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November 1, 2011
Haroon Lorgat, the ICC chief executive, says that the guilty verdicts handed down to Salman Butt and Mohammad Asif at Southwark Crown Court, as well as Mohammad Amir's own guilty plea, will "have no impact" on the length of the suspensions meted out on the three players at the ICC's own hearing in Doha earlier this year.
"The ICC has been closely following the criminal trial at Southwark Crown Court in England over the past few weeks," said Lorgat at a press conference in Dubai. "We note that the jury has found Salman Butt and Mohammad Asif guilty of the criminal offences with which they were charged and also that Mohammad Amir had pleaded guilty to the criminal offences with which he was charged."
"These outcomes appear to be consistent with the findings of the independent anti-corruption tribunal which was appointed earlier this year to hear charges brought against the three players by the ICC under our own Anti-Corruption Code. To be clear, the developments in the English criminal courts will have no impact upon those periods of suspension, which will remain in full force and effect.
Following the investigation from the ICC's Anti-Corruption and Security Unit, which was triggered by a sting operation by the now-defunct newspaper, News of the World, the three players were all found guilty of offences under the Anti-Corruption Code and suspended from all forms of cricket for five years in Amir's case, seven in Asif's (two of which were suspended), and ten years for Butt (five suspended).
"The ICC takes no pleasure from the fact that these players stepped outside not only the laws of the game but also the criminal laws of the country in which they were participating," said Lorgat. "In addition to constituting offences under the ICC's Anti-Corruption Code, for which sporting sanctions have been imposed, such conduct has now been shown to constitute criminal behaviour for which serious criminal sanctions can also be imposed."
The exact sentences for the three players remain to be determined, although both Butt and Asif were found guilty of conspiracy to accept corrupt payments, which carries a maximum sentence of seven years in jail, and conspiracy to cheat, which carries a maximum of two years.
"Of course, we note that the Judge is yet to determine the appropriate sentence for each of the three players so I do not comment further in that regard," added Lorgat, "but we hope that this verdict is seen as a further warning to any individual who might, for whatever reason, be tempted to engage in corrupt activity within our sport.
"I am satisfied that we have worked closely with the Crown Prosecution Service and Metropolitan Police throughout this entire process, and I believe that this case has shown that it is possible for criminal authorities and sports bodies to cooperate with each other, in difficult circumstances, in the best interests of the sport and the public at large."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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