Hansen to hear Harbhajan case on Tuesday

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Adelaide, Jan 28 (UNI) In the ongoing racial slur controversy involving Harbhajan Singh, ICC Appeals Commissioner Johh Hansen today said a private re-hearing of the case will start from Tuesday at the Federal Court in Adelaide at a time to be announced in due course.

''In accordance with normal sporting disciplinary hearings, and previous appeals, the hearing will be in private,'' said Hansen in a statement.

Mr Hansen added that the re-hearing will include evidence being given by all of the witnesses who gave evidence to the adjudicator, Mike Procter.

There may also be some additional evidence, such as the transcript available from the stump microphone, which was not available to Mr Procter.

Additionally the witnesses will give viva-voce evidence and ''opportunity will then be afforded to both the counsels to cross-examine the witnesses,'' the statement said.

Section H, Clause 11(e) of the Code of Conduct requires the Appeals Commissioner to hear and determine the appeal within seven days of appointment.

However, in this case Mr Hansen informed that at the request of both the BCCI and Cricket Australia, it was agreed to adjourn the hearing to enable all parties to be in a position to be prepared properly for this serious matter.

''Given the time between Tests, the simple logistics of the matter did not allow a hearing to be convened within seven days in any event. A venue for the hearing had to be found. The necessary secretarial and transcription assistance needed to be put in place,'' said Mr Hansen.

Video links had to be arranged for witnesses and counsel who are overseas. Counsel had to be instructed. Obviously all these matters take some time, he added.

At the end of the hearing Mr Hansen will reduce his decision in writing.

Harbhajan Singh was found guilty of breaching the Level 3.3 which refers to players or team officials ''using language or gestures that offends, insults, humiliates, intimidates, threatens, disparages or vilifies another person on the basis of that person's race, religion, gender, colour, descent, or national or ethnic origin'' during the third day's play in the second Test between India and Australia at Sydney.

The charge against Harbhajan was laid by the on-field umpires Steve Bucknor and Mark Benson of the Emirates Elite Panel of ICC Umpires after the close of play on day three of the second Test between Australia and India at the Sydney Cricket Ground following a complaint they received from the Australia captain, Ricky Ponting.

The complaint was made by Ponting after the 116th over of India's first innings, prior to which Harbhajan is accused of making a racist comment directed at Australia's Andrew Symonds.

The Code of Conduct hearing was conducted by Mike Procter of the Emirates Elite Panel of ICC Match Referees after the Test concluded on January 6, 2008.

Harbhajan pleaded not guilty to the charge. Mr Procter found that the case was proved and imposed a ban of three Test matches on the India spinner.

UNI XC PBB RK0800

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