Asif And Butt Found Guilty In Spot-Fixing Case
Former Pakistan captain Salman Butt and fast bowler Mohammad Asif have been found guilty of conspiracy to cheat and of conspiracy to accept corrupt payments by a jury at Southwark Crown Court.
The pair had already been banned by the International Cricket Council (ICC) for spot fixing during Pakistan's 2010 tour of England and it has been revealed that Mohammad Amir pleaded guilty to all charges two weeks before the trial began.
After being unable to return a unanimous verdict on all charges against the two men, the jury returned a majority verdict against both players conspiring to accept corrupt payments and unanimous verdicts against both men conspiring to cheat.
The trial lasted 20 days and the jury deliberated for 16 hours before reaching their verdicts and following the end of the trial it was revealed that Amir pleaded guilty to both charges two weeks before the trial begin and he now faces a separate hearing where no jury will be present.
A court order had prevented Amir's guilty plea from being disclosed prior to the end of the trial.
The News Of The World published allegations in August 2010 that two Pakistan bowlers and captain Butt had conspired to deliver no balls at pre-arranged moments in the Lord's Test against England for financial gain.
Following the allegations, the ICC suspended the three players accused of being involved in the spot-fixing plot - 28-year-old Asif, 27-year-old Butt and 19-year-old Amir.
Subsequently, an ICC anti-corruption tribunal held in January ended without a verdict being reached prior to the bans finally being given to the players on 5th February.
While fast bowler Amir was handed a straight five-year ban, erstwhile captain Butt was handed an additional five-year suspended sentence for his part in the scheme to bowl no balls to order. Asif was banned for seven years with two years suspended.
The players planned to appeal the ICC ban but were following legal advice to wait until the trial in the UK was completed.
They will return for sentencing later in the week where the maximum sentence for Butt and Asif could be seven years in jail.
© Cricket World 2011