London: Pakistani trio of Salman Butt, Mohammad Aamir and Mohammad Asif, who were suspended by the ICC for their alleged involvement in spot-fixing, are likely to be charged under a 104-year-old corruption law after a landmark ruling by the Attorney General, a report claimed.
`The Telegraph` said, quoting legal and police sources, that "there is a strong appetite to prosecute Butt, Asif and Amir under the corruption law.
"It comes after another cricketer accused of similar claims has been charged under the rarely-used corruption law, and for cheating under the new Gambling Act," the report said.
"The Attorney General rubber-stamped the decision to prosecute former Essex seamer Mervyn Westfield for deliberately bowling badly during a one-day game against Durham.
"It (Westfield case) paved the way for charges against the Pakistan cricketers," the report said.
Scotland Yard detectives interviewed the Pakistan trio in September on suspicion of defrauding bookmakers after a `News of the World` sting claimed they received orders from bookie Mazhar Majeed to deliberately bowl no-balls in the Lord`s Test against England.
In the NOTW sting, Majeed received 150,000 pound sterling from an undercover reporter.
Two files of evidence have been passed by police to the Crown Prosecution Service, whose lawyers are under pressure to make a decision on any charges ahead of the February`s Cricket World Cup, which is being held in India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.
They will now be able to refer to the precedent set by Dominic Grieve, the Attorney General, in the Westfield case - making charges more likely.
Westfield was originally charged with conspiracy to defraud after an investigation into a match against Durham in September 2009.