Amir`s admission won`t affect Salman Butt`s case, says lawyer

Mumbai: Pakistani pace bowler Mohammad Amir’s admission of his involvement in last year’s spot-fixing scandal before a court in England will not affect Salman Butt’s case, the former captain’s lawyer Yasin Patel has said.

Amir, who has been charged along with Butt, Mohammad Asif and their British-based agent, Mazhar Majeed, by British prosecutors, with conspiracy to obtain and accept corrupt payments and also conspiracy to cheat, admitted to his involvement in the spot-fixing scandal before a court in England.

The corruption charges relate to allegations that 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

Speaking from London, Butt’s lawyer said that Amir has submitted a guilty plea, not a confession, as reported by some sections of the media.

“Look, as far as we know, Amir has not filed the confession. He has merely submitted guilty plea. There is a difference between a confession and a guilty plea,” a leading daily quoted Patel, as saying.

“A confession leads to disclosure of all detail regarding what and how he did it. Whereas a guilty plea consists only of a defendant admitting having committed one or more of the offences he has been charged with,” he explained.

He said that ordinarily, a guilty plea occurs after a defense counsel bargains with the prosecution and obtain some concession – for example, a reduction of the charges or an agreement not to file other charges.

“It is not clear what arrangement has been sought in Amir’s legal battle. Defendants sometimes pursue this course in weak or minor cases in which they believe a plea will encourage the presiding judge to impose a lenient sentence,” he said.

“My client Salman has no intention to file guilty plea papers,” he insisted.

When approached for his comments on Amir’s admission before the court, Butt said his faith was only in Allah and nobody else could do anything.

“Allah is enough for me. I can’t talk, please, because my lawyers have stopped me from talking to media. I am sorry if I have caused any discomfort. Please try to understand. I am not allowed to do so and have to obey my lawyers,” he said.

Butt’s trial is scheduled to begin on October 4 in London.


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