Cricketers to face 'cheat' charges
Pakistan's Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir will be charged with conspiring to cheat bookmakers over the match-fixing scandal, the Crown Prosecution Service said on Friday.
Agent Mazhar Majeed - accused of accepting £150,000 to fix the actions of players - will also face the same charge following the Test match at Lord's against England last August.
The three cricketers were questioned by Scotland Yard detectives over claims they accepted cash to deliberately bowl no-balls. The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said all four men have also been charged with conspiracy to obtain and accept corrupt payments.
Majeed will appear before City of Westminster Magistrates' court on March 17. Summonses for the three players have been issued for the same date.
Simon Clements, of the CPS, said: "These charges relate to allegations that Mr Majeed accepted money from a third party to arrange for the players to bowl no-balls on August 26 and 27, 2010, during Pakistan's fourth Test at Lord's Cricket Ground in London.
"Mr Majeed has been summonsed to appear for a first hearing at City of Westminster Magistrates' Court on 17 March. Summonses for the same court date have been issued for the three players and they have been asked to return to this country voluntarily, as they agreed to do in September last year. Their extradition will be sought should they fail to return.
"The Crown Prosecution Service has been working closely with the Metropolitan Police Service since the allegations of match-fixing became public on August 29, 2010.
"We received a full file of evidence on December 7, 2010, and we are satisfied there is sufficient evidence for a realistic prospect of conviction and it is in the public interest to prosecute.
"I would remind everyone that these men are entitled to a fair trial and should be regarded as innocent of these charges unless it is proven otherwise in court.
"The International Cricket Council tribunal is due to announce its decision tomorrow (Saturday), but criminal proceedings are active now. It is extremely important that nothing should be reported which could prejudice the trial."