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June 29, 2012
Salman Butt, the former Pakistan captain, has asked for a fresh trial in Pakistan, claiming he was denied justice during the spot-fixing case in London. He also claimed to possess fresh evidence, which he said would prove his innocence.
"It's the highest and [most] renowned court in England, but what happened with me I can say I didn't find justice," Butt said during a press conference at his former club ground, Model Town Greens. "I request the Chief Justice of Pakistan to review my case. I have also written to the CAS (Court of Arbitration for Sport) to take up my appeal and I'm waiting for their reply."
Following a News of the World sting, which claimed Butt and fast bowlers Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir had conspired with player agent Mazhar Majeed to bowl deliberate no-balls during the 2010 Lord's Test, Butt was found guilty at Southwark Crown Court of conspiracy to accept corrupt payments and conspiracy to cheat. He was sentenced to 30 months in prison but was released after seven. He returned to Pakistan on June 22.
Butt, however, rejected all the evidence against him. During a 35-minute press conference, he appeared confident and had an answer for every question asked. "I am here in front of you people, facing the media, to clear my name and to give my viewpoint as I had no part to play in the spot-fixing case. I just want to prove a point that both [Mohammad] Amir and Mazhar Majeed struck a deal of their own."
He flourished a document that he claimed was the transcript of communication between Amir and Majeed and would offer a different perspective on the case.
Before he was convicted and jailed in London, Butt, along with Asif and Amir, had also been found guilty by an independent ICC tribunal and was banned from playing cricket for a minimum of five years.
"I have seen prison, served two years of my ban and I'm still serving the ban. I have suffered a lot and thank God that the time has passed, it was difficult period but I had family support," Butt said. "I will try my best to display better character and represent Pakistan again.
"I made a sacrifice last year for the sake of Pakistan cricket. I didn't want to take any names then because I expected justice. I didn't get it, even though there was no evidence against me that I ever exchanged messages with Mazhar to do spot-fixing, or I told the two bowlers to deliberately bowl no-balls in the fourth Test at Lord's.
"My only mistake was, for which I do apologise, that I failed to report to the ICC about Majeed. He had been offering me for quite a long time but I was negating him again and again. It was my code of conduct, which I had signed, that if someone [makes] offers [to] me, I have to report it - which I failed to do so."
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