London jury fails to reach unanimous decision on spot-fixing trial

Salman Butt outside the London Court on Monday, October 31 Getty Images

London: Oct 31, 2011

The jury hearing the trial of Pakistani cricketers Salman Butt and Mohammad Asif, who are accused of spot-fixing, have failed to reach an unanimous decision, prompting the judge to ask for a majority verdict.

The jury of six men and six women, who have retired for a third day of deliberations this morning, has now reported to judge Jeremy Cooke at the Southwark Crown Court that it is unable to agree whether Butt and Asif were guilty of spot-fixing during the fourth Test against England at Lord’s in August last year.

The indecision has prompted judge Cooke to ask the jury to try to come to a 10-2 majority verdict but he did not set any deadline.

“If you are unable to reach a unanimous verdict on any particular one of the counts then I can take a majority decision from you, which is one on which at least ten of you agree,” Justice Cooke told the jury.

Butt and Asif are facing charges of conspiracy to cheat, and conspiracy to obtain and accept corrupt payments, following the Lord’s Test where they allegedly conspired with agent Mazhar Majeed and teenage fast bowler Mohammad Amir to bowl pre-determined no-balls.

However, both Butt and Asif denied the charges. (PTI)

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