Full hearing on BPL corruption to begin in Dhaka on Sunday
The full hearing into the alleged match-fixing and spot-fixing scandal in the 2013 Bangladesh Premier League will begin in Dhaka on Sunday. All nine individuals charged are expected to participate in the proceedings, which will last nearly three weeks.
The hearing is the only period for the charged individuals to defend themselves, as the tribunal will give their verdicts based on these proceedings. Seven out of the nine individuals are charged directly with match-fixing and spot-fixing allegations, while two others have been charged for failing to report a corrupt approach.
"We are hoping to complete the case of BPL match-fixing through a speedy trial as the reputation of the country is at stake," Justice Khademul Islam, the tribunal's convener, said. "After completing the trial, we would put our verdict that would be based on complete fairness. The entire cricketing fraternity is keeping their focus on it."
Justice Islam, former cricketer Shakil Kasem and barrister Ajmalul Hossain will be attending the hearings.
The investigation into the allegations of spot-fixing and match-fixing first came to light in May 2013, when BCB president Nazmul Hassan confirmed that a Bangladesh player had been questioned by the ICC. Mohammad Ashraful was the first to admit of his involvement in corruption back in June last year. This was followed by formal charges against nine individuals in August last year, including six Dhaka Gladiators' players. Darren Stevens, Mosharraf Hossain and Mahbubul Alam confirmed that they had been charged by the ICC, which is coordinating with the BCB to conduct the tribunal.
The preliminary hearing was held on November 24, where legal representatives of Mosharraf Hossain and Mahbubul Alam pleaded not guilty. At the same time, Dhaka Gladiators' legal advisor Aminuddin had asked the tribunal to stop its proceedings because the franchise had filed a case in the civil court.
In spite of a confession, the ICC did not charge Ashraful and the player had said he expected leniency for his admission.
Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. He tweets here