Fixing row: Salman Butt calls for an open trial

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Published: Friday, June 29, 2012, 18:33 [IST]
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Fixing row: Butt calls for an open trial

Karachi, Jun 29: Former Pakistan skipper Salman Butt, who was released from UK prison last week says he did not get justice in the corruption case as he had to undergo a jail sentence and a lengthy ban and has called for an open trial against himself, in the country.

The tainted cricketer was given a 30 month sentence, following his involvement in spot-fixing, wherein he had orchestrated to bowl two illegitimate deliveries through his two bowlers during the Lord's Test in 2010, in return for money.

The corruption case was exposed by a reporter for the now defunct News of the World, in a sting operation last year. Following which the three Pakistan cricketers Salman Butt, Mohammad Aamer and Mohammad Asif were imposed with jail sentence and ban by PCB and ICC for their spot-fixing charges.

The players were banned for a minimum of five years by the International Cricket Council and were convicted and jailed by the British Court for their corruption charges.

Having completed just seven months of his sentence, Butt was released from UK prison last week, protested his innocence.

"If you look at the evidence you can judge that I didn't get justice," Butt said in his first television interview since the affair, which aired on private channel Express News on Thursday night.

"I had to make a sacrifice because I didn't take anyone's name, it didn't suit me. It's not about me or anyone else, it's about Pakistan. I would like Pakistani courts, the Supreme Court, to hold an open trial and I am sure they will clear me.

"I don't accept anything against me. If you look at the evidence against me, I had no links to spot-fixing. Who did and who planned it (I don't know), but certainly I didn't do that. I played for my country and respected that (honour)."

Talking about his interaction with Majeed and the presence of cash in his hotel room, Butt said, "Yes there were 4,500 pounds and that was my money. I had to inaugurate an ice cream parlour and got 2,500 pounds (from Majeed) in advance.

"I didn't know that he had paid me notes which were marked. That was my money and that's why I got them back (when I was released) and I have receipt of all that."

The cricketer who reached his home town last week, felt very happy to receive a warm welcome by his fans.

"It was an unexpected welcome. People showed they still love me. I wasn't expecting it because I was coming from such a place," said Butt of the welcome in Lahore last week.

"I will do my best to become a good human being and represent Pakistan again. It seems a long shot but I will do my best," said Butt, who apologised for his actions on arrival last week.

The tainted cricketer also added that he is holding a press conference on Friday evening.


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