Pakistan cricket fixing trial judge begins summary

Pakistan cricket fixing trial judge begins summary

Former Pakistan test captain Salman Butt and fast bowler Mohammad Asif face charges of conspiracy to cheat, and conspiracy to obtain and accept corrupt payments, following a Lord's test in August last year when they allegedly conspired with Majeed, Amir and other people unknown to bowl pre-planned no-balls. Butt and Asif deny the charges.

The comments came as the judge began his summary of the trial at Southwark Crown Court yesterday and were the first official guidance given to the jury on Amir and Majeed. However the judge added that their apparent guilt should not bias the fate of Butt and Asif.

"You can proceed on the basis that Majeed and Amir were involved in the spot-fixing at Lord's, as all parties agree that is the case," Justice Cooke told the jury. "But don't be concerned at their absence.

"You should return true verdicts according to the evidence. Don't let sympathy enter your verdicts and don't speculate on what you might have heard outside of this courtroom. You should base your decision on the evidence alone and draw inferences, which I mean by drawing common sense conclusions."

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