Defiant Asif changes defence team for appeal

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•°o.O Born to Fly O.o°•
Mar 5, 2010
LONDON: Cricketer Muhammad Asif has changed his legal defence team to launch an appeal against his conviction and sentence, this significant development has been disclosed by a credible source to The News/Geo.

Asif was given a 12 months prison sentence whilst ex-captain Salman Butt was jailed for 30 months, and Mohammed Amir received a six month term for their participation in a plot to bowl deliberate no-balls in a Test match against England. Butt and Amir have appealed against their sentences but not their convictions. Their appeal will be heard on Wednesday, tomorrow.

During his testimony, sports agent Majeed, who has been jailed for 32 months for orchestrating the scam, claimed to have paid paid Asif £65,000, Butt £10,000 and Amir £2,500.

The source has said that Muhammad Asif decided to change his defence team for “personal reasons”. The fast bowler remains most defiant that he has not committed any offence and certainly has not brought the game into disrepute.

The police raided the team hotel in August last year. They did not find any money that was supplied by the News of the World journalist on Asif’s person or in his belongings. Intense investigations did not reveal even a trace of the tainted money linked to Asif. Such money was found on Amir and Butt.

The source told The News that Asif has already spoken to his new legal team and a meeting was held at Canterbury prison where he is in custody with Salman Butt. Asif’s appeal hearing will be delayed by a short period by reason of the change of his legal representatives.

If the appeal against his conviction is successful, the player would be a free man. The UKBA may take steps to detain him for immigration reasons. If such steps are taken The News understands that the same would be opposed vigourously.

The grounds of Asif’s appeal are being formulated at the time of the publication of this article. Such grounds could include the argument that the Judge may have fallen into error in some of the rulings he made during the trial.

The News has learnt that UK visas held by Muhammaad Asif and Salman Butt have expired.

Technically, they both could face deportation to Pakistan at the completion of their prison term. Any such application, The News has learnt, would be met with formidable legal arguments from Asif’s representatives.