Cricket: Judge accepts majority verdict in Pakistan trial

31st October 2011, Comments 0 comments

The judge in the spot-fixing trial of former Pakistan Test captain Salman Butt and fast bowler Mohammad Asif told the jury Monday he would accept a majority verdict.

After three days of deliberations by the jurors at Southwark Crown Court in London, judge Jeremy Cooke was informed Monday that they could not reach a decision they all agreed upon.

He told the six men and six women to try to reach an unanimous verdict but said he would now accept a majority verdict of 10-2.

They still did not reach a decision and so were sent home to resume their deliberations for a fourth day at 1000 GMT Tuesday, the 20th day of the trial.

Butt, 27, arrived at court Monday wearing a grey pinstripe suit, a white shirt and a scarf around his neck, carrying a newspaper. Asif, 28, arrived in a black suit with a blue shirt and a grey overcoat over his arm.

They have both pleaded not guilty to charges of conspiracy to obtain and accept corrupt payments, and conspiracy to cheat at gambling.

Prosecutors allege that the pair conspired with British agent Mazher Majeed and bowler Mohammad Aamer to deliver three intentional no-balls during the Lord's Test between Pakistan and England in August 2010.

Over three weeks of evidence at Southwark Crown Court, the jury has heard that there are huge sums to be made by fixing parts of matches, known as spot-fixing, for gambling syndicates.

Butt and Asif were charged after allegations about their involvement in spot-fixing appeared in the now-defunct News of the World tabloid, owned by Rupert Murdoch, shortly after the Lord's Test.

Cooke finished his summing-up of the case on Thursday before sending the jury out to start their deliberations.

Majeed and Aamer face the same charges as Butt and Asif but are not standing trial alongside them.

© 2011 AFP

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