Suspended trio's confused lawyers leave PCB worried

The hearing will decide whether to stand or dismiss the spot-fixing charges against the trio.

Not just the ICC but even the PCB legal department had doubts about the Pakistan-based lawyers who, they feel, are yet to devise or adopted a strategy to defend their clients.

"Going from the statements being made by Salman Butt and Muhammad Aamir and their lawyers after the appeal hearing against the suspensions, one gets a feeling that the legal team has still not grasped the spirit of the ICC anti-corruption code of conduct or its procedural issues," a PCB source told PTI.

The ICC has scheduled a six-day hearing of its code of conduct commission tribunal from January 6 to 11 in Doha to hear the charges against the players.

The players and their legal representatives will get an opportunity to cross examine and question the witnesses and evidence produced by the anti-corruption unit.

The source added that the ICC has also indicated that the 'News of the World' tabloid, which broke the story about the trio's alleged involvement in spot fixing during the team's tour of England, and Mazhar Majeed, the agent who has made the allegations, will be asked to appear at the full hearing.

"It is going to be a proper hearing with three men of strong legal background adjudicating on the charges against the trio, but unfortunately, some of the lawyers for the players are apparently mixing up the full hearing with the appeal hearing held last month in Dubai," another source said.

The source pointed out that the appeal hearing was held only to decide if there was sufficient ground to maintain the provisional suspension on the players or not.

The source also said that this was the reason Asif's lawyer, Elizabeth Robertson, advised him to drop the appeal against the suspension and prepare for the full hearing.

He noted that, immediately after the two-day hearing, the plethora of statements made by Butt and Aamir and their lawyers, particularly Aftab Gul, expressing no-confidence in the ICC and questioning the hearing proceedings itself have left the ICC and PCB worried.

"The fact that Aftab Gul announced that he no longer wanted to represent his client Salman Butt in the full hearing because he believed the players would get no justice, is an indication that the legal team based in Pakistan apparently have got things mixed up," the source said.

He noted that Gul, before the appeal hearing, had praised the ICC for cooperating fully with them in the case.

"They (lawyers) are mixing up the appeal hearing with the full hearing." The source also noted that the code of conduct commission members were nominated by member boards of the ICC and not the ICC itself.

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