Trial date set for Pakistan cricketers

Trial of Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir who are accused of spot-fixing set to start in London in October.

    In happier times: Amir, Butt and Asif during the Test series last year [AFP]

    Mohammad Amir, Salman Butt and Mohammad Asif, the three Pakistan Test cricketers accused of spot-fixing during last summer's contentious Lord's Test against England are set to stand trial in Britain on October 4.

    Former captain Butt, and fast bowlers Asif and Amir face charges of conspiracy to cheat and conspiracy to obtain and accept corrupt payments.

    They stand accused alongside cricket agent Mazher Majeed who is accused of accepting $243,000 to arrange for the players to bowl pre-determined no-balls during three dates in Pakistan's Test series in August 2010.

    The date for the trial was set on Friday by Justice John Saunders at Southwark Crown Court.

    Tabloid sting

    The suggestions of corruption were first uncovered in a British tabloid investigation that alleged the players received money for deliberately bowling no-balls during the fourth Test against England.

    Prosecutors disclosed at Friday's hearing that they are trying to obtain transcripts from part of the International Cricket Council's anti-corruption tribunal that led to the three players each being banned from the sport for at least five years.

    Butt, the captain during last year's series, received a further suspended five-year ban and Asif was handed a further two-year suspended sanction.

    Accepting corrupt payments is an offence under the Prevention of Corruption Act 1906 and carries a maximum sentence of seven years imprisonment and an unlimited fine.

    Cheating is an offence under the Gambling Act 2005 and carries a maximum sentence of two years imprisonment and an unlimited fine.

    All three players have filed appeals against their bans at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Lausanne, Switzerland.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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