Not running away from criminal proceedings: Butt

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Karachi, Feb 8 (PTI) Disgraced cricketer Salman Butt hassaid he does not intend to run away from the criminal chargeslevelled against him by the London Police and would challengethe 10-year ban impose on him for spot-fixing charges in thehigher courts.

The Pakistani cricketer said it is wrong to say that hewould not go to London, where he has been summoned by thePolice on March 17 to answer corruption charges.

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) had charged Butt,Mohammed Asif and Mohammad Aamer with conspiracy to obtain andaccept corrupt payments.

"I have nothing to hide or run away from. I am going tochallenge every charge to prove my innocence even in theLondon court," Butt, who was banned for 10 years by the ICCfor spot-fixing, said.

"I don''t agree with the sanctions imposed by theInternational Cricket Council in Doha and I will also be goingto London to challenge the case made against me by ScotlandYard in the Crown Prosecutor''s office," he told a Pakistaninews channel.

The left-hander, who was banned for 10 years with a fiveyear suspension period, also insisted he was confident ofmaking a comeback to cricket.

"Anyone who says my cricket career is over is wrong. Ihave just turned 26 and even if I have to serve the sanctionimposed by the tribunal I will be 30 or 31 when it ends and Iwill still have four to five years of cricket left in me," hesaid.

Butt said he hoped he would not have to serve the fullfive years of his sentence.

"I hope the ban is waived off even if not completely. Ihave already served six months of suspension. I know it ishard to make a comeback to cricket after five years but youhave people playing now at the age of 36 and 37." More PTICorr AT

Butt said having played international cricket for the last seven years he knew what was required to keep oneself fitand conditioned for top level cricket.

The former Test captain said he did not agree with thetribunal''s decision as the sanction imposed on him was notproportionate with the charges against him and they werelacunas in the existing ICC anti-corruption code and laws.

He said the tribunal head Michael Beloff and members hadalso advised the ICC to review and amend its existinganti-corruption laws.

"That is why I am confident my lawyers are confident thatwhen we appeal to the court of arbitration for sports it willwaive off the ban. We hope that the CAS will take notice ofthe observations made by the tribunal members."

Butt said he was thankful to the people and formerplayers who had supported him.

"I am also not upset with those who did not support mebecause a lot of people are still not aware what this case isabout. The charges of me taking bribes in the Oval Testagainst England were dropped by the ICC and the interestingthing is we won that match and their was no match fixing orspot fixing," he said.

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