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Three Pakistan cricketers and agent face corruption and cheating charges

04/02/2011

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) has authorised charges of conspiracy to obtain and accept corrupt payments and also conspiracy to cheat against Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Asif, Salman Butt and Mazhar Majeed.

Simon Clements, Head of the CPS Special Crime Division, said:

"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.

"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.

"Mr Majeed has been summonsed to appear for a first hearing at City of Westminster Magistrates' Court on 17 March.

"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.

"The Crown Prosecution Service has been working closely with the Metropolitan Police Service since the allegations of match-fixing became public on 29 August 2010.

"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.

"I would remind everyone that these men are entitled to a fair trial and 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.

"It is extremely important that nothing should be reported which could prejudice the trial."

Ends

Notes to Editors

  1. For media enquiries call the CPS Press Office on 020 3357 0906; Out of Hours Pager 07699 781 926
  2. Conspiracy to commit an offence is defined under section 1 of the Criminal Law Act 1977. Conspiracies are indictable-only and must be sent to the Crown Court. Section 3 of the Act specifies that the maximum sentence for an offence also applies to a conspiracy to commit that offence.
  3. Obtaining and accepting corrupt payments is an offence contrary to section 1 of the Prevention of Corruption Act 1906. It carries a maximum sentence of seven years' imprisonment and/or an unlimited fine at the Crown Court. The Attorney General has consented to this charge.
  4. Cheating is an offence contrary to section 42 of the Gambling Act 2005. It carries a maximum sentence of two years' imprisonment and/or an unlimited fine at the Crown Court.
  5. Editors are reminded that proceedings are active under the Contempt of Court Act and that, having regard to the high profile nature of the case and the publicity that has already taken place, particular care needs to be taken not to publish material which gives rise to a substantial risk of serious prejudice to the fairness of a trial, and in particular anything which asserts or assumes, expressly or implicitly, the guilt of an accused person or that otherwise interferes with the administration of justice in this case.
  6. The DPP has set out what the public can expect from the CPS in the Core Quality Standards document published in March 2010.
  7. The CPS consists of 42 Areas in total, each headed by a Chief Crown Prosecutor (CCP). These are organised into 12 Groups, plus CPS London, each overseen by Group Chair, a senior CCP. In addition there are four specialised national divisions: Central Fraud Group, Counter-Terrorism, Organised Crime and Special Crime. A telephone service, CPS Direct, provides out-of-hours advice and decisions to police officers across England and Wales.
  8. The CPS employs around 8,316 people and prosecuted 982,731 cases with a conviction rate of 86.8% in the magistrates' courts and 80.7% in the Crown Court in 2009-20010. Further information can be found on the CPS website