Monday 28 January 2008 

New Evidence May Be Heard In Harbhajan Appeal Case

The New Zealand judge who will hear Indian spinner Harbhajan Singh's appeal against his three-match ban for racism has said he may allow new evidence to presented at the hearing.

Harbhajan was found guilty of making racist remarks about all-rounder Andrew Symonds, Australia's only black player, during the second test in Sydney earlier this month.

Harbhajan has denied the charges and Indian board (BCCI) lodged an appeal on his behalf, which will be heard in Adelaide from Tuesday.

New Zealand high court judge John Hansen said he planned to review all the evidence from the initial hearing and may also consider some additional evidence unavailable to the match referee Mike Proctor at the original hearing.

"This will be a re-hearing with evidence given by all of the witnesses who gave evidence to the adjudicator Mr Procter," Hansen said in a statement.

"There may also be some additional evidence such as the transcript and video available from the stump cam that was not available to Mr Procter."

The BCCI briefly suspended its team's tour of Australia and threatened to cancel the rest of the trip unless Harbhajan was cleared on appeal.

They later withdrew the threat and agreed to continue playing after the ICC made a number of concessions, including the sacking of West Indian umpire Steve Bucknor and allowing Harbhajan to play until his appeal had been heard.

© Reuters

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