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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

An Independent tribunal would have been better says Mohammad Amir’s Lawyer

Mohammad Amir’s lawyer, Shahid Karim has expressed his desire to have had an opportunity to defend his client (Amir) in front of an independent tribunal instead of International Cricket Council’s (ICC) three member panel which consists of Michael Beloff QC, Albie Sachs and Sharad Rao. Three Pakistani players, Salman Butt, Mohammad Amir and Mohammad Asif are currently suspended and awaiting trial on charges of being involved in spot fixing.
Karim said, “Looking at the case from a legalistic point of view, from the point of view of the case being presented to an independent and unbiased tribunal, then I think he has a fair chance of coming out clean, however the situation is an odd one. Ideally we would have liked the tribunal to be completely independent of the ICC, but at this point in time I have to have full faith in the tribunal."
The lawyers of two out of the three players (Salman Butt and Mohammad Amir) have expressed their mistrust on the three-member panel because last month a panel headed by Michael Beloff rejected Butt’s and Amir’s appeal against their preliminary suspension.
This verdict drew a strong criticism from the players and their lawyers, who saw this verdict by Beloff as biased and unjustified, and now the presence of Beloff in the panel that will be hearing the suspended trio’s case has made it controversial.
The lawyers of the three players have clearly been unsatisfied with the members of this panel and there is a strong belief that the players will not have a fair chance to clear their names in front of the tribune, which is all set to convene next month from 6th to 11th January in Doha, Qatar.
Amir’s lawyer, while expressing his views about the members of the panel said, “We raised a slight objection to Michael Beloff QC chairing the hearing in Doha, as he had heard the case in the provisional hearing, but he chose not to remove himself, however, my training as a lawyer requires me to have full faith in the forthcoming tribunal and I should expect a fair hearing. Although the members of the three-man tribunal are already part of the anti-corruption commission which is a permanent body in the code of the ICC and are nominated by the ICC, and the tribunal members have been picked out of those members, I still think that I have faith in their independence and impartiality."
The whole tribunal has struck controversy, which may have an adverse effect on the outcome of the hearing. The ICC should pay heed to the rising concerns of the players and their lawyers and should try to remove the mistrust between them and the ICC tribunal so that the final judgment of the hearing is acceptable to all concerned parties.
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