Spot-fixing trial: Jury retire to consider verdict

The jury in the spot-fixing trial has retired today to consider its verdict.

The judge, Mr Justice Cooke, urged the six men and six women trying Salman Butt and Mohammad Asif to reach a unanimous verdict.

He told them they should not allow sympathy to cloud their judgment in arriving at a decision, and told them to take as long as they need to reach a verdict.

The judge concluded: “You should return true verdicts according to the evidence. Don’t let sympathy enter your verdicts and don’t speculate on what you might have heard outside of this courtroom. You should base your decision on the evidence alone and draw inferences, by which I mean drawing common sense conclusions.”

The jury was sent out on the 17th morning of the trial at Southwark Crown Court, after the judge had finished summing up the evidence heard in the case.

The defendants, Butt and Asif, sat in the dock and watched as the jury were led from the courtroom to begin their deliberations just after noon.

The judge said there was “no time pressure” on them reaching a unanimous verdict.

The jury will consider two counts against each player – conspiracy to cheat, and conspiracy to accept corrupt payments, in relation to the bowling of no balls at the Lord’s Test in August last year.

Mr Justice Cooke had begun his summing-up by saying the jury should work on the basis that agent Mazhar Majeed and teenage fast bowler Mohammad Amir were “involved in spot-fixing”.

“But don’t be concerned by their absence from this trial, and don’t speculate about their absence,” the judge said.

Butt and Asif deny the charges.

Follow RDJ Edwards in court on Twitter – @Cricketer_RDJ

View all previous trial articles

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