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|May 25, 2000||
The Justice Quayyum Report
The appointment of this Commission was made through a Notification dated 13th of August, 1998. In terms of the Notification, all the secretarial services and assistance were to be provided by Pakistan Cricket Board.
This Commission was faced with a rather difficult task at its outset. There was no legislation on match-fixing, no rules and regulations that this commission could go by. In effect, this Commission had to start from scratch.
This Commission was appointed under the Commission of Inquiry Act 1956. Under the said Act, it was empowered to determine its own procedure. So the Commission decided that rules of natural justice like hearing and right of cross-examination must be applied. It consequently heard not only the persons accused of match-fixing but also allowed them the opportunity to cross-examine whichever witnesses made allegations against them. The Commission went to the extent of recalling certain witnesses at the request of the accused and also sought clarification from them.
Definition of match-fixing applied:
Therafter the first task at hand was to define what match-fixing was. For the purpose of this inquiry, 'match-fixing' is defined as deciding the outcome of a match before it is played and then playing oneself or having others play below one's/ their ability to influence the outcome to be in accordance with the pre-decided outcome. Match-fixing is done primarily for pecuniary gain.
Match-fixing, as well as an attempt to fix a match, are to be considered an offence for the purpose of this inquiry.
Offences coming under Match-fixing:
This Commission believes that the appropriate punishment for match-fixing is a ban for life and institution of criminal charges. This needs to be so for deterrence reasons among others. As much has been said from most quarters, like Imran Khan, Majid Khan, etc. However, an offence of such a harsh punishment, then requires a high burden of proof. Further, such an offence needs to be established with specifics, most particularly which match was fixed.
With the above parameters set, there then appeared a gap wherein people against whom their own managers and a whole lot of allegations (sic!) were made, managed to slip through, despite bringing the name of the team and their own name as national sport ambassadors into disrepute. The Commission therefore was minded to consider this an offence too under the umbrella of match-fixing: this, i.e. to bring the name of the team and self as national ambassador into disrepute was to be considered an offence. Such an offence would attract the lesser punishments of censure, fine, investigation and being kept under observation. (The presence of such an offence in the future too would ensure the players act impeeccably and not associate with bookies, etc.)
In short then, the two offences coming under match-fixing are:
Bringing the name of the team into disrepute (match-fixing related).
This Commission believes the above is the most balanced system of procedure such an inquiry can have. Various factors such as fairness to the players, fairness to the team, and the difficulty of finding proof in such cases of corruption can herein be balanced.
Burden of proof for offences:
Everyone is innocent in the eyes of this Commission until proven guilty. A player may play for the country and/ or captain its team until he is found guilty by this Commission. The burden of proof is on the party making allegations.
Standard of Proof for a finding of guilt for match-fixing: grounds for life ban and other high penalties:
With due regard to the submissions of the counsels and the amicus curae (see Part IV), it must be stated that the burden of proof is somewhere in between the criminal and normal civil standard.
It is not as high as the counsel for Wasim Akram recommended, that the case needs to be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. This is a commission of inquiry and not a criminal court of trial so that standard need not be high. The Lone Commission report was a report on its own facts and needs to be distinguished.
Having said that, it must also be added that this Commission is aware of what consequences a preliminary, tentative finding of guilt in this Report will have on the career of a player. If this Report is released to the public, a finding of guilt are likely to effectively amount to a conviction. The player is likely to lose his livelihood for the time being and possibly the prime of his career. Therefore, the submission by the amicus that the standard of proof should be lower as all the commission is doing is making recommendations is not completely accepted.
Moreover, there are a number of other reasons why the standard of proof for a finding of guilt is not as low as the amicus proposes. The amicus bases his submission on Munir's evidence tome. That book while authoritative was written many years ago. In those days perjury was not as widespread. So the standard could be low. Now, there needs to be much higher standard as with the general decline in moral standards, people do perjure themselves. In fact, before this commission a person did perjure himself. Generally too it was felt that the whole truth was not forthcoming from several people in this case. Hence the higher standard of proof than the preponderance of probabilities.
