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Pakistan trio, agent sentenced to jail over spot-fixing conictions

Pakistan trio, agent sentenced to prison
© PA Photos
Pakistan cricketers Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir along with agent Mazhar Majeed have been sentenced to prison over spot-fixing convictions.

Three Pakistan cricketers Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir, along with agent Mazhar Majeed have been sentenced to prison after being found guilty of corruption in the spot-fixing scandal.

Former Pakistan captain Butt will face two and a half years in prison while ex-teammate Asif will spend a year behind bars.

Teen bowler Amir, who was 18 years old at the time of the spot-fixing at Lord's last year, was served the lesser prison term of six months while agent Majeed has been sent to jail for two years and eight months.

Before Mr Justice Cook read out the sentences to each individual he made it clear that the only punishment deemed appropriate was a prison sentence.

"Your motive was greed, despite the legitimate rewards on offer in salaries and prize money," he told court number four. "The offences are so serious that only a sentence of imprisonment will suffice."

Butt, along with fast-bowler Asif, was found guilty by a jury on Tuesday on both counts of conspiracy to cheat and conspiracy to obtain and accept corrupt payments.

Teenage sensation Amir as well as agent Majeed pleaded guilty to both spot-fixing charges in September and therefore didn't stand trial with a jury.

The scandal was uncovered by the News of the World last year, claiming that the Pakistan trio deliberately bowled no-balls during specific overs of the Pakistan Test match against England at Lord's last summer.

The sentencing was due to be dealt yesterday, however the judge postponed proceedings in order to consider the defendants 'punishments overnight.

The cricketer's lawyers pleaded their clients' cases for the final time at Southwark Crown Court yesterday, but failed to acquire lesser sentences for those convicted.

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Paul Nixon
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