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Judge asks jury to consider Asif's 'no-ball bowling excuse' omission in police interview


October 27, 2011 - London

The judge in the spot-fixing case hearing at London's Southwark Crown Court has asked the jury to consider whether an excuse given by tainted Pakistani pacer Mohammad Asif was believable, given the fact that he had not mentioned it during an initial police interview.

Asif, along with former Pakistan captain Salman Butt, denies involvement in a "conspiracy to obtain and accept corrupt payments, and also conspiracy to cheat"- the charges authorised by British prosecutors in connection with allegations that agent Mazhar Majeed accepted money from a third party "to arrange for the players to bowl 'no balls' on 26 and 27 August 2010, during Pakistan's Fourth Test at Lord's Cricket Ground in London."

Before starting the full review of evidence that the court heard during the course of the trial, Justice Cooke reminded the jury that in his defence, Asif had given an excuse under oath during the case proceedings.

However, in an initial police interview, while he was under caution but not arrest, Asif had not volunteered that evidence, he pointed out.

On the 12th day of the proceedings, Asif had attributed his allegedly pre-determined no-ball in last year's Lord's Test to the verbal abuse he received before the delivery from the then captain Butt.

"He said run faster, and went on to say something like 'haven't you slept?' I think Butt was saying things that made me lose concentration," he had told the court.

Asif argued that police had not asked him for an excuse for the no-ball, The Express Tribune reports.

However, the judge explained to the jury on how the defendants were made aware that, "it may harm your defence if you do not mention something you later rely on in court...".

The jury was also told to consider if it was reasonable for Asif not to have mentioned the excuse earlier.

ANI

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