LONDON: Jailed Pakistan pacer Mohammad Asif’s lawyers are set to appeal against his conviction in the spot-fixing scam and if successful, it could lead to his release from prison.
Jailed for a year by Southwark Crown Court after being found guilty of conspiring to cheat and conspiring to accept corrupt payments, Asif is serving jail-time with former Test captain Salman Butt (30 months), who was convicted of the same charges.
The third convict, 19-year-old Mohammad Aamer, has been sent to a youth detention and correction centre for six months due to his young age. While Butt and Aamer plan to appeal against their sentence, Asif has decided to challenge the conviction itself with his lawyers saying that no money was ever found on him.
“We are considering an appeal against conviction, not sentence,” a representative of Asif’s legal team was quoted as saying by a website.
“They feel that the jury may not have been within their rights to convict Asif on the evidence they had in front of them. This appeal is expected to be lodged in the next seven days,” the website reported.
Asif was found guilty of bowling a pre-determined no-ball in the Lord’s Test against England last year, after taking money from convicted bookie Mazhar Majeed, who was sentenced to 32 months in prison.
Asif denied the charges against him and his lawyers maintained that no money was ever recovered from him.
Butt and Aamer, on the other hand, were found to have the cash that was paid by an undercover ‘News of the World’ reporter, who blew the lid off the scam with his sting operation on Majeed.
“Follow the money and if you follow the money you will not find any on Mr Asif,” Asif’s lawyer Alexander Milne QC had told the court.
But Majeed had claimed that he paid 65,000 pounds to Asif to “keep him loyal.”