Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 20 December 2014

Journalist 'filmed match-fix boast'

Former Pakistan captain Salman Butt faces charges relating to match-fixing
Former Pakistan captain Salman Butt faces charges relating to match-fixing

A former News of the World journalist will give evidence to the trial of two top Pakistan cricketers accused of match-fixing.

Mazher Mahmood, the now-defunct Sunday tabloid's investigations editor, will describe how a sports agent allegedly took bribes in return for a promise that Pakistan players would bowl deliberate no-balls during the Lord's Test against England last summer.

Posing as a rich Indian businessman, the undercover reporter covertly filmed Mazhar Majeed, 36, accepting £150,000 from him and discussing fixing games, Southwark Crown Court heard last week.

Mr Mahmood allegedly recorded the agent boasting that he had seven players in Pakistan's national side rigging matches for him and claiming that the result of a Test match could be fixed for £1 million.

Prosecutors allege that Majeed, from Croydon, south London, conspired with Pakistan's former Test captain, Salman Butt, 26, and fast bowlers Mohammad Asif, 28, and Mohammad Amir, 19, to fix parts of the Lord's Test between August 26 and 29 last year.

Butt and Asif, who are standing trial, deny conspiracy to cheat and conspiracy to accept corrupt payments.

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