Monday, November 15, 2010

ICC-appointed tribunal biased, says Salman’s lawyer

KARACHI: Following the withdrawal of Aftab Gul, Salman Butt’s other lawyer Khalid Ranjha has called for a change in the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) appointed three-man tribunal that would hear the spot-fixing case against the three suspended Pakistan players. Salman, Mohammad Amir and Mohammad Asif, who were suspended following spot-fixing allegations, are due to appear before the tribunal for the actual charges, led by the ICC code of conduct commissioner Michael Beloff, in January.

However, Ranjha said Beloff, who also headed the ICC hearing against the players’ provisional suspension last month, should recuse himself because of an “obvious bias”. Salman’s legal team had already suffered a blow when Gul withdrew from the case saying that he doubted that players will get justice.

“At this point, I agree with Gul because you can’t expect fairness from a man who is biased against you,” Ranjha told The Express Tribune. “We are not satisfied with Beloff’s verdict in Dubai [against the suspension]. Beloff should recuse himself because we doubt his justice.”
Ranjha, a former federal law minister, said he would like to present the case in front of another individual.

“It is my desire that someone other than Beloff be appointed,” said Ranjha before hinting his possible withdrawal from the case as well.

“It would also be difficult for me to fight the case in presence of the same judge. The decision is against the interests of my client,” said Ranjha. “It would be like fighting a case against your own appeal.”

Meanwhile, following Gul’s withdrawal, Salman is totally relying on Ranjha for the ICC hearing and was hopeful of getting his name cleared from spot-fixing allegations.

The hearing of all the three players will be heard from January 6 to 11 in Qatar.

The ICC CEO Haroon Lorgat had earlier advised the suspended trio and their lawyers not to mix the hearings of the three-man tribunal with the one held last month. While maintaining that the two hearings are separate, Lorgat also defended Beloff’s appointment saying that under the ICC code of conduct commission rules, its chairman had to sit in tribunal hearings.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 15th, 2010.


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