'Fake Sheikh' evidence prompts re-examining of criminal convictions of Butt, Asif and Aamer

The spot fixing case were among 25 cases called into question by the methods of 'Fake Sheikh' undercover reporter Mahmood

London: Prosecutors are re-examining the criminal convictions of three Pakistan players jailed in 2011 over spot-fixing allegations, according to a report in Britain’s Guardian newspaper.

Salman Butt, Mohd Asif and Mohd Aamer
Salman Butt, Mohd Asif and Mohd Aamer

The Guardian said the convictions in a London court of then Pakistan captain Salman Butt, paceman Mohammad Asif and swing bowler Mohammad Aamer, were among 25 cases called into question by the methods of ‘Fake Sheikh’ undercover reporter Mazher Mahmood.

Football case dropped
Prosecutors dropped on Wednesday a case of alleged match-fixing involving 13 footballers in England because of doubts about the reliability of Mahmood’s evidence.

After the now defunct News of the World revealed the three Pakistan cricketers had conspired to bowl no-balls during a Test match at Lord’s in 2010 in return for a share of £150,000 ($228,207), the trio and their agent Mazher Majeed were arrested.

Following the ‘sting’ operation, the three players were banned for a minimum of five years each by the International Cricket Council.

At a subsequent separate court hearing in London, they were all given prison sentences. Aamer’s ICC ban is set to expire in August and he could return to international cricket soon afterwards. The case made headlines around the world, appearing to shed light on the contentious issue of illegal and unregulated betting markets in Asia and the Far East.

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) announced this week there was “insufficient evidence to provide a realistic prospect of conviction” in the footballers’ case.

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