Lastly, as to the proof of guilt, it must be added that for the Commission to be convinced, to arrive at a finding of guilt, it must be convinced of the specifics of the offence. More than anything, the Commission needs to know that one particular match was fixed. Actions taken before or after, inferences of disposition from or later allegations, in regards to other matches will not figure in the determination of guilt of match-fixing.
Standard of proof for bringing own and the name of the team into disrepute (match-fixing related): grounds for censure, being kept under observation:
While the commission has set itself a rather high standard that needs to be satisfied in order to arrive at a finding of guilt, it is also aware that in cases of bribery and match-fixing direct evidence is hard to come by. One has to draw inferences and rely on expert opinion. As such for the offence of bringing a player's own name (as an international representative of the nation) and that of the Pakistan Cricket team giving a censure and lower levels of punishment, this commission will look at the allegations in their totality too. That is to say that while the commission needs to be certain that a person fixed a particular match or attempted to fix that match in order to recommend a ban and criminal charges, if a person appears on the totality of allegations against him to be, on the balance of probabilities (on the civil standard) to be involved in suspicious activities, the lesser penalties such as a censure, fine and an order for the player to be kept under observation can be set-out.
As such, it is believed that in the instance of persons upon whom doubt has been shed by a number of their own colleagues, grounds for investigation ought to be of a lower standard. In light of the fact that several of the managers who may be termed experts on cricket opined that there was match-fixing, while the Commission does not believe a finding of guilt can be established, the Commission does believe such evidence can be grounds for censure, further investigation of finances, and recommendation of keeping the accused under observation. Herein, players against whom there seems to be a trend of allegations but no solid proof for individual instances, can be chastised.
The cut-off point (added after this enquiry had been going on for a year)
The primary emphasis of investigation by this Commission as will be seen has been around the two names that have been brought up the most, Salim Malik and Wasim Akram. However, other names also appeared either having been brought up by people called or those that have cast suspicion on themselves by their own actions or through Rashid Latif's tapes. As a consequence of these other leads and names, this inquiry has grown and grown as the commission has sought to pursue more and more leads. More and more time has been taken and extensions have been sought from the Federal Government.
In all of this, the commission has been aware that its report has been dubbed 'much-delayed' in the public. Therefore, a cut-off point needed to be settled, so as not to leave players and the public in suspense. The pressure the players have been kept under now for a year would be too unfair to continue. This cut-off point has been set at before the team leaves for the Sharjah and Australia tour, when the sixth extension for this commission expires. As such this commission closes its inquiry on the 30th of September, 1999. The Report will be submitted before the team leaves for Sharjah.
(Note dated 30th of September, 1999) Due to the cut-off point, certain leads were not completely followed up. Some were not followed as they were likely to provide information already available (Dan Keisel's tape seemed to, according to Rashid Latif, duplicate Keisel's own testimony and Aamir Sohail's allegations) or because these leads were against people against whom there was already sufficient evidence (re: Saeed Anwar lead regarding Salim Malik making him an offer from Rashid Latif's testimony.) Some leads were not followed up against secondary players (Saeed Anwar, Basit Ali) for their lesser involvement because there was just not enough time. In the rush to complete the report at the end, a vital lead against Mushtaq Ahmad (i.e. Mr. Butt) despite best efforts was not forthcoming. This lead is currently being chased up.
(Note dated 12th of October, 1999) The Federal Government has kindly granted this Commission an extension till the 30th of October, 1999. However, this Commission, in view of fairness to the players accused, is sending this Report on to the Sports Minister today. Final Reports against Mushtaq and Salim Malik will be completed by a Supplementary Report shortly to follow.
Leads not followed up are listed later in the report, so that the Patron can have them pursued if he is so minded.
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