‘Tainted trio’ likely to be charged after landmark UK AG ruling

Updated: Nov 28, 2010, 13:15 PM IST

London: Suspended Pakistan Test captain Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir are likely to be charged in the spot-fixing scandal after a landmark ruling by Britain’s Attorney General.

It comes after another cricketer accused of similar claims has been charged under the 1906 Corruption Act, and for cheating under the 2005 Gambling Act.

Attorney General Dominic Grieve rubber-stamped the decision to prosecute former Essex fast bowler Mervyn Westfield for deliberately bowling badly during a county one-day game, the Sydney Morning Herald reports.

Westfield was originally charged with conspiracy to defraud after an investigation into a match against Durham in September 2009.

Sources said that it paved the way for charges against the tainted Pakistan cricketers.

The trio was suspended in September after a British tabloid alleged that they were involved in ‘spot-fixing’ the Lord’s Test against England in August.

Scotland Yard is pursuing a charge of “accepting or obtaining corrupt payments” contrary to their “employer’s affairs or considerations” under the rarely used corruption law.

The 104-year-old corruption law was originally framed for those working in public office and carries a maximum penalty of seven years in jail.

In the News of the World sting, London-based agent Azhar Majeed had received 150,000 pounds from an undercover reporter. It is understood that detectives have recovered just 4000 pounds of the money.

Two files of evidence have been passed by police to the Crown Prosecution Service, whose lawyers are under pressure to decide on any charges ahead of next year’s World Cup.

They will now be able to refer to the precedent set by the Attorney General in the Westfield case.

ANI