London: The British tabloid which "exposed" the spot-fixing scandal, threatened to come out with more details after Pakistan High Commissioner to Britain defended the tainted trio and said they will get full support to clear their names.
This was indicated by the News of the World when it was contacted by The Independent newspaper, without elaborating.
The Pakistani envoy Wajid S Hasan told CNN today that it`s possible the players -- Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Aamir -- are victims of a set-up.
They have been "maligned by the media" and are the victims of "character assassination by the media."
"You have to investigate to find out whether they`ve been set up or not," he said.
Referring to the News of the World -- a newspaper known for its exposes and sensational headlines -- he asked "What is the reputation of those people who have brought us this story?"
Hasan had spoken to the three players at the Pakistan High Commission here in the wake of claims by a London-based Pakistani bookie Mazhar Majeed that they had bowled no-balls to order in the Lord`s Test last week as part of a plot to defraud illegal bookmakers and pocket huge amounts.
Hasan raised doubts on the authenticity of the News of the World`s tapes of Croydon-based businessman Mazhar Majeed apparently correctly identifying the exact time when no-balls would occur should be taken at face value.
In an interview on BBC television, Hasan said, "We are not seeing on the video what the date is or what the time is."
"Do you have answers to these questions? The video wasn`t timed or dated. It could have been filmed before or after the match, or at a different time."
Asked if he believes the three players might have been "set up", he responded: "Yes, I would say that. Yes."
When contacted about Hasan`s remarks, a News of the World spokesman said the newspaper will "refuse to respond to such ludicrous allegations".