Butt unlikely to get ICC’s hearing deferred

Karachi: Suspended Pakistan Test captain Salman Butt is unlikely to get the hearing of the ICC code of conduct commission tribunal deferred after teammates Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir disapproved of his plea on Wednesday.

The ICC called a teleconference on Wednesday to hear Salman Butt’s plea which was attended by the lawyers for all three suspended players and Amir’s lawyer said they did not support the move to defer the hearing.

“Maybe Salman’s lawyer needs more time but Asif and Amir don’t want the hearing postponed and want a decision on the spot fixing allegations and their suspensions as soon as possible,” Shahid Karim said.

He said that he and the lawyer for Asif had not supported the stand taken by the lawyer for Butt to defer the hearing on the grounds that the Scotland Yard first complete their investigations into the spot-fixing allegations against the trio.

Butt has asked for a deferment as he wants Scotland Yard to complete its investigations and be prepared to face any criminal proceedings in London.

The three players were provisionally suspended by the ICC in early September after allegations of spot-fixing emerged against them by Pakistani bookmaker, Mazhar Majeed.

Since then Butt and Amir appealed against their suspensions but had their appeals rejected by a one-man tribunal of the ICC headed by Michael Beloff who heads the code of conduct commission.

Beloff also conducted the teleconference on Wednesday in which sources said he was also not in favour of postponing the hearing which is scheduled to be held from January 6 to 11 in Doha.

The hearing will basically decide whether the suspended trio would be banned or have their suspensions removed.

Sources said there is some likelihood of the trio also getting varying penalties.

Karim also told a cricket website that he would have preferred an independent tribunal to hear the case against his client instead of the three members picked from the ICC code of conduct commission.

“Looking at the case from a legalistic point of view, from the point of view of the case being presented to an independent and unbiased tribunal, then I think he (Amir) has a fair chance of coming out clean,” Karim told the website.

“However the situation is an odd one. Ideally we would have liked the tribunal to be completely independent of the ICC, but at this point in time I have to have full faith in the tribunal,” he added.

“Although the members of the three-man tribunal are already part of the anti-corruption commission which is a permanent body in the code of the ICC and are nominated by the ICC, and the tribunal members have been picked out of those members, I still think that I have faith in their independence and impartiality,” Karim said.