ICC rejects Butt’s plea for delay in spot-fixing hearing

By Omar Khalid, IANS
Thursday, December 23, 2010

KARACHI - Former Pakistan captain Salman Butt finds himself in deeper mess after the International Cricket Council (ICC) rejected his plea to put off the spot-fixing hearing slated for Jan 6-11 in Doha.

In a statement early Thursday, the ICC said that after a lengthy teleconference Wednesday Michael Beloff, the chairman of the ICC Anti-Corruption Tribunal, has decided to reject Butt’s application for an adjournment of the full hearing.

“Michael Beloff, QC, today heard an application from Salman Butts new legal representation for an adjournment of the full hearing into the spot-fixing charges against three Pakistan cricketers, also including Mohammad Aamer and Mohammad Asif,” said the ICC statement.

“He, following a lengthy telephone hearing and having received written submissions, has ruled that Mr Butts application is denied and as such, the full hearing will take place as scheduled from Jan 6-11, 2011, in Doha, Qatar.”

Butt, who is at the centre of a corruption scandal also involving two other Pakistani cricketers - Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Aamer - now just has a couple of weeks to build up a defence solid enough for him to survive at the full hearing.

He is also facing problems at another crucial front.

Asif and Aamer Wednesday distanced themselves from Butt on his appeal for putting off the spot-fixing hearing. Lawyers representing Asif and Aamer opposed Butts plea to delay the hearing.

In the teleconference that was summoned by the ICC Wednesday, lawyers of the two players stressed that their clients are seeking a quick verdict on the case that has rocked the cricket world.

Shahid Karim represented Aamer while Barrister Allan Alexander Cameron took part in the teleconference on behalf of Asif. The senior lawyer is a brother of British Prime Minister David Cameron.

However, Butts London-based lawyer Yasin Malik pushed for a delay in the hearing. Butt, a former Pakistan Test captain, sought the anti-corruption tribunal hearing to be put off so he can deal with any possible criminal proceedings in London.

The three players face a potential criminal case from Britains Crown Prosecution Service, which received two reports from the Scotland Yard police who raided the Pakistani teams hotel in London last August.

The trio were provisionally suspended by the ICC on charges of spot-fixing during Pakistans fourth Test against England at Lords in August. They face the ICC tribunal which can ban the players for life if they are found guilty of spot-fixing.

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