," whereas the tribunal imposed a "sanction of five years of ineligibility" on Mohammad Amir, the youngest of the three accused.

Both Asif and Butt will have to make full confessions and show appropriate remorse for their suspended sentences to be waived, conditions which may deter them from appealing to the CAS, The Daily Telegraph quoted sources close to the investigation, as saying.

While the written judgments of the ICC disciplinary panel would be handed to the three players, the governing body may be unable to make them public due to a parallel criminal investigation being pursued by police in London, the report added.

Earlier this month, British prosecutors had "authorised charges of conspiracy to obtain and accept corrupt payments, and also conspiracy to cheat" against the three Pakistani players as well as alleged bookmaker Mazhar Majeed.

Simon Clements, head of the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) Special Crime Division said the trio had been summonsed to appear for a first hearing at City of Westminster Magistrates' Court on March 17, and that 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."

Clements 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 "for a realistic prospect of conviction".

The ICC is now taking advice from media law specialists after the CPS advised the board not to publish the judgment for fear of prejudicing any criminal trial, the report said.

The judgment could be published outside Britain but it would be hard to prevent it from being accessed on the internet, which may persuade the ICC to keep it private until a later date.

ANI

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