Spot-fixing case: Judge to accept majority verdict in Butt, Asif trial

Judge says he would accept a 10-2 majority verdict in absence of unanimous decision by the six man, six woman jury.

Afp October 31, 2011

LONDON: The judge in the spot-fixing trial of former Pakistani Test captain Salman Butt and fast bowler Mohammad Asif told the jury on 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 on 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, and Asif, 28, 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.

Published in The Express Tribune, November 1st, 2011.


Furqan Khan | 10 years ago | Reply PCB should involve in this case and please just save Mohammad Aamir from this he is such a very telented player in Pakistan Cricket
John B | 10 years ago | Reply

I do not follow this case very much. But I have an issue with the verdict.

It is a common law practice in criminal proceedings that the verdict is unanimous. If the jury cannot reach such a verdict, the judge should declare mistrial and the prosecution must try again.

Settling for majority decision of jury in a criminal proceedings will only open a can of worms. What is that majority. 6 to 5 or 10 to 2? Who is correct in determining what majority is good.

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