UK Crown Prosecution slaps tainted Pak trio with "corruption and cheating charges"

London, Feb 4(ANI): British prosecutors have "authorised charges of conspiracy to obtain and accept corrupt payments, and also conspiracy to cheat" against the three Pakistani players implicated in the spot-fixing scandal as well as alleged bookmaker Mazhar Majeed.

"We have decided that Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Asif, Salman Butt and their agent, Mazhar Majeed, should be charged with conspiracy to obtain and accept corrupt payments and also conspiracy to cheat," said Simon Clements, head of the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) Special Crime Division.

"These charges relate to allegations that Mr Majeed accepted money from a third party to arrange for the players to bowl 'no balls' on 26 and 27 August 2010, during Pakistan's Fourth Test at Lord's Cricket Ground in London," he added.

Clements said Majeed had been summonsed to appear for a first hearing at City of Westminster Magistrates' Court on March 17. "Summonses for the same court date have been issued for the three players and they have been asked to return to this country voluntarily, as they agreed to do in September last year. Their extradition will be sought should they fail to return," he added.

The official said the CPS had been working closely with the Metropolitan Police Service since the spot-fixing allegations became public on 29 August 2010, and that they had 'sufficient evidence' against the accused.

"We received a full file of evidence on 7 December 2010 and we are satisfied there is sufficient evidence for a realistic prospect of conviction and it is in the public interest to prosecute," he said.

Clements, however, reminded that the accused were entitled to a fair trial, and that they should be 'regarded as innocent of these charges unless it is proven otherwise in court.'

"The International Cricket Council tribunal is due to announce its decision tomorrow, but criminal proceedings are active now," he said, adding, "It is extremely important that nothing should be reported which could prejudice the trial." (ANI)

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